Insomnia Statistics - Featured Image

30 Troubling Insomnia Statistics & Facts to Keep in Mind

by Hermina Drah

What is insomnia? Before diving deeper into the topic, insomnia is a sleep disorder typically characterized by difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep. Individuals diagnosed with insomnia display some or all of the following symptoms: waking up during the night, having difficulties going back to bed, waking up too early in the morning, or feeling extremely tired upon waking. Insomnia can also be either acute (short-term) or chronic (long-term), depending on how long it lasts and how often it reoccurs. 

According to most insomnia statistics, some of the more frequent causes include everyday stress, illness, discomfort, different environmental factors (such as a change in temperature), reaction to certain medications (used to treat allergies, depression, and so on), or jet lag. Since millions of people worldwide suffer from insomnia and other sleep disorders, it’s important to be informed about the most relevant statistics and facts.

To help, here’s a summary of the most important information on insomnia:

The Top 10 Stats & Facts About Insomnia 

  • Around 30% of US adults experience insomnia.
  • 83% of those who suffer from depression also have problems with insomnia.
  • 50% of the elderly likely suffers from insomnia.
  • The US government pays more than 15 billion a year on health care costs regarding insomnia.
  • Avoiding stimuli is 80% effective in alleviating insomnia symptoms.
  • An estimated 78% of pregnant women experience acute or chronic insomnia.
  • Individuals who are under a lot of stress have a 23% chance of developing insomnia.
  • Insomniacs have a 28% higher chance of developing diabetes.
  • Panic disorder patients have a 68%–93% likelihood of having insomnia.
  • Slow-release melatonin has shown a 66% improvement rate with patients suffering from insomnia.

The following provides a more detailed and extensive information on insomnia.

How Many People Have Insomnia?

Insomnia Statistics - How many people have insomnia?

1. Around 30% of American adults develop insomnia symptoms.

(National Sleep Foundation)

Extensive research has shown that adults are the most likely to develop insomnia symptoms. According to the National Institutes of Health, it’s estimated that around 30% of the general population in the United States has trouble falling asleep or staying asleep. 

2. In the US, more than 10% of adults are likely to have problems with chronic insomnia.

(Sleep Education) 

The insomnia statistics in America have shown that chronic—also known as long-term insomnia—can have detrimental effects on an individual’s health and overall well being. It also increases the risk of developing symptoms of depression, anxiety, and high blood pressure. According to the statistics, more than 10% of adults suffer from chronic insomnia, which occurs for a longer period of at least three months. What age group is the most sleep deprived? According to the data, adults over 30 have the most sleep problems. 

3. 83% of people who suffer from depression also have issues with insomnia.

(NCBI) 

One of the more interesting facts about insomnia shows that there’s a strong link between insomnia and major depression. According to professionals, sleep disturbances are usually considered one of the most obvious symptoms of depression. Furthermore, 10% of individuals over 50 years old experience hypersomnia combined with atypical depression. 

4. 35% of those suffering from insomnia report a family history of the condition.

(Online Library Wiley) 

According to the facts about insomnia, the sleep disorder is more common among those who have a family history of it. Statistically, the mother appeared to be the most prominent family member with insomnia. 

5. Nearly 50% of the elderly population is likely to suffer from insomnia. 

(NCBI) 

Research has found that insomnia becomes a more serious problem later in life, which many mistake for a normal part of the aging process. You may wonder what percentage of the population has insomnia. However, it’s also worth asking how much of this percentage involves the elderly population. Statistics report that around 50% of older adults have difficulty falling asleep or remaining asleep. Most importantly, the prevalence of insomnia symptoms in the elderly ranges from 30% to 48%.

Insomnia Facts and Statistics: The Economic Impact

Insomnia Statistics - Economic impact of insomnia

6. Billions are spent annually on medical costs related to sleep disorders.

(NCBI) 

According to the Institute of Medicine, it’s estimated that billions of dollars are spent on medical costs related to insomnia every year. 

7. It costs employers around $3,200 more in health care costs for employees with sleep problems when compared to employees without sleep problems.

(Anchorage Sleep Center) 

In the case of insomnia, some interesting facts include the fact that employers spend around $3,200 extra on employees suffering from a sleep problem. Another statistic shows that the United States economy loses around $150 billion each year due to sleep-deprived employees.

8. The US government pays more than $15 billion yearly on health care costs regarding insomnia.

(Better Sleep Better Life) 

According to data retrieved from the US Surgeon General, insomnia costs the government a whopping $15 billion every year. Furthermore, the sleep deprivation statistics in America have shown that the number is increasing each year.

9. Unemployed individuals or those who are unable to work have a 40% chance of having insomnia.

(CDC) 

There’s also evidence that education level impacts sleep problems. Statistics have shown that 72% of people who have obtained a college degree get the most sleep. 

