2005 Volume 43 Issue 1 Pages 3-10
Epidemiologic sleep research on Japanese workers has been increasing in recent years. It is timely to give an overview of the sleep issues facing the Japanese working population by reviewing the accumulated epidemiological evidence, which will contribute to the promotion of a sound occupational health policy and the development of occupational sleep research in epidemiology. This paper reviews 24 studies, 13 for non-shift and 11 for shift Japanese workers, identified by using MEDLINE and Japan Cetra Revuo Medicina. The results reviewed are as follows: 1) the prevalence of insomnia and other sleep problems is substantially varied, 5 to 45% for non-shift and 29 to 38% for shift workers, 2) poor sleep quality is related to health, occupational activities and personal relations, 3) the risk or associated factors are identified in pathophysiology (e.g., hypertension), lifestyle behaviors (e.g., diet, alcohol, tobacco), job-related conditions (e.g., job stress, social support, job dissatisfaction, workload, shift schedules) and psychopathology (e.g., depressed mood). The methodological limitations found in the studies and the strategies of future epidemiologic sleep research in workers are discussed.