Association of current work and sleep situations with excessive daytime sleepiness and medical incidents among Japanese physicians

J Clin Sleep Med. 2011 Oct 15;7(5):512-22. doi: 10.5664/JCSM.1322.


Objective: The aim of the present study was to clarify the current work and sleep situations of physicians in Japan and to clarify the association between these situations and excessive daytime sleepiness as well as medical incidents.

Methods: A self-administered questionnaire survey was conducted among the members of the Japan Medical Association in 2008. The randomly selected subjects comprised 3,000 male physicians and 1,500 female physicians.

Results: Valid responses were obtained from 3,486 physicians (2,298 men and 1,188 women). Mean sleep duration was 6 h 36 min for men and 6 h 8 min for women. The prevalence of lack of rest due to sleep deprivation was 30.4% among men and 36.6% among women; the prevalence of insomnia was 21.0% and 18.1%, respectively; and the prevalence of EDS was 3.5%. The adjusted odds ratio for EDS was high for physicians who reported short sleep duration, lack of rest due to sleep deprivation, and a high frequency of on-call/overnight work. Physicians who had experienced a medical incident within the previous one month accounted for 19.0% of participants. The adjusted odds ratio for medical incidents was high for those subjected to long working hours, high frequency of on-call/overnight works, lack of rest due to sleep deprivation, and insomnia.

Conclusion: In order to facilitate optimal health management for physicians as well as securing medical safety, it is important to fully consider the work and sleep situations of physicians.

Keywords: Physicians; excessive daytime sleepiness; insomnia; medical incidents; sleep duration.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Disorders of Excessive Somnolence / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Japan / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Medical Errors / statistics & numerical data*
  • Middle Aged
  • Physicians / statistics & numerical data*
  • Prevalence
  • Sleep Deprivation / epidemiology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Work Schedule Tolerance
  • Work*
  • Young Adult