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Master's Culminating Experience

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Background: Poor sleep health is increasingly prevalent in the United States (US) adult population and contributes to fatigue. Fatigue is a significant safety hazard within civilian aviation, yet data regarding the prevalence of inadequate sleep in this population is sparse. Are there demographic characteristics which put individual at risk of not obtaining adequate sleep which should trigger screening during the medical certification process?

Methods: This cross-sectional study used National Health Interview Survey 2014-2016 data from US adults aged 18 to 65 to observe the relationship of demographic, socioeconomic, health, and behavioral characteristics with reported inadequate sleep duration and quality (trouble falling and staying asleep, waking not rested, and use of medication for sleep). A multivariable regression model was used to generate adjusted prevalence ratios for each of the five sleep outcomes. Results: Of the 76,347 cases included, 34% did not meet sleep duration recommendations, and poor sleep quality outcomes were reported in 12.5% to 46%. In the full model, weak statistically significant associations were found between all characteristics and at least one sleep outcome, yet few associations were strong enough to be clinically relevant. The strongest associations for poor sleep were seen with poor/fair health status, joint pain, and experiencing serious psychological distress.

Conclusions: Sleep is governed by complex relationships, but no particular sociodemographic group was identified to be at higher risk of reporting inadequate sleep measures. It is suggested to consider routine screening of all aviation personnel for sleep health during the medical certification process.

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Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.

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