Nearly a quarter of Dutch have trouble sleeping

Last year 24 percent of Dutch aged 25 years or older had sleeping problems. That amounts to approximately 2.9 million people who had trouble sleeping last year. In 2017 in was 21 percent, Statistics Netherlands reported on Tuesday.

People who identified themselves as unfit to work to the stats office were far more likely to have trouble sleeping than other groups. 58 percent of people with occupational disabilities had sleeping problems last year, compared to 19 percent of employed Dutch, 35 percent of unemployed Dutch, 32 percent of volunteers, and 23 percent of pensioners.

Over 40 percent of people who have trouble sleeping also reported that it affected their daily functioning. This involves, for example, reduced concentration, forgetfulness and bad moods, according to the stats office. People who are unfit to work were also more often affected in their daily functioning by their sleep problems. 81 percent of poor sleepers with occupational disabilities reported such issues, compared 7 percent of workers, 19 percent of unemployed, 11 percent of volunteers, and 7 percent of pensioners.

Statistics Netherlands also found a correlation between sleeping problems and mental health, long-term illnesses, and pain. People with mental health problems are three times more likely to have trouble sleeping than others. Having four or more long-term illnesses increases the chance of sleeping problems by 2.5. And people who were in pain in the previous month were 1.8 times more likely to have trouble sleeping. 

According to Statistics Netherlands, it is not possible to determine with this study whether illness, pain and mental health issues cause sleeping problems, or whether it is the other way around.