Systematic review on stress, insomnia,
and burnout syndrome in secondary
school teachers
Valentina Lobo-Ortiz
Yuliana Valentina Castañeda-Bustos
Diego Rivera-Porras
Cómo citar este artículo / To reference this article / Para citar
este artigo: Lobo-Ortiz, V., Castañeda-Bustos Y. V., & Rivera-Porras,
D. (2023). Systematic Review on Stress, Insomnia, and Burnout
Syndrome in Secondary School Teachers. Revista UNIMAR, 41(2),
203-226 https://doi.org/10.31948/Rev.unimar/unimar41-2-art12
Fecha de recepción: 22 de noviembre de 2022
Fecha de revisión: 14 de abril de 2023
Fecha de aprobación: 28 de mayo de 2023
This systemic review article aimed to analyze the symptoms of stress, insomnia,
and burnout syndrome in secondary school teachers. The PICO methodology
was adapted for the research question and the PRISMA methodology for the
article review and selection process. As a result, it was found that professional
stress occurs when there is dissatisfaction or restrictions in the environment
in which it is exercised; when the preparation of the person has ceased before
an elaboration of organizations, as well as the deterioration of the teacher’s
vitality because of the stress produced. Burnout syndrome is a reaction to
chronic professional stress; the amplitudes that stand out in burnout syndrome
are related to stress levels and insomnia. In conclusion, burnout syndrome
tends to be more pronounced in teachers because they have direct contact with
people; also, the current economic and political factors directly inuence the
development of their daily activity; in this way, when all these factors come
together, it is possible to suer from burnout.
Keywords: stress; burnout; teachers.
Revisión sistemática sobre el estrés, el insomnio y
el síndrome de burnout en profesores de secundaria
El propósito de este artículo de revisión sistémica fue analizar los síntomas de
estrés e insomnio y el síndrome de burnout en profesores de secundaria. Se
E-mail: V_lobo@unisimon.edu.co
E-Mail: Y_castaneda1@unisimon.edu.co
Professor at Universidad Simón Bolívar, Facultad de Ciencias Jurídicas y Sociales, Cúcuta, Colombia. E-mail: diego.rivera@unisimon.
Review article.
utilizó la metodología PICO para la pregunta de investigación y, la metodología
PRISMA para el proceso de revisión y selección de artículos. Como resultado,
se obtuvo que el estrés profesional se presenta cuando existe insatisfacción o
restricciones en el medio donde se ejerce; cuando la preparación de la persona
ha cesado ante una elaboración de organizaciones, así como el deterioro de la
vitalidad del docente. Como consecuencia, el estrés produce el síndrome de
burnout, que es una respuesta al estrés profesional crónico. Las amplitudes
que destacan en el síndrome de burnout están relacionadas con los niveles de
estrés e insomnio. Como conclusión, el síndrome de Burnout tiende a ser más
evidente en los docentes, ya que tienen un contacto directo con las personas
y, además, los factores económicos y políticos actuales inuyen directamente
en el desarrollo de su actividad diaria; de esta manera, cuando se juntan
todos estos factores, es posible padecer burnout.
Palabras clave: estrés, burnout, profesores.
Revisão sistemática sobre estresse, insônia e síndrome
de burnout em professores do ensino médio
O objetivo deste artigo de revisão sistêmica foi analisar os sintomas de estresse,
insônia e síndrome de burnout em professores do ensino médio. A metodologia
PICO foi adaptada para a pergunta de pesquisa e a metodologia PRISMA para
o processo de revisão e seleção de artigos. Como resultado, obteve-se que o
estresse prossional ocorre quando insatisfação ou restrições no ambiente
em que ele é exercido; quando a preparação da pessoa cessou frente a uma
elaboração das organizações, bem como a deterioração da vitalidade do
professor devido ao estresse produzido. A síndrome de burnout é uma resposta
ao estresse prossional crônico; as amplitudes que se destacam na síndrome
de burnout estão relacionadas aos níveis de estresse e à insônia. Concluindo, a
síndrome de burnout tende a ser mais evidente nos professores, pois eles têm
contato direto com as pessoas; além disso, os fatores econômicos e políticos
atuais inuenciam diretamente o desenvolvimento de sua atividade diária;
dessa forma, quando todos esses fatores se unem, é possível sofrer de burnout.
