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The Association of Social Support at Work and in Private Life With Sleeping Problems in the Finnish Health 2000 Study

Sinokki, Marjo MD; Ahola, Kirsi PhD; Hinkka, Katariina PhD, MD; Sallinen, Mikael PhD; Härmä, Mikko PhD, MD; Puukka, Pauli MSoc Sc; Klaukka, Timo PhD, MD; Lönnqvist, Jouko PhD, MD; Virtanen, Marianna PhD

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine: January 2010 - Volume 52 - Issue 1 - p 54-61
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e3181c5c373
Original Articles

Objective: To investigate the associations of social support at work and in private life with sleeping problems and use of sleep medication.

Methods: In the nationwide Health 2000 Study, with a cohort of 3430 employees, social support at work and in private life, and sleep-related issues were assessed with self-assessment scales. Purchases of sleep medication over a 3-year period were collected from the nationwide pharmaceutical register of the Social Insurance Institution.

Results: Low social support from supervisor was associated with tiredness (odds ratio [OR] 1.68, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.26 to 2.23) and sleeping difficulties within the previous month (OR 1.74, 95% CI = 1.41 to 1.92). Low support from coworkers was associated with tiredness (OR 1.55, 95% CI = 1.41 to 1.92), sleeping difficulties within the previous month (OR 1.77, 95% CI = 1.32 to 2.36), and only among women, with short sleep duration (OR 2.06, 95% CI = 1.22 to 3.47). Low private life support was associated with short sleep duration (OR 1.49, 95% CI = 1.13 to 1.98) and among women, with sleeping difficulties (OR 1.46, 95% CI = 1.08 to 1.33).

Conclusions: Low social support, especially at work, is associated with sleeping-related problems.

From the Turku Centre for Occupational Health (Dr Sinokki), Turku, Finland; Finnish Institute of Occupational Health (Dr Ahola, Dr Sallinen, Dr Härmä, Dr Virtanen), Helsinki, Finland; Social Insurance Institution of Finland (Dr Hinkka) Turku, Finland (Klaukka), Helsinki, Finland; Agora Center, University of Jyväskylä (Dr Sallinen), Jyväskylä, Finland; National Institute for Health and Welfare (Mr Puukka) Turku, Finland (Dr Lönnqvist), Helsinki, Finland; and Department of Psychiatry (Dr Lönnqvist), University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland.

Address correspondence to: Marjo Sinokki, MD, Turku Centre for Occupational Health, Hämeenkatu 10, FI-20500 Turku, Finland; E-mail:

©2010The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine