The incidence of insomnia among employed and unemployed individuals

Weronika Wolińska


Introduction: Insomnia is a complex disorder and requires knowledge of the subjective feelings of the patient. The incidence of insomnia varies depending on the classification and definition used in the study, and usually oscillates between 4–48%. Insomnia lowers quality of life (QoL), which translates into poorer functioning at social and professional levels.

The aim of this study was to determine the incidence of insomnia among employed and unemployed individuals with regard to their sociodemographic and socioeconomic data, to analyze the relationship between insomnia, depressive symptoms and chronic diseases, and to assess how insomnia affects QoL.

Materials and methods: This survey-based study included 597 people. The following questionnaires were used: the Athens Insomnia Scale (AIS), Beck’s Depression Inventory (BDI), the Short Form 36 Health Survey (SF-36), and a self-developed questionnaire.

Results: Insomnia was found in 17.75% (n = 106; p ≤ 0.001) of respondents. There was a statistically significant relationship between insomnia and sex (p = 0.006). Insomnia was more common in women (20.83%; n = 75), people over 56 years of age (27.08%; n = 26; p ≤ 0.001), and those unemployed (26.37%; n = 53; p ≤ 0.001). A statistically significant relationship was demonstrated between depression and insomnia assessed by the AIS (p ≤ 0.001).

Conclusions: 1. Insomnia was more common in unemployed individuals. 2. Insomnia was more common in those with hypertension, irrespective of their employment status. Therefore, primary care physicians should use the AIS as part of screening among chronically ill patients. 3. Insomnia was accompanied by depressive symptoms in all groups analyzed in this study, irrespective of their employment status. 4. Insomnia is a serious public and mental health problem. The AIS should be used as part of workers’ periodic health examinations, since ignoring the problem of insomnia decreases QoL.


insomnia; sleep disorders; employment; work; quality of life

Full Text:



Littlehales N. Śpij dobrze. Warszawa: Wydawnictwo Agora; 2017.

American Psychiatric Association. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. 5th ed. Washington: American Psychiatric Association; 2013.

Skalski M, Fornal M, Szelenberger W. Rodzinne występowanie bezsenności nieorganicznej. Sen 2006;6(1):1-7.

Prusiński A. Bezsenność i inne zaburzenia snu. Wyd. 2. Warszawa: Wydawnictwo Lekarskie PZWL; 2007. p. 12-43.

Yaffe K, Falvey CM, Hoang T. Connections between sleep and cognition in older adults. Lancet Neurol 2014;13(10):1017-28.

Paunio T, Korhonen T, Hublin C, Partinen M, Koskenvuo K, Koskenvuo M, et al. Poor sleep predicts symptoms of depression and disability retirement due to depression. J Affect Disord 2015;172:381-9.

Ohayon MM. Epidemiology of insomnia: what we know and what we still need to learn. Sleep Med Rev 2002;6(2):97-111.

Grandner MA, Patel NP, Gehrman PR, Xie D, Sha D, Weaver T, et al. Who gets the best sleep? Ethnic and socioeconomic factors related to sleep complaints. Sleep Med 2010;11(5):470-8.

Lallukka T, Sares-Jäske L, Kronholm E, Sääksjärvi K, Lundqvist A, Partonen T, et al. Sociodemographic and socioeconomic differences in sleep duration and insomnia-related symptoms in Finnish adults. BMC Public Health 2012;12:565.

Zhang HS, Li Y, Mo HY, Qiu DX, Zhao J, Luo JL, et al. A community-based cross-sectional study of sleep quality in middle-aged and older adults. Qual Life Res 2017;26(4):923-33.

Madrid-Valero JJ, Martínez-Selva JM, Ribeiro do Couto B, Sánchez-Romera JF, Ordoñana JR. Age and gender effects on the prevalence of poor sleep quality in the adult population. Gac Sanit 2017;31(1):18-22.

Uhlig BL, Sand T, Odegård SS, Hagen K. Prevalence and associated factors of DSM-V insomnia in Norway: the Nord-Trøndelag Health Study (HUNT 3). Sleep Med 2014;15(6):708-13.