Palavras-chave: estresse, burnout, professores.
Work-related stress is associated with overwhelming events in the work environment, with
obligations that exceed the workers capabilities, means, and needs. This syndrome can be caused
by various situations, such as pressure to increase productivity or lack of training. In this sense,
it can be said that the work environment is one of the main sources of work-related stress risks.
Many surveys have emphasized that work can be a source of satisfaction for various human
needs, such as self-realization, maintaining interpersonal relationships or making decisions, and
an indispensable resource for workers (Seijas, 2019).
It is important to note that among the most frequent mental illnesses in the educational group
is work stress; this is the imbalance between the demands of a job and the human intellect for
its performance, where this precision leads to a basic point, activated by professional stress and
related functions of cognitive eects (Párraga and Escobar, 2020).
Systematic review on stress, insomnia, and burnout syndrome in secondary school
Valentina Lobo Ortiz
Yuliana Valentina Castañeda Bustos
Diego Rivera Porras
The burnout syndrome is a response to
professional stress; it is an ability made up of
cognitions, sensations, and attitudes that deny
the duty and the people with whom they are
related through their work (Rivera-Porras et al.,
2019). This condition has been identied as a
threat to tasks related to working with individuals,
such as education, vitality, and human interests.
Teaching is recognized as a task that is prone
to triggering this phenomenon, as it involves
carrying out dierent actions inside and outside
the classroom, such as going with classmates and
students, transforming curriculum planning and
evaluation, and participating in organizational
activities (Rodríguez, 2017).
Various variables have been identied that
may be involved in the individual’s protective
mechanisms against stressors. In the risk of
burnout syndrome, the cause is considered
multifactorial, given the dimension of antecedents
that are directly or indirectly related to coping
with work or teacher stress; however, the factors
could be classied into personal and social
variables. Personal variables are catalogued as
those that determine a type of attitude to stress:
gender, family organization, previous optimism
before work and perhaps the predominant type
of personality (Sabio et al., 2019).
Insomnia is the most common sleep disorder in
general and one of the most pressing reasons
for seeing a therapist during a psychiatric
consultation. The assessment and treatment of
insomnia are very challenging; the arousal often
goes unnoticed or unheard, which contributes
to the aggravation of the therapeutic and
psychological levels of those who suer from it
(Martínez, 2019).
It is estimated that about one third of the
population suers from insomnia (diculty
falling asleep or staying asleep). If only
nocturnal symptoms are considered, this gure
drops to 10% when daytime consequences
are considered, so that the clinical syndrome
can be considered complete. Chronic insomnia
aects between 6% and 10% of the population
(Martínez, 2019).
The ineciency in the development and/or
maintenance of sleep, as well as the aid to
recovery or photo stimulation, has a signicant
impact on the subsequent sexual abstinence
of the patient and can be the cause of various
damages in the physical and partial state.
This disorder is associated with mild cognitive
impairment, particularly in attention to complex
tasks, consolidation of sleep memory, and some
aspects of executive function (Martínez, 2019).
Stress and anxiety are the body’s natural
response or awareness of imminent danger. They
can create the alerts and triggers needed to deal
with these risks or threats and nd solutions
(Ramos-Narváez et al., 2020). However, it
becomes a problem when it is too intense or
disproportionate to the stimulus, for too long
(when the danger or challenge has passed
or is no longer manageable), or too often.
Arousal and the stimuli it triggers whose main
purpose is to mobilize resources for survival,
are incompatible with sleep. Therefore, when
these feelings persist over time, they cause
psychophysiological problems such as insomnia
(Colorado Sleep Institute, n.d.).
To sleep well, you need good sleep hygiene and
the right psychology. Stress or anxiety, even in
its mildest form, can make it dicult to sleep.
There is a physiological explanation for this:
during periods of stress and anxiety, various
hormones are produced to prepare the body to
respond to the threat. Among other things, this
altered state alters our circadian rhythms, which
control various aspects of our daily metabolism.
