The effects of shift work and other related factors on insomnia symptoms among registered nurses in Thailand

Terdsak Namjaroen, Krisada Sawaengdee, Supannee Promthet, Wilaiphorn Thinkhamrop, Cameron Hurst

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

84 Downloads (Pure)


Insomnia is the most common sleep disorder and can substantially impact quality of life. The nursing profession often involves working in shifts which may lead to increased risk of insomnia symptoms. Understanding the factors associated with insomnia in nurses is important for improving the sleep health and quality of working life of registered nurses in Thailand. The baseline data of the Thai Nurse Cohort Study which included the responses of 18,189 registered nurses collected in 2009 was employed. The authors considered the three insomnia symptoms: Difficulty Initiating Sleep, Difficulty Maintaining Sleep, and Early Morning Awakening. Workplace burden variables and other potentially important factors were also collected. Multiple logistic regression using mixed effect models was applied for the data analysis.

The response rate of this study was 58.6%. Most participants were females (96.7%) with mean age of 43.4 years (s.d.= 9.7) and worked predominantly in the day shift (71.3%). Almost one-quarter (24.6%; 95% CI = 23.3 - 25.9) reported experiencing at least one insomnia symptoms. The prevalence of difficulty initiating sleep, difficulty maintaining sleep and early morning awakening were 5.2% (95% CI = 3.7 - 6.7), 8.0% (95% CI = 6.5 - 9.4) and 6.5% (95% CI = 5.0 - 8.0), respectively. Evening and Night shift were associated with a higher risk of both difficulty initiating sleep (Adj. ORevening = 2.11, 95% CI = 1.45 - 3.07; Adj. ORnight = 1.72, 95% CI = 1.01 - 2.94, respectively) and early morning awakening (Adj. ORevening = 1.46, 95% CI = 1.01 - 2.11and Adj. ORnight = 0.41, 95% CI = 0.18 - 0.95, respectively). No workplace burden factors were associated with difficulty maintaining sleep. Perceived mental health and perceived pain were highly associated with all three insomnia symptoms.

The authors demonstrate shift work substantially impacts insomnia symptoms among Thai nurses. Policy-making for nursing personnel recruitment and retention should include the optimization of shift work schedule allocation to promote good sleep health.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)77-91
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Public Health and Development
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2019
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'The effects of shift work and other related factors on insomnia symptoms among registered nurses in Thailand'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this