Sociodemographic and socioeconomic differences in sleep duration and insomnia-related symtpoms in Finnish adults

Tea Lallukka, Laura Sares-Jäske, Erkki Kronholm, Katri Sääskjärvi, Annamari Lundqvist, Timo Partonen, Ossi Rahkonen, Paul Knekt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


BACKGROUND: Poor sleep tends to be patterned by sociodemographic and socioeconomic factors. The aim of this study was to examine the associations of sociodemographic and socioeconomic factors with sleep duration and insomnia-related symptoms across life course.

METHODS: We used cross-sectional Health 2000 Survey (2000-2001) among a total of 5,578 adult Finns, aged 30-79 years, representative of adult Finnish population. Data about sociodemographic and socioeconomic circumstances, insomnia-related symptoms over the previous month as well as average sleep duration were collected by questionnaires. Multinomial logistic regression models were adjusted first for gender and age, second for sociodemographic factors, and third for all covariates simultaneously.

RESULTS: On average 70% of Finnish adults slept 7-8 hours a day. Frequent insomnia-related symptoms were more prevalent among women (14%) than men (10%). Not being married, not having children, having low education, low income, being unemployed, and being a disability retiree were associated with frequent insomnia-related symptoms. Similar factors were associated with short and long sleep duration. However, childhood socioeconomic position was mostly unrelated to sleep in adulthood except parental education had some associations with short sleep duration.

CONCLUSIONS: Disadvantaged socioeconomic position in adulthood, in particular income and employment status, is associated with poorer sleep. When promoting optimal sleep duration and better sleep quality, families with low incomes, unemployed people, and disability retirees should be targeted. Key words: marital status; parental status; education; employment status; household income; residential area; insomnia-related symptoms; sleep duration; life course; self-perceived health.

Original languageEnglish
Article number565
JournalBMC Public Health
Issue number565
Number of pages31
Publication statusPublished - 2012
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Fields of Science

  • 3142 Public health care science, environmental and occupational health
  • marital status
  • parental status
  • education
  • employment status
  • household income
  • residential area
  • insomnia-related symptoms
  • sleep duration
  • life course
  • self-perceived health

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