"How does Austria sleep?" self-reported sleep habits and complaints in an online survey

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During the past years, the prevalence of sleep problems has been increasing steadily in industrial societies and represents a major social and socioeconomic burden. The situation in Austria was last evaluated in 2007 by Zeitlhofer and colleagues in a representative sample of 1000 participants. In the current study, we sought to evaluate the sleep behaviour of the Austrian population in an ongoing online survey, in which we have collected data from 986 participants (66% women, mean age 40.9 ± 16.4 years) between March 2018 and May 2019. Sleep duration was appropriate in 52% of the respondents (i.e. 7-9 h per night). However, we found an alarmingly high number of self-reported sleep problems (46%), and only 31% of the participants classified themselves as "good sleepers" using a validated self-report questionnaire (Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index, PSQI). Furthermore, many participants reported suffering from sleep problems for a very long time (86% > 6 months; 37% > 5 years) suggesting that currently available treatment options are either ineffective or not employed. Possible reasons for sleep problems could include irregular sleep-wake cycles, increased perceived stress levels, and the use of electronic devices just before sleep.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)735–741
Number of pages7
JournalSleep and Breathing
Issue number2
Early online date14 Dec 2019
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2020


  • Sleep
  • Online survey
  • Austria
  • Sleep problems
  • Sleep duration
  • Sleep quality

Fields of Science and Technology Classification 2012

  • 501 Psychology

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