An increasing number of software engineers in India are suffering from insomnia and have poor quality of life, a new study has found.
Sara Sarrafi Zadeh and Khyrunnisa Begum from the University of Mysore showed that poor sleep has a bearing on quality of life - affecting physical and mental health in particular - in this group with high levels of job-related stress.
Insomnia, a disorder of insufficient or poor quality sleep, results in fatigue, irritability and memory impairment to loss of productivity and relationship difficulties.
Left untreated, it has also been linked to severe depression and coronary heart disease.
Zadeh and Begum studied the relationship between the amount of sleep and the quality of life of 91 software engineers aged between 21 and 45, working for a software company in Mysore, in order to determine the prevalence of insomnia among this group particularly prone to job-related stress.
The participants completed two questionnaires: The first looked at insomnia and sleep quality; the second assessed their quality of life.
The authors found that 56 percent of the participants had mild (35 percent) or severe (21 percent) insomnia, compared to 23 percent in the general population.
In terms of gender differences, more women suffered from mild insomnia than men while more men suffered from severe insomnia than women.
Quality of life in general, and mental and physical health in particular, were significantly lower in subjects with insomnia than in other participants.
"In view of the serious health consequences of insomnia in software engineers who are at high risk, suitable awareness programs should be developed as a preventative measure," the authors concluded.
"Sleep assessment should be included as part of routine medical check-ups so that management of the problem is easier in the early stages. Lifestyle management programs which include sleep hygiene and care should be incorporated as a policy matter in the IT industry."
Their paper is published online in Springer's journal Applied Research in Quality of Life.