Rich people sleep better than poor people

June 16, 2009 at 1:45 AM
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SEATTLE, June 16 (UPI) -- Increased sleep disturbances are associated with lower education, income or being unmarried or unemployed, U.S. researchers said.

Lead author Michael Grandner, a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, said the study involved data from 159,856 people.

The study also found that gender, younger age and being single negatively affect sleep. Women reported more sleep problems than men -- 22 percent vs. 16 percent -- especially between the ages of 40-65. In addition, more sleep problems were reported in people between the ages of 18-24 years than older people.

The study found that 26 percent of those earning less than $10,000 a year reported sleep problems, but 8 percent of those earning $75,000 or more annually reported sleep problems. Participants who had college degrees slept better than those who did not finish high school and people who were employed reported the best sleep, followed by those who were retired, homemakers and students.

"Lower socioeconomic status is associated with a number of internal factors that can cause poor sleep, including illness, fewer support systems, depression, anxiety, dissatisfaction, lower quality of life and less motivation to see sleep as a priority," Grandner said in a statement. "A number of external factors also may negatively affect sleep as well, such as demanding work schedules, rotating shifts, family demands, limited access to healthcare, and unemployment."

The findings were presented at Sleep, the 23rd annual meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies in Seattle.

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