Associations between Major Health Behaviors and Sleep Problems: Results from the 2015, 2016, 2017 Canadian Community Health Survey

Emily C. Nunez, Sophia Nunes, Aini Khan, Saverio Stranges, Piotr Wilk*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Background and objectives: Key health behaviors including cigarette smoking, alcohol consumption, fruit and vegetable (FV) consumption, and physical activity have been associated with sleep-related problems. This cross-sectional study describes sleep quality and duration by gender in a large adult population and examines whether health behavioral factors are associated with short/long sleep duration and sleep problems (difficulty initiating/maintaining sleep [DIMS], daytime sleepiness, and finding sleep refreshing). Methods: Using Canadian Community Health Survey data from cycles 2015, 2016, and 2017, binary and multinomial logistic regression models were computed. Results: Of the 44,911 respondents included, only half of respondents met the recommended sleep duration. Fifty-five percent of females and forty-one percent of males reported DIMS. Binge drinking was associated with increased DIMS, with the strongest relationship being among females reporting weekly binge drinking (odds ratio (OR) 2.03 [1.59,2.60]). Binge drinking was also associated with decreased odds of finding sleep refreshing among females only (OR 0.73 [0.56,0.96] in weekly binge drinkers). Compared to respondents who had never smoked, daily smokers had higher odds of short sleep (OR 1.50 [1.30,1.74] and OR 1.39 [1.21,1.60]; females and males, respectively). Similarly, former smokers had higher odds of DIMS (OR 1.18 [1.06,1.31]) and not finding sleep refreshing (OR 0.85 [0.77,0.95]), among females; similar OR among males. Increased FV consumption was associated with increased odds of finding sleep refreshing (OR 1.05 [1.03,1.07] and OR 1.06 [1.04,1.08] in females and males, respectively). Conclusion: There is a high prevalence of sleep problems among Canadians. Potential gender differences in the relationships between health behaviors and sleep problems warrant further research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)584-597
Number of pages14
JournalBehavioral Sleep Medicine
Issue number5
Early online date29 Aug 2021
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2022


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