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Sleep disturbances in young and middle-aged adults - Empirical patterns and related factors from an epidemiological survey


Rössler, Wulf; AjdacicGross, Vladeta; Glozier, Nick; Rodgers, Stephanie; Haker, Helene; Müller, Mario (2017). Sleep disturbances in young and middle-aged adults - Empirical patterns and related factors from an epidemiological survey. Comprehensive psychiatry, 78:83-90.

Abstract

Background: Previous research suggests that sleep disorders are highly associated with other mental health problems. However, sleep problems even below the diagnostic threshold of sleep disorders are very common in the general population, which highly affects wellbeing and functioning. In order to broaden the focus beyond those severe cases we explored empirical patterns across the whole spectrum of sleep problems as well as associated clinical and other factors.
Method: A representative community sample of N=1274 residents from the canton of Zurich was interviewed for sleep problems and diagnostic criteria for mental disorders as well as was given a number of mental health-related psychometrical checklists. Based on a broader spectrum of sleep problems we conducted a latent class analysis (LCA) to derive distinct classes of such disturbances. Classes were compared regarding their associations to mental health-relevant and other risk factors.
Results: The LCA revealed four classes - no sleep disturbances (72.6%), difficulties initiating and maintaining sleep (15.8%), delayed sleep (5.3%), and severe sleep problems (6.4%). Severe sleep problems were related to female gender and generalized anxiety disorder, while depression was linked to all sleep problem classes. Persons with difficulties initiating and maintaining sleep and severe sleep problems reported higher levels of psychopathology, burnout and neuroticism, while all sleep problem types were tied to stress-related variables, but not alcohol use disorder.
Discussion: Sleep problems are highly prevalent among the young and middle-aged adults in our representative sample of young and middle-aged adults and as such represent a serious public mental health problem. Our findings indicate sleep problems to have a multi-dimensional structure with some differential associations. While all subtypes were associated with poorer mental health and particularly more depression, severe sleep problems appeared to be the sleep subtype seen in agoraphobia and GAD, while delayed sleep had no specific associations. The variety of associations assessed leads one to assume that likewise a variety of sleep interventions is required.

Abstract

Background: Previous research suggests that sleep disorders are highly associated with other mental health problems. However, sleep problems even below the diagnostic threshold of sleep disorders are very common in the general population, which highly affects wellbeing and functioning. In order to broaden the focus beyond those severe cases we explored empirical patterns across the whole spectrum of sleep problems as well as associated clinical and other factors.
Method: A representative community sample of N=1274 residents from the canton of Zurich was interviewed for sleep problems and diagnostic criteria for mental disorders as well as was given a number of mental health-related psychometrical checklists. Based on a broader spectrum of sleep problems we conducted a latent class analysis (LCA) to derive distinct classes of such disturbances. Classes were compared regarding their associations to mental health-relevant and other risk factors.
Results: The LCA revealed four classes - no sleep disturbances (72.6%), difficulties initiating and maintaining sleep (15.8%), delayed sleep (5.3%), and severe sleep problems (6.4%). Severe sleep problems were related to female gender and generalized anxiety disorder, while depression was linked to all sleep problem classes. Persons with difficulties initiating and maintaining sleep and severe sleep problems reported higher levels of psychopathology, burnout and neuroticism, while all sleep problem types were tied to stress-related variables, but not alcohol use disorder.
Discussion: Sleep problems are highly prevalent among the young and middle-aged adults in our representative sample of young and middle-aged adults and as such represent a serious public mental health problem. Our findings indicate sleep problems to have a multi-dimensional structure with some differential associations. While all subtypes were associated with poorer mental health and particularly more depression, severe sleep problems appeared to be the sleep subtype seen in agoraphobia and GAD, while delayed sleep had no specific associations. The variety of associations assessed leads one to assume that likewise a variety of sleep interventions is required.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Institute of Biomedical Engineering
Dewey Decimal Classification:170 Ethics
610 Medicine & health
Scopus Subject Areas:Social Sciences & Humanities > Clinical Psychology
Health Sciences > Psychiatry and Mental Health
Language:English
Date:2017
Deposited On:21 Nov 2017 16:31
Last Modified:26 Jan 2022 14:13
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0010-440X
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.comppsych.2017.07.009
PubMed ID:28806609

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