Insomnia is a persistent condition: Study
Reported March 11, 2009
Quebec, March 11 - A new study claims
that about three-fourth of insomniacs report experiencing insomnia for at
least one year and almost half of the insomniacs experience the condition
for about three years.
The report carrying study findings were published in March 9 issue of
Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.
The Canadian Institutes of Health Research supported the study.
Insomnia is characterized by sleeping disorder causing a constant difficulty
in falling asleep. Insomniacs experience functional disorders while awake.
They complain inability to close their eyes and relax their mind.
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, approximately
64 million Americans suffer from insomnia annually and the disorder is 1.4
times more common in women than in men (a 2007 report suggested).
“Approximately 30 percent of adults report symptoms of insomnia and 6
percent to 10 percent meet diagnostic criteria for an insomnia disorder,”
stated study authors in the report.
Factors like being female, increasing age, having anxiety or
depressiondefine and experiencing pain from medical conditions are more
likely to trigger insomnia.
The consequences of the disorder include higher health care costs, work
absenteeism, disability and higher risk of hypertension and depression.
Charles M. Morin, Ph.D., of University Laval
and Centre de recherche Université Laval—Robert Giffard, Québec, Canada, and
colleagues studied insomnia by analyzing insomnia persistence, remission and
relapse of the disorder in 388 adults (with average age 44.8) over a period
of three years.
At the start of the study, individuals with insomnia experienced the
symptoms at least three nights per week for at least one month. The study
researchers found that “74 percent out of total study participants reported
insomnia for at least one year and 46 percent reported insomnia persisting
over the entire three-year study.”
It was noted that individuals with insomnia syndrome had elevated
persistence rate compared with the group that experienced insomnia symptoms.
“Individuals with subsyndromal insomnia [insomnia symptoms] at baseline were
three times more likely to remit than worsen to syndrome status, although
persistence was the most frequent course in that group as well,” researchers
After a year, 38.4 percent- out of total 269 individuals with baseline
symptoms of insomnia- turned into good sleepers, 48.7 percent still had
insomnia symptoms and 12.9 percent had insomnia syndrome. The results were
almost similar for second and third year.
The results indicated that insomnia is more or less a persistent disorder.
The study provides a significant insight into insomnia- its persistence,
remission and relapse. The study would help researchers better understand
insomnia and direct development of effective public health prevention and
intervention programs so as to combat the serious disorder, researchers