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Insomnia and Its Treatment: Prevalence and Correlates

Insomnia and Its Treatment: Prevalence and Correlates Abstract • Data for this report come from a nationally representative probability sample survey of noninstitutionalized adults, aged 18 to 79 years. The survey, conducted in 1979, found that insomnia afflicts 35% of all adults during the course of a year; about half of these persons experience the problem as serious. Those with serious insomnia tend to be women and older, and they are more likely than others to display high levels of psychic distress and somatic anxiety, symptoms resembling major depression, and multiple health problems. During the year prior to the survey, 2.6% of adults had used a medically prescribed hypnotic. Typically, use occurred on brief occasions, one or two days at a time, or for short durations of regular use lasting less than two weeks. The survey also found a small group of hypnotic users (11% of all users; 0.3% of all adults) who reported using the medication regularly for a year or longer. If we include anxiolytics and antidepressants, 4.3% of adults had used a medically prescribed psychotherapeutic drug that was prescribed for sleep; 3.1% had used an over-the-counter sleeping pill. The majority of serious insomniacs (85%) were untreated by either prescribed or over-the-counter medications. References 1. Mellinger GD, Balter MB, Manheimer DI: Patterns of psychotherapeutic drug use among adults in San Francisco . Arch Gen Psychiatry 1971;25:385-394.Crossref 2. Manheimer DI, Davidson ST, Baiter MB, Mellinger GD, Cisin IH, Parry HJ: Popular attitudes and beliefs about tranquilizers . Am J Psychiatry 1973;130:1246-1253. 3. Balter MB, Levine J: Character and extent of psychotherapeutic drug usage in the United States , in Proceedings of the Fifth World Congress of Psychiatry, Mexico, 1971 . Amsterdam, Excerpta Medica, 1973, pp 80-88. 4. Parry HJ, Baiter MB, Mellinger GD, Cisin IH, Manheimer DI: National patterns of psychotherapeutic drug use . Arch Gen Psychiatry 1973;28:769-783.Crossref 5. Baiter MB: An analysis of psychotherapeutic drug consumption in the United States, in Proceedings of the Anglo-American Conference on Drug Abuse. London, Royal Society of Medicine, 1973, pp 58-68. 6. Mellinger GD, Baiter MB, Parry HJ, Manheimer DI, Cisin IH: An overview of psychotherapeutic drug use in the United States , in Josephson E, Carroll EE (eds): Drug Use: Epidemiological and Sociological Approaches . Washington, DC, Hemisphere Publishing Corp, 1974, pp 333-366. 7. Uhlenhuth EH, Lipman RS, Baiter MB, Stern M: Symptom intensity and life stress in the city . Arch Gen Psychiatry 1974;31:759-764.Crossref 8. Baiter MB: Coping with illness: Choices, alternatives and consequences , in Helms RB (ed): Drug Development and Marketing . Washington, DC, American Enterprise Institute Center for Health Research, 1974, pp 27-45. 9. Parry HJ, Cisin IH, Balter MB, Mellinger GD, Manheimer DI: Increased alcohol intake as a coping mechanism , in Cooperstock R (ed): Social Aspects and Medical Use of Psychotropic Drugs . Toronto, Addiction Research Foundation, 1974, pp 120-144. 10. Baiter MB, Bauer ML: Patterns of prescribing and use of hypnotic drugs in the United States , in Clift AD (ed): Sleep Disturbance and Hypnotic Drug Dependence . Amsterdam, Excerpta Medica, 1975, pp 261-293. 11. Mellinger GD, Baiter MB, Manheimer DI, Cisin IH, Parry HJ: Psychic distress, life crisis, and use of psychotherapeutic medications: National household survey data . Arch Gen Psychiatry 1978;35:1045-1052.Crossref 12. Uhlenhuth EH, Baiter MB, Lipman RS: Minor tranquilizers: Clinical correlates of use in an urban population . Arch Gen Psychiatry 1978;35:650-655.Crossref 13. Mellinger GD, Balter MB: Prevalence and patterns of use of psychotherapeutic drugs: Results from a 1979 national survey of American adults , in Tognoni G, Bellantuono C, Lader M (eds): Proceedings of the International Seminar on Epidemiological Impact of Psychotropic Drugs, Milan, Italy, June 1981 . Amsterdam, Elsevier/North Holland Biomedical Press, 1981, pp 17-35. 