Sickness absenteeism is associated with sleep problems independent of sleep disorders: results of the 2016 Sleep Health Foundation national survey

Amy C. Reynolds, Sarah Appleton, Tiffany Gill, Anne Taylor, Ronald McEvoy, Sally Ferguson, Robert Adams

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    14 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Introduction Sleep disorders are associated with sickness absenteeism (SA), at significant economic cost. Correlates of absenteeism are less well described in nonclinical samples. Participants and methods We determined the relationship between markers of inadequate sleep and SA in a sample of 551 working adults aged ≥18 years across Australia. We considered diagnosed obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and insomnia symptoms, daytime symptoms, and sleepiness with respect to sickness absenteeism (missing ≥1 day of work in the past 28 days because of problems with physical or mental health). Results Sickness absenteeism was reported by 27.0% of participants and was more frequent in younger participants, university graduates, and those experiencing financial stress. Sickness absenteeism was independently associated with insomnia (odds ratio [OR] = 2.5, confidence interval [CI] = 1.5-4.0], OSA (OR = 9.8, CI = 4.7-20.7), sleep aid use (OR = 3.0, CI = 1.9-4.7), and daytime symptoms (OR = 3.0, CI = 2.0-4.6) and inversely associated with perception of getting adequate sleep (OR = 0.6, CI = 0.4-0.9). Associations persisted in the population free of insomnia and/or OSA. Conclusions In adults without clinical sleep disorders, sleep behaviors are contributing to sickness absenteeism. An increased focus at an organizational level on improvement of sleep hygiene is important to reduce lost work performance.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)357-361
    Number of pages5
    JournalSleep Health
    Volume3
    Issue number5
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Oct 2017

    Keywords

    • Epidemiology
    • Sickness absenteeism
    • Sleep education
    • Sleep health

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