Lack of melatonin production, lack of adrenaline,
and a busy mental state combine to make it
impossible for our bodies and minds to relax
(Campillo, 2020).
Similarly, sleep deprivation can lead to
increased fatigue the next day, which leads to
a deterioration in mood and attitude; over time,
this leads to a variety of physiological problems
that exacerbate these problems, so that insomnia
can worsen and lead to more severe episodes of
anxiety (Rivera-Porras et al., 2018).
It is important to note that there are several
research methods, but for this systematic
review article the qualitative method was
chosen because it is used to study how people
Systematic review on stress, insomnia, and burnout syndrome in secondary school
Valentina Lobo Ortiz
Yuliana Valentina Castañeda Bustos
Diego Rivera Porras
observe, understand, and analyze a particular issue. In this sense, it is known that qualitative
research is the science and art of describing a group or culture, that it is a particularly valuable
approach because it problematizes how citizens constitute and interpret societies. In the same
way, it is a means that facilitates the learning of cultures because it provides the researcher with
forms of organizing knowledge, behavior, and skills, also using and interpreting their experiences
(Hernández et al., 2014), in terms of sources of information. A selection of key DECS (Descriptors
in Health Sciences) and MESH (Medical Subject Titles) terms was made (see Table 1).
Table 1
DECS and MESH descriptors
Source Keyword Related terms
DECS Burnout, Psychological Emotional exhaustion, Psychic exhaustion, Burnout
MESH Burnout, Psychological Psychological burnout, Burnout, Student, School burnout
DECS Stress, Psychological Life stress, Mental suering, Psychological stress
MESH Stress, Psychological No records found.
DECS Fatigue Mental fatigue
MESH Fatigue No logs found
DECS Initiation to sleep No records found.
MESH Initiation to sleep No records found.
DECS Insomnia No records found.
MESH Insomnia No records found.
DECS Tension No records found.
MESH Tension No records found.
DECS Maintenance Disorders No records found.
MESH Maintenance Disorders No records found.
DECS Sleep
Lack of sleep, Insomnia, Sleep initiation disorders and
MESH Sleep No records found.
DECS Masticatory apparatus No records found.
MESH Masticatory apparatus No records found.
No records found.
No records found.
DECS Job Satisfaction Job satisfaction
MESH Job Satisfaction
Job satisfaction
Satisfaction, Work
Source: authors.
Systematic review on stress, insomnia, and burnout syndrome in secondary school
Valentina Lobo Ortiz
Yuliana Valentina Castañeda Bustos
Diego Rivera Porras
The bibliographical review of the research articles was carried out by searching various academic
electronic databases, among which the scientic material search engines Scielo, Scopus, Redalyc,
PubMed, and ProQuest are mentioned to carry out the research. The categories established for this
research are stress, insomnia, and burnout syndrome, through a systematic review that allows
orientation from psychology. It should be noted that to search for this information, a series of
keywords mentioned in Table 1 were used, considering the publication base from 2015 to 2021. It
should also be added that the languages found were English and Spanish. Some terms were included
in the review because they could be translated. On the other hand, it is important to mention that
for this review the PRISMA methodology was used, implementing thesauruses in the information
search process, where the selection of the dierent studies was made by applying inclusion and
exclusion criteria, which allowed the evaluation of the reliability and quality of the investigation,
answering the research question (Beltrán, 2005; González and Balaguer, 2021) (see Table 2).