10. 76% of insomnia’s overall economic burden is attributed to work absences and reduced productivity.

(NCBI) 

And based on a recent study, the economic burden of this sleep disorder proves to be extremely high. The extent to which insomnia can be affecting work is an extremely serious issue worldwide.

Insomnia and Gender 

Insomnia Statistics - Gender differences

11. 61% of women going through menopause suffer from insomnia.

(National Sleep Foundation)

During perimenopause, the ovaries begin producing fewer hormones, which include estrogen and progesterone (a sleep-producing hormone). This drop in hormonal levels may trigger a variety of changes in life, one of them being insomnia. Also, women in menopause may experience hot flashes and night sweats, making it even more difficult to get proper rest. 

12. There are twice as many women suffering from insomnia as men.

(National Sleep Foundation)

The sleep statistics worldwide have shown that the reason women are more likely to suffer from insomnia and other sleep-related disorders lies in hormonal differences. All in all, women are subjected to a lot of stress attempting to balance professional and family responsibilities, which might further contribute to poor sleep habits and insomnia. 

13. An estimated 78% of pregnant women experience acute or chronic insomnia. 

(NCBI)

When it comes to sleep disorders, the statistics worldwide dealing with pregnancy have shown that soon-to-be mothers tend to suffer from insomnia symptoms. This may be linked to severe back pain, anxiety, and even heartburn. Insomnia during pregnancy may become a more serious issue after the third trimester, especially with women carrying larger babies.

14. 33% of the female population says that their menstrual cycles disturb their sleep.

(National Sleep Foundation) 

According to the sleep deprivation statistics from a 2017 poll by the National Sleep Foundation, around 33% of women experienced disrupted sleep patterns due to their menstrual cycles. This might be explained by a significant drop in estrogen and progesterone levels, which contributes to trouble sleeping. Considering how many people have insomnia, this number is notably high.

15. 18% of the female population in America reports symptoms of restless legs syndrome.

(National Sleep Foundation) 

Restless legs syndrome, commonly called RLS, is a neurological movement disorder characterized by constant leg twitching or jerking during sleep. Due to its nature, it may disrupt sleep patterns and contribute to insomnia.

Causes of Insomnia: Facts & Figures

Insomnia Statistics

There are many things out there that might trigger insomnia. These include emotional issues (stress, anxiety, depression, loss) or bad habits throughout the day, an irregular sleep routine, poor physical health, and so on. Before treating insomnia, you need to understand what causes insomnia in general, and what triggers it for you, specifically.

16. According to the insomnia statistics, 75% of people with depression also suffer from insomnia or another sleep-related disorder.

(NCBI) 

Researchers have concluded that there’s a strong link between individuals who suffer from mild or severe depression and insomnia. Stanford University research psychologist Tracy Kuo, PhD, has explained that chronic sleep loss leads to reduced pleasure in life, which is one of the characteristics of depression.

17. 39.1% of the time, insomnia appears due to genetics.

(Science Daily)

Based on data from sleep deprivation statistics, on a worldwide scale, individuals who get at least seven nights of uninterrupted sleep every night are less likely to report a family history that includes a sleep disorder. However, further research should be made dealing with the link between insomnia and genetic predispositions. 

18. Individuals who are under a lot of stress have a 23% chance of developing insomnia.

(ADAA) 

Two of the most notorious causes of insomnia include chronic stress and anxiety, both of which make it difficult for an individual to get a good night’s rest. One of the best things to do in such cases is turn off all electrical devices before bedtime. In addition, consider meditation or another form of relaxing activity.

19. Adults who consume alcohol have an 84% greater chance of being subjected to insomnia.

(AASM) 

Based on sleep statistics in the US, adults who drink regularly (i.e., at least two days per week) have a higher chance (a whopping 84%) of developing insomnia symptoms.

20. Obese individuals are more likely to report insomnia or have difficulty with sleep.

(NCBI) 

Studies conducted in the past have indicated that individuals who are overweight or severely obese have a higher chance of suffering from insomnia or another sleep-related illness.

The Consequences of Insomnia

Insomnia Statistics - Consequences

The acute or chronic forms of insomnia may result in lack of energy, a decreased ability to focus, and even severe cognitive impairment and overall fatigue. Individuals who suffer from insomnia are unable to perform ordinary everyday tasks optimally, which decreases their quality of life. Many statistics have shown that the average time to go to bed for adults ranges anywhere from midnight to 3 a.m.