Andreeva VA, Torres MJ, Druesne-Pecollo N, Léger D, Gonzalez P, Bayon V, et al. Sex-specific associations of different anthropometric indices with acute and chronic insomnia. Eur J Public Health 2017;27(6):1026-31.

Palm A, Janson C, Lindberg E. The impact of obesity and weight gain on development of sleep problems in a population-based sample. Sleep Med 2015;16(5):593-7.

Assari S, Moghani Lankarani M, Kazemi Saleh D, Ahmadi K. Gender modifies the effects of education and income on sleep quality of the patients with coronary artery disease. Int Cardiovasc Res J 2013;7(4):141-6.

Wojtas A, Ciszewski S. Epidemiologia bezsenności. Psychiatria 2011;8(3):79-83.

Bruno RM, Palagini L, Gemignani A, Virdis A, Di Giulio A, Ghiadoni L, et al. Poor sleep quality and resistant hypertension. Sleep Med 2013;14(11):1157-63.

Pracka D, Pracki T. Chronobiologia rytmu sen-czuwanie. Sen 2002;2 Suppl A:A7-A12.

Maury E, Ramsey KM, Bass J. Circadian rhythms and metabolic syndrome: from experimental genetics to human disease. Circ Res 2010;106(3):447-62.

Laposky AD, Bass J, Kohsaka A, Turek FW. Sleep and circadian rhythms: key copmonents in the regulation of energy metabolism. FEBS Lett 2008;582(1):142-51.

Levenson JC, Benca RM, Rumble ME. Sleep related cognitions in individuals with symptoms of insomnia and depression. J Clin Sleep Med 2015;11(8):847-54.

Baglioni C, Battagliese G, Feige B, Spiegelhalder K, Nissen C, Voderholzer U, et al. Insomnia as a predictor of depression: a meta-analytic evaluation of longitudinal epidemiological studies. J Affect Disord 2011;135(1-3):10-9.

Heitzman J. Zaburzenia snu – przyczyna czy skutek depresji? Psychiatr Pol 2009;43(5):499-511.

Léger D, Scheuermaier K, Philip P, Paillard M, Guilleminault C. SF-36: evaluation of quality of life in severe and mild insomniacs compared with good sleepers. Psychosom Med 2001;63(1):49-55.

Kang MY, Kwon HJ, Choi KH, Kang CW, Kim H. The relationship between shift work and mental health among electronics workers in South Korea: A cross-sectional study. PLoS One 2017;12(11):e0188019.

Virtanen M, Kivimäki M, Joensuu M, Virtanen P, Elovainio M, Vahtera J. Temporary employment and health: A review. Int J Epidemiol 2005;34(3):610-22.

Żołnierczyk-Zreda D. Rodzaj umowy o pracę a zdrowie i funkcjonowanie zawodowe pracowników – przegląd badań. Med Pr 2015;66(4):565-73.

Heponiemi T, Kouvonen A, Sinervo T, Elovainio M. Do psychosocial factors moderate the association of fixed-term employment with work interference with family and sleeping problems in registered nurses: a cross-sectional questionnaire survey. Int J Nurs Stud 2010;47(9):1096-104.

Sivertsen B, Krokstad S, Øverland S, Mykletun A. The epidemiology of insomnia: associations with physical and mental health. The HUNT-2 study. J Psychosom Res 2009;67(2):109-16.

Cai GH, Theorell-Haglöw J, Janson C, Svartengren M, Elmståhl S, Lind L, et al. Insomnia symptoms and sleep duration and their combined effects in relation to associations with obesity and central obesity. Sleep Med 2018;46:81-7.

Benbir G, Demir AU, Aksu M, Ardic S, Firat H, Itil O, et al. Prevalence of insomnia and its clinical correlates in a general population in Turkey. Psychiatry Clin Neurosci 2015;69(9):543-52.

Vancampfort D, Stubbs B, Firth J, Hagemann N, Myin-Germeys I, Rintala A, et al. Sedentary behaviour and sleep problems among 42,489 community-dwelling adults in six low- and middle-income countries. J Sleep Res 2018;27(6):e12714. doi: 10.1111/jsr.12714.