Table 2
Search terms
Database Search algorithm
(“Stress Disorders, Post-Traumatic” OR “Tension” OR “Anxiety” OR “Anguish” OR
“Fatigue” OR “Exhaustion”)
(“Burnout, Professional”) DNA (“Absenteeism”)
(“Insomnia” OR “Wakefulness” OR “Worry” OR “Restlessness” OR “Nervousness”)
AND (“Sleep Initiation”)
(“Tiredness” OR “Wasting” OR “Exhaustion” OR “Weakness” OR “Debilitation” OR
“Reluctance” OR “Fatigue”)
(“Mental Fatigue”) AND (“Exhaustion”)
(“Behaviour” OR “Pattern” OR “Proceed” OR “Performance” OR “Tactics” OR “Custom”
OR “Habit”)
(“Conduct”) AND (“Adaptation, Psychological”)
(“Antisocial Personality Disorder”)
(“Rejoicing” OR “Complacency” OR “Delight”) AND (“Job Satisfaction”) AND
(“Personal Satisfaction”)
(“Solitude” OR “Abandonment” OR “Withdrawal”) AND (“Social Isolation”)
(“Restlessness” OR “Anxiety” OR “Anguish” OR “Uneasiness” OR “Concern”) AND
(“Performance Anxiety”)
(“Occupation” OR “Position” OR “Exercise” OR” Execution” OR “Practice” OR
“Fulllment” OR “Function”) DNA (“Physical Functional Performance”)
(“Identity OR “Character” OR “Temperament” OR “Genius” OR “Style”)
(“Dissociative Identity Disorder”)
Source: authors.
Systematic review on stress, insomnia, and burnout syndrome in secondary school
Valentina Lobo Ortiz
Yuliana Valentina Castañeda Bustos
Diego Rivera Porras
According to what is indicated in Table 2, it is possible to observe the dierent equations that have
been used to obtain the necessary information to carry out this systematic review article, which
was oriented in an English language and in Spanish, nding the databases mentioned above and
considering the categories selected for the development of this article.
On the other hand, it was necessary to formulate the research question; for this purpose, the PICO
tool was added, as it is very useful to improve the specicity and conceptual clarity of the clinical
problems to be studied, as well as to improve the quality of the searches and the accuracy, which
allows to address adequate and precise data to answer the problem question (Landa-Ramírez and
Arredondo-Pantaleón, 2014). Considering the research question posed, the dierent components
that make up the PICO strategy were identied, as can be seen in Table 3, which led to the
following research question: What are the symptoms of stress and sleeplessness that inuence
burnout syndrome in secondary basic education teachers?
Table 3
Question PICO
Component Description
Q: Patient or problem of interest (Population) Teachers of secondary basic education
I: Intervention Stress and insomnia
C: Comparison N/A
O: Results (Outcome) Burnout syndrome
Source: authors.
Data extraction process
To this end, an Excel spreadsheet was created by the authors, in which the key elements of each
of the selected studies were listed.
Study characteristics
First of all, the behaviours, strategies and situations related to the identied research are associated,
considering the characteristics assigned to the variables studied.
Information sources
The information used was obtained from the review of research published in high-impact journals
in the following databases: PubMed, Science Direct, REDALYC, SCIELO, Dialnet, Proquest, and
Eligibility criteria
Within the criteria of eligibility of information are the scientic evidence in a range of temporality
of the last ve years, considering the selection of variables related to stress and insomnia and
burnout syndrome, sleep disorders, among others.
Systematic review on stress, insomnia, and burnout syndrome in secondary school
Valentina Lobo Ortiz
Yuliana Valentina Castañeda Bustos
Diego Rivera Porras
The entire search was conducted in English and Spanish for SCIELO, REDALY, SCOPUS, PROQUEST,
and PUMD, based on the mining of titles and abstracts using the search engines available in the
databases used (see Table 4).
