Association of sleep duration with mental health: results from a Spanish general population survey

Olta Braçe, Dustin T. Duncan, José Correa-Fernández, Marco Garrido-Cumbrera

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: The purpose of the present study was to evaluate the association of sleep duration and mental health among the general population. Methods: A cross-sectional study was carried out with an adult Spanish population sample between 16 and 64 years old. The information was obtained from data provided by a randomly selected representative sample of 505 adults stratified by age, sex, and geographic area. Participants were interviewed face-to-face in their respective households with questions including sociodemographic characteristics, lifestyle, sleep duration, and the 12-item General Health Questionnaire to screen risk for poor mental health. The duration of sleep hours were grouped into the following categories: < 6 h, 6-7 h, and, > 7 h. Regression analysis was used to assess associations between sleep duration and risk of poor mental health. Results: A percentage of respondents 13.1% reported sleeping less than 6 h. The analysis demonstrated a significant (p = 0.001) negative (B = − 0.512) relationship between hours of sleep and risk of poor mental health (GHQ-12), demonstrating that reduced sleep duration increases the risk of poor mental health. Conclusions: Sleep duration lower than 6 h is prevalent among the general population in Spain, especially among women and people who frequently use electronic devices. The results show that people who experience shorter sleep duration face a greater risk of poor mental health. These findings suggest that it is important to raise awareness of healthy sleeping habits, with emphasis on adequate sleep duration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)389-396
Number of pages8
JournalSleep and Breathing
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2022


  • GHQ-12
  • Lifestyle
  • Mental health
  • Sleep duration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Clinical Neurology


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