What is the prevalence of insomnia?

Updated: Sep 11, 2018
  • Author: Jasvinder Chawla, MD, MBA; Chief Editor: Selim R Benbadis, MD  more...
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Answer

In a 1991 survey, 30-35% of adults in the United States reported difficulty sleeping in the past year, and 10% reported the insomnia to be chronic and/or severe. Despite the high prevalence, only 5% of persons with chronic insomnia visited their physicians to specifically discuss their insomnia. Only 26% discussed their insomnia during a visit made for another problem. [46]

A 2016 report from the CDC is the first to provide state-specific estimates of the prevalence of a ≥7 hour sleep duration in a 24-hour period. The report shows geographic clustering of lower prevalence estimates for this duration of sleep in the southeastern United States and in states along the Appalachian Mountains, which are regions with the highest burdens of obesity and other chronic conditions. [47]

In an epidemiologic study from Quebec, 29.9% of 2001 respondents reported insomnia symptoms, and 9.5% met criteria for insomnia syndrome. [48] A study of young adults in Switzerland indicated a 9% rate of chronic insomnia. A World Health Organization study of 15 sites found a prevalence of approximately 27% for patients reporting "difficulty sleeping."


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