Table 4
Search equations according to the database
Databases Search equations
(“Post-Traumatic Stress Disorders” OR “Tension” OR “Anxiety” OR “Anxiety” OR
“Fatigue” OR “Exhaustion”) AND (“Professional Burnout”) AND (“Absenteeism”)
AND (“Insomnia” OR “Wakefulness” OR “Worry” OR “Restlessness” OR
“Nervousness”) AND (“Initiation to sleep”) AND (“Tiredness” OR “Wearing” OR
“Exhaustion” OR “Weakness” OR “Weakness” OR “Reluctance” OR “fatigue”)
AND (“Mental fatigue”) AND (“Exhaustion”)
(“Post-Traumatic Stress Disorders” OR “Tension” OR “Anxiety” OR “Anxiety” OR
“Fatigue” OR “Exhaustion”) AND (“Professional Burnout”) AND (“Absenteeism”)
AND (“Insomnia” OR “Wakefulness” OR “Worry” OR “Restlessness” OR
“Nervousness”) (“Mental fatigue”) AND (“Exhaustion”) AND (“Behavior” OR
“Pattern” OR “Proceed” OR “Performance” OR “Tactics” OR “Custom” OR “Habit”)
AND (“Behavior ) AND (“Adjustment, Psychological”)
(“Antisocial Personality Disorder”) AND (“Joy” OR “Complacency” OR “Delight”)
AND (“Job Satisfaction”) AND (“Personal Satisfaction”) AND (“Loneliness” OR
Abandonment” OR “Withdrawal”) AND (“Social isolation”) AND (“Anxiety” OR
Anxiety” OR “Distress” OR “Anxiety” OR “Worry”) AND (“Performance anxiety”)
(“Post-Traumatic Stress Disorders” OR “Tension” OR “Anxiety” OR “Anxiety” OR
“Fatigue” OR “Exhaustion”) AND (“Professional Burnout”) AND (“Absenteeism”)
AND (“Insomnia” OR “Wakefulness” OR “Worry” OR “Restlessness” OR
“Nervousness”) AND (“Occupation “ OR “Position” OR “Exercise” OR “Execution”
OR “Practice” OR “Compliance” OR “Function”) AND (“Physical functional
performance”) AND (“Identity OR “Character” OR “Temperament” OR “Genius”)
AND (“Dissociative identity disorder”).
(“Post-Traumatic Stress Disorders” OR “Tension” OR “Anxiety” OR “Anxiety” OR
“Fatigue” OR “Exhaustion”) AND (“Professional Burnout”) AND (“Absenteeism”)
AND (“Insomnia” OR “Wakefulness” OR “Worry” OR “Restlessness” OR
Source: Authors.
Selection of studies
The studies were selected by searching the databases using the specic variables of the study, to
obtain an overall result of articles of dierent types of research.
Inclusion criteria
Articles related to the functioning and development of stress insomnia and burnout syndrome
guide the characteristics of the bad habit faced by teachers exposed to a period of intensity
Systematic review on stress, insomnia, and burnout syndrome in secondary school
Valentina Lobo Ortiz
Yuliana Valentina Castañeda Bustos
Diego Rivera Porras
that prevents performance, compliance, and satisfaction of daily life, mismanagement of stress
viralizes various factors, generating depersonalization, emotional exhaustion, and lack of personal
fulllment both in the mental and physical health of the teacher.
Exclusion criteria
Articles on stress, insomnia, and burnout syndrome; articles that are conducted in contexts other
than the intervention process; studies in the population of the health care environment and
caregivers; descriptive studies.
Selection and analysis
First, we considered the preliminary selection of studies based on the review by inclusion criteria,
population characteristics, study type, and year. Subsequently, an Excel registration table prepared
by the authors was independently completed, specifying the key elements of each of the selected
studies (see Tables 5, 6, and 7). Finally, the process of identication, screening, eligibility, and
inclusion of articles was described in summary form, following the structure suggested by the
PRISMA statement (Urrútia and Bonll, 2010).
Table 5
Filters applied
with criteria
PUBMED 2341 1237 617 122 109 241 15
PROQUEST 1235 701 133 165 159 74 3
SCIELO 3585 1897 896 448 224 119 1
REDALYC 1626 948 384 198 0 94 2
SCOPUS 2858 1623 629 298 179 120 9
Total 11645 6406 2659 1231 671 648 30
Source: Authors.
Table 5 shows the results obtained in the ve databases used, where a total of 11645 documents
were found, while in PUBMED the total number of articles found was 2341. These 15 articles were
selected by applying the appropriate lter. In addition, PROQUEST yielded data from 1235 articles,
from which three documents were selected, and SCIELO yielded 3585 documents. In REDALYC,
1626 manuscripts were found, and only two documents were selected after the lters. Finally, in
SCOPUS 2858 manuscripts were found from which nine articles were selected, making a total of
30 documents taken as samples.