Characterization of sleep patterns and problems in healthcare workers in a tertiary care hospital

Dolores Buscemi*, Rezza Anvari, Rishi Raj, Kenneth Nugent

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVES: Restrictions in sleep can have important adverse effects on health and job performance. We collected information about sleep from US healthcare workers to determine whether they had sleep difficulties. METHODS: We used an Internet-based survey to collect information on sleep patterns and sleep quality in healthcare workers at a tertiary care hospital. We classified these workers into short sleepers (<7 hours), normal sleepers (7-8 hours), and long sleepers (≥9 hours). We compared these three groups using simple descriptive statistics. We used logistic regression to identify factors associated with short sleep times. RESULTS: Of 3012 questionnaires distributed, 376 healthcare workers (12.5%) replied to this survey. The median age was 38 years, the median body mass index was 28 kg/m, and 76% were women. The median sleep duration on weekdays was 7 hours. Sixty-nine respondents (18.4%) were short sleepers, 269 of the respondents (71.5%) were normal sleepers, and 38 respondents (10.1%) were long sleepers. A total of 113 (30.1%) had sleep difficulties more than 50% of the time and 140 respondents (37.3%) were bothered by lack of energy from poor sleep. Short sleepers were less likely than other types of sleepers to have normal bedtimes and regular mealtimes. Eighty-four respondents (22.3%) went to bed between 2 AM and 2 PM. These workers were younger; slept less on the weekdays and weekends; and reported more difficulty with sleeping, feeling depressed, overconsumption of alcoholic beverages, and personal stressors. CONCLUSIONS: Most healthcare workers have healthy sleep patterns; however, many workers have poor sleep quality. Workers with "odd" bedtimes have abnormal sleep patterns and abnormal sleep quality; these workers need additional evaluation to understand the causes and consequences of their sleep patterns.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)11-16
Number of pages6
JournalSouthern Medical Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014


  • Jenkins Sleep Scale
  • nonphysician healthcare workers
  • sleep duration
  • sleep quality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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