Free Content Sleep complaints and risk factors for excessive daytime sleepiness in adult males in Northern Ireland

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The prevalence of sleep complaints in Northern Ireland is unknown. Sleep disruption can result in excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS), with significant socioeconomic consequences. The aim of this study was to assess the prevalence of sleep complaints and to determine risk factors for EDS in a Northern Irish community. From an urban and rural community of 499 111 people, a random sample of 3391 adult men were sent a questionnaire by mail. Questions were asked regarding sleep, EDS and medical history. There were 2364 completed questionnaires returned (response rate 70%). The mean age of respondents was 46.0 years (range 18–91 years). 26.7% of men were not satisfied with their usual night’s sleep and 68% of men woke up at least once during the night. Based on pre-defined criteria, 24.6% of the population had insomnia and 19.8% had EDS. The strongest risk factor identified for EDS was a history of snoring loudly (odds ratio 2.62; 95% CI 1.82–3.77). Other risk factors included ankle swelling, feeling sad or depressed stopping sleep, experiencing vivid dreams while falling asleep, waking up feeling unrefreshed and age > 35 years. The prevalence rates of sleep complaints and EDS in this community-based study is high, although this does depend directly on the criteria used to define insomnia and EDS. Recognition of risk factors for EDS may help to identify and treat those affected.

Keywords: excessive daytime sleepiness; sleep complaints

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Respiratory Medicine, Belfast City Hospital, Lisburn Road, Belfast BT9 7AB, N. Ireland 2: Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, Queen’s University of Belfast, Belfast, N. Ireland

Publication date: March 1, 2001

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