Introduction: Emergency physicians (EP) are suspected to have a high prevalence of insomnia and sleep-aid use. Most prior studies about sleep-aid use in EPs have been limited by low response rates. In this study our aim was to investigate the prevalence of insomnia and sleep-aid use among early-career Japanese EPs and assess the factors associated with insomnia and sleep-aid use.
Methods: We collected anonymous, voluntary, survey-based data regarding chronic insomnia and sleep-aid use from board-eligible EPs taking the initial Japanese Association of Acute Medicine board certification exam in 2019 and 2020. We describe the prevalence of insomnia and sleep-aid use and analyzed demographic and job-related factors using multivariable logistic regression analysis.
Results: The response rate was 89.71% (732 of 816). The prevalence of chronic insomnia and sleep-aid use was 24.89% (95% CI 21.78-28.29%) and 23.77% (95% CI 20.69-27.15%), respectively. Factors associated with chronic insomnia were long working hours (odds ratio [OR] 1.02, 1.01-1.03, per one-hour/week), and “stress factor” (OR 1.46, 1.13-1.90). Factors associated with sleep-aid use were male gender (OR 1.71, 1.03-2.86), unmarried status (OR 2.38, 1.39-4.10), and “stress factor” (OR 1.48, 1.13-1.94). The “stress factor” was mostly influenced by stressors in dealing with patients/families and co-workers, concern about medical malpractice, and fatigue.
Conclusions: Early-career EPs in Japan have a high prevalence of chronic insomnia and sleep-aid use. Long working hours and stress were associated with chronic insomnia, while male gender, unmarried status, and stress were associated with the use of sleep aids.