14. Uhlenhuth EH, Balter MB, Mellinger GD, Cisin IH, Clinthorne J: Symptom checklist syndromes in the general population: Correlations with psychotherapeutic drug use . Arch Gen Psychiatry 1983;40:1167-1173.Crossref 15. Mellinger GD, Baiter MB, Uhlenhuth EH: Prevalence and correlates of the long-term regular use of anxiolytics . JAMA 1984;251:375-379.Crossref 16. Mellinger GD, Balter MB, Uhlenhuth EH: Anti-anxiety agents: Duration of use and characteristics of users in the USA . Curr Med Res Opin 1984;8( (suppl 4) ):21-36.Crossref 17. Uhlenhuth EH, Baiter MB, Mellinger GD, Cisin IH, Clinthorne J: Patterns of illness and use of anti-anxiety agents . Curr Med Res Opin 1984;8( (suppl 4) ):37-47.Crossref 18. Parry HJ, Balter MB, Cisin IH: Primary levels of underreporting psychotropic drug use . Public Opin Q 1970-1971;34:582-592.Crossref 19. Mellinger GD, Baiter MB, Uhlenhuth EH, Cisin IH, Manheimer DI, Rickels K: Evaluating a household survey measure of psychic distress . Psychol Med 1983;13:607-621.Crossref 20. Baiter MB, Levine J, Manheimer DI: Cross-national study of the extent of anti-anxiety/sedative drug use . N Engl J Med 1974;390:769-774. 21. Balter MB, Manheimer DI, Mellinger GD, Uhlenhuth EH: Crossnational comparisons of anti-anxiety/sedative drug use . Curr Med Res Opin 1984;8( (suppl 4) ):5-20. 22. Lipman RS, Covi L, Shapiro AK: The Hopkins Symptom Checklist (HSCL): Factors derived from the HSCL-90 . J Affective Disord 1979;1:9-24.Crossref 23. Consensus Development Conference Statement: Drugs and insomnia: The use of medications to promote sleep . JAMA 1984;251:2410-2414.Crossref 24. Association of Sleep Disorders Centers, Sleep Disorders Classification Committee: Diagnostic classification of sleep and arousal disorders . Sleep 1979;1:1-137. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Archives of General Psychiatry American Medical Association

Insomnia and Its Treatment: Prevalence and Correlates

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Publisher
American Medical Association
Copyright
Copyright © 1985 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved.
ISSN
0003-990X
eISSN
1598-3636
DOI
10.1001/archpsyc.1985.01790260019002
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Abstract • Data for this report come from a nationally representative probability sample survey of noninstitutionalized adults, aged 18 to 79 years. The survey, conducted in 1979, found that insomnia afflicts 35% of all adults during the course of a year; about half of these persons experience the problem as serious. Those with serious insomnia tend to be women and older, and they are more likely than others to display high levels of psychic distress and somatic anxiety, symptoms resembling major depression, and multiple health problems. During the year prior to the survey, 2.6% of adults had used a medically prescribed hypnotic. Typically, use occurred on brief occasions, one or two days at a time, or for short durations of regular use lasting less than two weeks. The survey also found a small group of hypnotic users (11% of all users; 0.3% of all adults) who reported using the medication regularly for a year or longer. If we include anxiolytics and antidepressants, 4.3% of adults had used a medically prescribed psychotherapeutic drug that was prescribed for sleep; 3.1% had used an over-the-counter sleeping pill. The majority of serious insomniacs (85%) were untreated by either prescribed or over-the-counter medications. References 1. Mellinger GD, Balter MB, Manheimer DI: Patterns of psychotherapeutic drug use among adults in San Francisco . Arch Gen Psychiatry 1971;25:385-394.Crossref 2. Manheimer DI, Davidson ST, Baiter MB, Mellinger GD, Cisin IH, Parry HJ: Popular attitudes and beliefs about tranquilizers . Am J Psychiatry 1973;130:1246-1253. 