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Suboptimal sleep among persons with a mental illness in Australia

Sia, Lavina Si Xuan (2019) Suboptimal sleep among persons with a mental illness in Australia. Masters by Coursework thesis, Murdoch University.

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Background: Persons with a mental illness commonly report experiencing suboptimal sleep and several sociodemographic factors have been shown to be associated with suboptimal sleep. However, there is a lack of research exploring these in a representative sample of Australian adults, especially those with a mental illness. The present study aimed to (i) describe the prevalence of suboptimal sleep in a representative sample of Australian adults, categorised according to recently published sleep duration and quality guidelines (Hirshkowitz et al., 2015; Ohayon et al., 2017), and whether prevalence rates varied between persons with and without a mental illness; and (ii) examine associations between suboptimal sleep and sociodemographic factors and explore variations in such, according to mental health status.

Method: A cross-sectional study was done using data from the National Social Survey (n = 1265) with a representative sample of Australian adults. Multivariable logistic regression analyses were used to investigate associations between various sociodemographic factors and suboptimal sleep parameters.

Results: Findings showed that suboptimal sleep, in both duration and quality, affects a considerable proportion of Australian adults (5%-20%), and a significantly higher proportion of those with a mental illness (6%-39%). Consistent with previous research, sociodemographic characteristics associated with a greater likelihood of suboptimal sleep in persons without a mental illness include age, gender, marital status, employment, educational attainment, and Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander status. For persons with a mental illness, males (OR = 3.82; p < 0.001), adults aged 18 to 65 (aged 18-24: OR =12.15, p < 0.05; aged 24-65: OR = 3.00; p < 0.001), and individuals with an unpaid employment (OR = 3.75; p < 0.05), were more likely to report experiencing suboptimal sleep.

Conclusion: Understanding the prevalence of suboptimal sleep and sociodemographic variables associated with suboptimal sleep in persons with a mental illness can have both broader public health and clinical implications for assessment, screening and early intervention of subgroups that are more likely to report suboptimal sleep, given the bidirectional relationship between sleep and mental health.

Keywords: Sleep; Prevalence rates; Mental illness; Sociodemographic characteristics

Item Type: Thesis (Masters by Coursework)
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Psychology, Counselling, Exercise Science and Chiropractic
United Nations SDGs: Goal 3: Good Health and Well-Being
Notes: Note to the author: If you would like to make your thesis openly available on Murdoch University Library's Research Repository, please contact: Thank you.
Supervisor(s): Metse, Alexandra
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