Sleep Difficulties and Insomnia Symptoms in Norwegian Musicians Compared to the General Population and Workforce

Behav Sleep Med. 2016;14(3):325-42. doi: 10.1080/15402002.2015.1007991. Epub 2015 Sep 4.


Sleep problems are reported as common among performing artists and musicians. However, epidemiological research comparing musicians to different groups of the general population is lacking. For this study, 4,168 members of the Norwegian Musician's Union were invited to an online survey regarding work and health. Of the 2,121 (51%) respondents, 1,607 were active performing musicians. We measured prevalence of insomnia symptoms using the Bergen Insomnia Scale (BIS), and compared this sample to a representative sample of the general Norwegian population (n = 2,645). Overall, musicians had higher prevalence of insomnia symptoms compared to the general population (Prevalence Difference 6.9, 95% Confidence Interval 3.9-10.0). Item response analysis showed that this difference was mainly explained by nonrestorative sleep and dissatisfaction with sleep among musicians. An additional analysis, comparing musicians to the general Norwegian workforce (n = 8,518) on sleep difficulties, confirmed this tendency (Prevalence Difference 6.2, 95% Confidence Interval 4.3-8.1). Musicians performing classical, contemporary, rock, and country music reported the highest prevalence of insomnia, and these genres might be of special interest when developing preventative measures, treatment strategies, and further research on sleep difficulties among musicians.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Employment*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Music* / psychology
  • Norway / epidemiology
  • Prevalence
  • Sleep Initiation and Maintenance Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Sleep Initiation and Maintenance Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Sleep Initiation and Maintenance Disorders / psychology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Workforce
  • Young Adult