21. Drivers with insomnia cause more than twice as many car crashes as healthy drivers. 

(NCBI)

Insomnia results in sleepiness and the inability to properly focus. Sleepiness further contributes to attention lapses, and it also slows down the reaction time, which makes insomniac drivers a danger. In fact, one may even compare a driver with insomnia to a person driving under the influence. A large number of car accidents may be successfully prevented by treating individuals with insomnia properly and as soon as possible.

22. Insomniacs have a 28% greater chance of developing diabetes.

(NCBI) 

Based on recent research and additional insomnia statistics from 2017, acute and chronic insomnia further increase the risk of attaining type 2 diabetes. And as the numbers have shown, these individuals are at a 28% risk. Additional findings have shown that younger people are more likely to develop diabetes if they have chronic insomnia.

23. Chronic insomniacs are 4 times more prone to hallucinations and psychosis than others.

(NCBI) 

Data on sleep has found that individuals who have experienced a form of sleep deprivation may question their sanity and wonder whether insomnia causes the occurrence of hallucinations. On average, chronically sleep-deprived individuals are four times more likely to experience hallucinations.

24. Insomnia contributes to lower libido levels.

(Health Central) 

According to sleep specialists, women and men who suffer from insomnia also report lower libido levels and mood swings. In particular, a study published in 2002 by the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism suggests that men who don’t get enough sleep may secrete abnormally low levels of testosterone during the night.

25. Panic disorder patients have a 68%–93% likelihood of having insomnia.

(NCBI)

One of the more concerning insomnia statistics has found a connection between panic disorders and this sleep disorder. This chronic mental illness has frequently been linked to insomnia. In fact, researchers have shown that insomnia is more commonly present in panic disorder patients than it is in others. The prevalence of some form of insomnia in these patients might be explained because of this mental illness’s association with symptoms such as depression, nocturnal panic attacks, and chronic anxiety.

Insomnia Facts About Treatment

Insomnia Statistics - Treatment

How do I cure my insomnia? Fortunately, even though it’s a serious illness that should be treated as soon as possible, there are several ways to make positive life changes that make insomnia go away. For example, changing bad sleep habits and addressing the root cause of insomnia are the very first steps in recovery. Furthermore, decreasing stress, getting off certain medications, and cognitive behavioral therapy are other ways that have proven to be successful in the past with treating insomnia.

26. Writing to-do lists helps individuals fall asleep quicker.

(NCBI) 

Cognitive techniques such as journaling and your writing worries and concerns down on a piece of paper may help individuals adopt healthier sleeping patterns. General insomnia statistics in the world from 2017 have shown that this method is excellent because it helps patients write important thoughts down while also helping them fall asleep more quickly. A small study by researchers from Baylor University and Emory University followed 57 subjects aged 18–30. They found that writing to-do lists helped people fall asleep nine minutes faster.

27. Sleep restriction is a highly effective treatment for insomnia.

(NCBI)

This behavioral therapy is one of the most effective ways to treat insomnia. It works based on limiting the amount of time spent sleeping in bed, which thereby increases the desire to sleep at an appropriate time during the night.

28. Moderate exercise helps improve sleep quality by 90%.

(NCBI) 

Based on many insomnia stats, moderate exercise is extremely beneficial for insomniacs. It’s been assumed for a long time now that daily exercise is one of the best ways to treat symptoms of acute and chronic insomnia. Exercise triggers an increase in body temperature levels, and it decreases symptoms of anxiety and depression.

29. Avoiding stimuli is 80% effective in alleviating symptoms of insomnia.

(NCBI) 

Researchers have shown that avoiding distractions before going to bed may promote efficient sleep patterns while also helping you fall asleep faster. The stimuli to avoid before bed include bright lights, large meals, caffeine, alcohol, and smoking. In a case conducted by Baillargeon, Demers, and Ladouceur, fifteen patients completed their treatment, and 80% showed improvement in their sleep patterns. It also helped them with their concentration levels. Additional insomnia statistics from the UK and Canada have shown that 75% of people with insomnia also have extremely low concentration levels.

30. Prolonged-release melatonin has shown a 66% improvement rate among patients suffering from insomnia.

(Sleep Medicine Research) 

Prolonged-release melatonin, also called Circadin, is a popular form of melatonin used to mimic the natural release of melatonin in the body. Melatonin is commonly used to help improve quality of sleep, especially in seniors and individuals who have low naturally occurring melatonin levels. These insomnia statistics cover a study involving 87 patients prescribed prolonged-release melatonin. It found that 35 subjects (66%) reported improvement in insomnia symptoms after taking the medication.

Conclusion

Any type of sleep problem can have detrimental effects on human health, quality of life, and even the economy. Naturally, before attempting to find a solution to the issue, it’s important to fully grasp the problem and get to the root cause. Hopefully, these statistics and facts will help readers understand insomnia better, as well as help them find ways to improve their sleep habits.

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