Posted on Nov 03, 2009, 6 a.m.
While more than 11% of American adults surveyed say they failed to enjoy a day in the previous month where they got enough sleep, another study suggests that retirees enjoy better quality sleep thanks to the removal of work-related demands and stress.
The BRFSS survey, a US-state telephone survey of community-dwelling Americans ages 18 and over, conducted by the US Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC; Georgia, USA), reveals that more than 11% of American adults failed to enjoy a day in the previous month where they got enough sleep. In total, only 30.7% of survey respondents say they got enough sleep every day in the past month. The CDC suggests that: “The major causes of sleep loss are overlapping and include lifestyle and occupational factors that reflect broad societal factors (such as work hours and access to technology), and specific sleep disorders.” In a separate study, Jussi Vahtera, from University of Turku (Finland), and colleagues find that retirement is followed by a sharp decrease in the prevalence of sleep disturbances. Studying data collected on 11,581 male and 3,133 female retirees from the French national gas and electricity company, all of whom reported sleep disturbances at least once before and once after the year of retirement, the team found that the odds of having disturbed sleep in the seven years after retirement were 26% lower than in the seven years before retiring. Sleep disturbance prevalence rates among the study subjects fell, from 24.2% in the last year before retirement to 17.8% in the first year after retiring. The postretirement improvement in sleep also was more pronounced in men, management-level workers, employees who reported high psychological job demands, and people who occasionally or consistently worked night shifts. Citing that their findings provide “strong evidence for a substantial and sustained decrease in sleep disturbances following retirement,” the researchers suggest that: “The possibility that the health and well-being of individuals are significantly worse when in employment than following retirement, present[ing] a great challenge to improve the quality of work life in Western societies in which the cost of the aging population can only be met through an increase in average retirement age.”
“Perceived Insufficient Rest or Sleep Among Adults --- United States, 2008.” Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, US Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, October 30, 2009; 58(42);1175-1179. “Study Shows that Sleep Disturbances Improve After Retirement,” American Academy of Sleep Medicine, November 1, 2009; http://www.aasmnet.org/Articles.aspx?id=1484.