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Sleep. 2018 Jan 1;41(1). doi: 10.1093/sleep/zsx182.

Changes in Sleep Difficulties During the Transition to Statutory Retirement.

Author information

Department of Public Health, University of Turku and Turku University Hospital, Turku, Finland.
Paavo Nurmi Centre, Department of Health and Physical Activity, University of Turku, Turku, Finland.
Department of Psychology and Speech-Language Pathology, University of Turku, Turku, Finland.
Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, Helsinki, Finland.
Clinicum, Faculty of Medicine, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland.
Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, University College London Medical School, London, UK.
Faculty of Social Sciences (Health Sciences), University of Tampere, Tampere, Finland.


Study Objectives:

This study examined changes in sleep during the transition from full-time work to statutory retirement. Both the prevalence of any sleep difficulty and the prevalence of specific sleep difficulties, such as difficulties falling asleep, difficulties maintaining sleep, waking up too early in the morning, and nonrestorative sleep, were examined.


Data from the Finnish Public Sector study were used. The study population consisted of 5,807 Finnish public sector employees who retired on statutory basis between 2000 and 2011. The participants responded on the Jenkins Sleep Problem Scale Questionnaire before and after retirement in surveys conducted every 4 years.


At the last study wave before retirement, 30% of the participants had sleep difficulties. Prevalence of any sleep difficulty decreased during the retirement transition: the risk ratio (RR) for having sleep difficulties in the first study wave following retirement compared with the last study wave preceding retirement was 0.89 (95% confidence interval [CI] 0.85-0.94). During the retirement transition, both waking up too early in the morning (RR = 0.76, 95% CI 0.69-0.82) and nonrestorative sleep (RR = 0.47, 95% CI 0.42-0.53) decreased, whereas there was no change in difficulties falling asleep or difficulties maintaining sleep. The decreases in sleep difficulties occurred primarily among those with psychological distress, suboptimal self-rated health, short sleep duration, and job strain before retirement.


These longitudinal data suggest that transition to statutory retirement is associated with a decrease in sleep difficulties, especially waking up too early in the morning and nonrestorative sleep.


aging; longitudinal study; retirement; sleep difficulties

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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