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Sleep Disorders
Volume 2015, Article ID 172064, 8 pages
Research Article

The Association between Psychological Distress and Self-Reported Sleep Duration in a Population-Based Sample of Women and Men

Division of Population Health, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 4770 Buford Hwy, Mailstop F78, Atlanta, GA 30341, USA

Received 3 September 2015; Revised 10 November 2015; Accepted 11 November 2015

Academic Editor: Liborio Parrino

Copyright © 2015 Timothy J. Cunningham et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Mental health and sleep are intricately linked. This study characterized associations of psychological distress with short (≤6 hours) and long (≥9 hours) sleep duration among adults aged ≥18 years. 2013 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System data (,859) from Colorado, Minnesota, Nevada, Tennessee, and Washington included the Kessler 6 (K6) scale, which has been psychometrically validated for measuring severe psychological distress (SPD); three specifications were evaluated. Overall, 4.0% of adults reported SPD, 33.9% reported short sleep, and 7.8% reported long sleep. After adjustment, adults with SPD had 1.58 (95% CI: 1.45, 1.72) and 1.39 (95% CI: 1.08, 1.79) times higher probability of reporting short and long sleep duration, respectively. Using an ordinal measure showed a dose-response association with prevalence ratios of 1.00, 1.16, 1.38, 1.67, and 2.11 for short sleep duration. Each additional point added to the K6 scale was associated with 1.08 (95% CI: 1.07, 1.10) and 1.02 (95% CI: 1.00, 1.03) times higher probability of reporting short and long sleep duration, respectively. Some results were statistically different by gender. Any psychological distress, not only SPD, was associated with a higher probability of short sleep duration but not long sleep duration. These findings highlight the need for interventions.