Gender/sex disparity in self-reported sleep quality among Canadian adults


  • Ashleigh J Rich University of British Columbia
  • Mieke Koehoorn School of Population & Public Health, University of British Columbia
  • Najib T Ayas Department of Medicine and Sleep Disorders Program, University of British Columbia
  • Jean Shoveller School of Population & Public Health, University of British Columbia


OBJECTIVE: This study investigated gender differences in sleep quality among Canadian adults in a population-representative survey.

METHODS: Data for this study was provided by the Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS). For respondents (n = 39,700) who completed the 2011-12 CCHS sleep module, multinomial logistic regression investigated the relationship between gender and a composite sleep quality measure among adults ³18 years old, adjusted for confounders.

RESULTS: Among the sample, gender was evenly distributed (49.3% men, 50.7% women). In the adjusted logistic model, female gender was independently associated with higher odds of poor sleep quality at all levels of poor sleep quality (from ‘a little of the time’ AOR=1.47, 95%CI:1.24, 1.73 to ‘all of the time’ AOR=2.10, 95%CI:1.74, 2.54). This disparity was progressively greater the more frequent the poor sleep quality reported for all but the highest poor sleep quality level.

 CONCLUSIONS: This study provides population-level evidence of a sleep quality disparity for Canadian women. Using a mixed gender population-based sample and a robust composite sleep quality measure, this study contributes to a growing understanding of poor sleep as a population health issue. Further research is needed to understand the mechanisms underlying this relationship, as well as to investigate effective public health and policy interventions for addressing sleep-gender population health disparities.





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