Nowicki Z, Grabowski K, Cubała WJ, Nowicka-Sauer K, Zdrojewski T, Rutkowski M, et al. Rozpowszechnienie subiektywnej bezsenności w populacji polskiej. Psychiatr Pol 2016;50(1):165-73.

Xu M, Bélanger L, Ivers H, Guay B, Zhang J, Morin CM. Comparison of subjective and objective sleep quality in menopausal and non-menopausal women with insomnia. Sleep Med 2011;12(1):65-9.

Krupka-Matuszczyk I. Zaburzenia snu u kobiet. Sen 2008;8(2):73-7.

Kim H, Suh S, Cho ER, Yang HC, Yun CH, Thomas RJ, et al. Longitudinal course of insomnia: Age-related differences in subjective sleepiness and vigilance performance in a population-based sample. J Psychosom Res 2013;75(6):532-8.

Duffy JF, Willson HJ, Wang W, Czeisler CA. Healthy older adults better tolerate sleep deprivation than young adults. J Am Geriatr Soc 2009;57(7):1245-51.

Średniawa A, Drwiła D, Krotos A, Wojtaś D, Kostecka N, Tomasik T. Insomnia and the level of stress among students in Krakow, Poland. Trends Psychiatry Psychother 2019. pii: S2237-60892019005001102.

Wong WS, Fielding R. Prevalence of insomnia among Chinese adults in Hong Kong: a population-based study. J Sleep Res 2011;20(1 Pt 1):117-26.

Hale L, Singer L, Barnet JH, Peppard PE, Hagen EW. Associations between midlife insomnia symptoms and earlier retirement. Sleep Health 2017;3(3):170-7.

Sivertsen B, Øverland S, Pallesen S, Bjorvatn B, Nordhus IH, Maeland JG, et al. Insomnia and long sleep duration are risk factors for later work disability. The Hordaland Health Study. J Sleep Res 2009;18(1):122-8.

Hertenstein E, Feige B, Gmeiner T, Kienzler C, Spiegelhalder K, Johann A, et al. Insomnia as a predictor of mental disorders: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Sleep Med Rev 2019;43:96-105.

Vgontzas AN, Liao D, Bixler EO, Chrousos GP, Vela-Bueno A. Insomnia with objective short sleep duration is associated with a high risk for hypertension. Sleep 2009;32(4):491-7.

Wang YM, Song M, Wang R, Shi L, He J, Fan TT, et al. Insomnia and multimorbidity in the community elderly in China. J Clin Sleep Med 2017;13(4):591-7.

Clark AJ, Salo P, Lange T, Jennum P, Virtanen M, Pentti J, et al. Onset of impaired sleep and cardiovascular disease risk factors: A longitudinal study. Sleep 2016;39(9):1709-18.

Lin CL, Liu TC, Lin FH, Chung CH, Chien WC. Association between sleep disorders and hypertension in Taiwan: a nationwide population-based retrospective cohort study. J Hum Hypertens 2017;31(3):220-4.

Parthasarathy S, Vasquez MM, Halonen M, Bootzin R, Quan SF, Martinez FD, et al. Persistent insomnia is associated with mortality risk. Am J Med 2015;128(3):268-75.e2.

Xia L, Chen GH, Li ZH, Jiang S, Shen J. Alterations in hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal/thyroid axes and gonadotropin-releasing hormone in the patients with primary insomnia: a clinical research. PLoS One 2013;8(8):e71065.

Scalo J, Desai P, Rascati K. Insomnia, hypnotic use, and health-related quality of life in a nationally representative sample. Qual Life Res 2015;24(5):1223-33.

Darchia N, Oniani N, Sakhelashvili I, Supatashvili M, Basishvili T, Eliozishvili M, et al. Relationship between sleep disorders and health related quality of life – Results from the Georgia SOMNUS Study. Int J Environ Res Public Health 2018;15(8):1588.


Copyright (c) 2020 Weronika Wolińska

License URL: