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Open AccessArticle

Differences in Insomnia Symptoms between Immigrants and Non-Immigrants in Switzerland attributed to Emotional Distress: Analysis of the Swiss Health Survey

1
Psychiatrische Dienste Graubuenden (PDGR), Loestrasse 220, 7000 Chur, Switzerland
2
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Albert Einstein College of Medicine (AECOM), 3331 Bainbridge Avenue, Bronx, NY 10467, USA
3
Psychiatrische Universitaetsklinik (PUK), Klinik für Psychiatrie, Psychotherapie und Psychosomatik, Universitaet Zuerich, Lenggstrasse 31, 8032 Zurich, Switzerland
4
Center for Healthful Behavior Change, Department of Population Health, NYU School of Medicine, Translational Research Building, 227 East 30th Street, Floor 7, New York, NY 10016, USA
5
Universitaere Psychiatrische Kliniken Basel, Universitaet Basel, Switzerland (UPK), Wilhelm Klein-Strasse 27, 4012 Basel, Switzerland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contribute equally to this paper.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(2), 289; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16020289
Received: 16 December 2018 / Revised: 7 January 2019 / Accepted: 9 January 2019 / Published: 21 January 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sleep Health)
Migration can be a stressful experience and may lead to poor health and behavioral changes. The immigrant population in Switzerland is disproportionately burdened by several negative health outcomes, chief among these is mental health issues. The aim of the study was to investigate whether sleep disturbances are more prevalent among immigrants compared to non-immigrants and whether emotional distress might explain sleep differences. Based on the Swiss Health Survey 2012 dataset, we analyzed the data of 17,968 people, of which 3406 respondents were immigrants. We examined variables including insomnia symptoms, emotional distress and clinical and socio-demographic data using unadjusted and adjusted generalized linear models. Compared to non-immigrants, immigrants suffer significantly more often from insomnia symptoms. Immigrants also endured higher levels of emotional distress. Higher values of emotional distress are related to other symptoms of sleep disorders. Immigrants with emotional distress were at significant risk of sleep disturbances. Sleep disparities between immigrants and non-immigrants may be influenced by emotional distress. Migration health care should address emotional distress, a more proximal and modifiable factor, as a possible cause of insomnia symptoms in immigrants. View Full-Text
Keywords: German; Italian; Portuguese; trouble falling asleep; early morning awakening; restless sleep German; Italian; Portuguese; trouble falling asleep; early morning awakening; restless sleep
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Schneeberger, A.R.; Seixas, A.; Schweinfurth, N.; Lang, U.E.; Cajochen, C.; Bux, D.A.; Richards, S.; Jean-Louis, G.; Huber, C.G. Differences in Insomnia Symptoms between Immigrants and Non-Immigrants in Switzerland attributed to Emotional Distress: Analysis of the Swiss Health Survey. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16, 289.

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