This is the first time the National Health Survey includes figures on sleeping problems. The following question was asked: ‘To what extent have you suffered from sleeping problems over the past two weeks? For example, difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep or waking up too early.’
Limited daily functioning
Of the people reporting sleeping problems, 41 percent indicated that these limited their daily functioning, for example at work. They experienced poor concentration, forgetfulness, or it affected their mood. This was reported by 57 percent of people who stated they were severely affected by sleeping problems.
Difficulty sleeping occurs more often with increasing age. In the group aged 12 to 15, the share reporting sleeping problems is 8 percent; among people aged 40 to 49, this share is 19 percent, while the share is even 28 percent among people aged 75 and over. In all age groups, relatively more women than men report sleeping problems. Almost one-quarter of all female respondents had ever had trouble falling asleep. This is over one and a half times more than among male respondents (15 percent).
People with lower incomes more often affected
In the highest quintile (20 percent) of households in the income distribution, 16 percent reported sleeping problems. This percentage is nearly twice as low as among the lowest income quintile.
Poor sleepers more often in poor health
People from the lowest income group are twice as likely to perceive their own health as poor as those from the highest income group. The prevalence of long-term conditions is nearly one and a half times greater among this group, and the occurrence of psychological health problems three times greater.
Among those with less than good self-perceived health, 43 percent have sleeping problems. This share is one-third among people with at least one long-term condition and even exceeding half (56 percent) of those with psychological health problems.