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Chronic Insomnia Affects 1 In 8, Survey Reports

Chronic Insomnia Affects 1 In 8, Survey Reports

Every night, millions of Americans face a daunting challenge: the struggle to drift into a deep and restful sleep.

Lack of sleep does not just deplete energy and impact mood; it can also significantly affect health, work performance, and overall quality of life. Chronic insomnia, lasting more than three months, exacerbates risks for various health issues such as cardiovascular diseases, chronic pain syndrome, depression, anxiety, diabetes, obesity, and asthma.

According to the results of a recent survey presented at SLEEP 2024: 38th Annual Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies, around 12% of adults in the U.S., equivalent to one in eight have been diagnosed with chronic insomnia.

Interestingly, the study findings reveal a notable trend: men were slightly more prone to insomnia diagnoses than women (13% versus 11%). Additionally, millennials—those born between 1981 and 1996—had the highest rate of chronic insomnia diagnoses at 15%.

While comparing insomnia risk in various age groups, the age group 25-34 was found to be the most likely (16%) to have been diagnosed with chronic insomnia. Individuals in the Western region of the U.S. (14%) were most likely diagnosed with chronic insomnia, while those in the Midwest (10%) reported the lowest incidence.

The online survey took responses from 2,006 adults from various parts of the U.S. The researchers noted that the expected margin of error for the overall sample is +/- 2 percentage points with a confidence level of 95 percent.

Experiencing difficulty falling asleep, waking up during the night or too early, feeling daytime fatigue or sleepiness, mood changes such as irritability or anxiety, difficulty concentrating, increased errors or accidents, and persistent worries about sleep are some of the signs of chronic insomnia. The sleep disorder can stem from various factors, including stress, lifestyle choices, medications, underlying mental health conditions, and the natural process of aging.

“Chronic insomnia impacts not just how a person sleeps at night, but also how they feel and function during the daytime. Fortunately, there are effective treatment options for those who are living with chronic insomnia, and these treatments can significantly improve both health and quality of life,” said President Dr. Eric Olson, American Academy of Sleep Medicine.

The treatment options include making lifestyle corrections including avoiding alcohol, and caffeine and increasing physical activity along with prescription medications and over-the-counter medications for sleep. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT),which includes behavioral techniques to correct sleep issues, is considered the best treatment option.

“Cognitive behavioral therapy offers patients who are experiencing chronic insomnia a highly personalized plan to help identify any underlying problems and provide long-term solutions that promote healthy sleep,” said Michael Nadorff, president of the Society of Behavioral Sleep Medicine.

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