3. Balter MB, Levine J: Character and extent of psychotherapeutic drug usage in the United States , in Proceedings of the Fifth World Congress of Psychiatry, Mexico, 1971 . Amsterdam, Excerpta Medica, 1973, pp 80-88. 4. Parry HJ, Baiter MB, Mellinger GD, Cisin IH, Manheimer DI: National patterns of psychotherapeutic drug use . Arch Gen Psychiatry 1973;28:769-783.Crossref 5. Baiter MB: An analysis of psychotherapeutic drug consumption in the United States, in Proceedings of the Anglo-American Conference on Drug Abuse. London, Royal Society of Medicine, 1973, pp 58-68. 6. Mellinger GD, Baiter MB, Parry HJ, Manheimer DI, Cisin IH: An overview of psychotherapeutic drug use in the United States , in Josephson E, Carroll EE (eds): Drug Use: Epidemiological and Sociological Approaches . Washington, DC, Hemisphere Publishing Corp, 1974, pp 333-366. 7. Uhlenhuth EH, Lipman RS, Baiter MB, Stern M: Symptom intensity and life stress in the city . Arch Gen Psychiatry 1974;31:759-764.Crossref 8. Baiter MB: Coping with illness: Choices, alternatives and consequences , in Helms RB (ed): Drug Development and Marketing . Washington, DC, American Enterprise Institute Center for Health Research, 1974, pp 27-45. 9. Parry HJ, Cisin IH, Balter MB, Mellinger GD, Manheimer DI: Increased alcohol intake as a coping mechanism , in Cooperstock R (ed): Social Aspects and Medical Use of Psychotropic Drugs . Toronto, Addiction Research Foundation, 1974, pp 120-144. 10. Baiter MB, Bauer ML: Patterns of prescribing and use of hypnotic drugs in the United States , in Clift AD (ed): Sleep Disturbance and Hypnotic Drug Dependence . Amsterdam, Excerpta Medica, 1975, pp 261-293. 11. Mellinger GD, Baiter MB, Manheimer DI, Cisin IH, Parry HJ: Psychic distress, life crisis, and use of psychotherapeutic medications: National household survey data . Arch Gen Psychiatry 1978;35:1045-1052.Crossref 12. Uhlenhuth EH, Baiter MB, Lipman RS: Minor tranquilizers: Clinical correlates of use in an urban population . Arch Gen Psychiatry 1978;35:650-655.Crossref 13. Mellinger GD, Balter MB: Prevalence and patterns of use of psychotherapeutic drugs: Results from a 1979 national survey of American adults , in Tognoni G, Bellantuono C, Lader M (eds): Proceedings of the International Seminar on Epidemiological Impact of Psychotropic Drugs, Milan, Italy, June 1981 . Amsterdam, Elsevier/North Holland Biomedical Press, 1981, pp 17-35. 14. Uhlenhuth EH, Balter MB, Mellinger GD, Cisin IH, Clinthorne J: Symptom checklist syndromes in the general population: Correlations with psychotherapeutic drug use . Arch Gen Psychiatry 1983;40:1167-1173.Crossref 15. Mellinger GD, Baiter MB, Uhlenhuth EH: Prevalence and correlates of the long-term regular use of anxiolytics . JAMA 1984;251:375-379.Crossref 16. Mellinger GD, Balter MB, Uhlenhuth EH: Anti-anxiety agents: Duration of use and characteristics of users in the USA . Curr Med Res Opin 1984;8( (suppl 4) ):21-36.Crossref 17. Uhlenhuth EH, Baiter MB, Mellinger GD, Cisin IH, Clinthorne J: Patterns of illness and use of anti-anxiety agents . Curr Med Res Opin 1984;8( (suppl 4) ):37-47.Crossref 18. Parry HJ, Balter MB, Cisin IH: Primary levels of underreporting psychotropic drug use . Public Opin Q 1970-1971;34:582-592.Crossref 19. Mellinger GD, Baiter MB, Uhlenhuth EH, Cisin IH, Manheimer DI, Rickels K: Evaluating a household survey measure of psychic distress . Psychol Med 1983;13:607-621.Crossref 20. Baiter MB, Levine J, Manheimer DI: Cross-national study of the extent of anti-anxiety/sedative drug use . N Engl J Med 1974;390:769-774. 21. Balter MB, Manheimer DI, Mellinger GD, Uhlenhuth EH: Crossnational comparisons of anti-anxiety/sedative drug use . Curr Med Res Opin 1984;8( (suppl 4) ):5-20. 22. Lipman RS, Covi L, Shapiro AK: The Hopkins Symptom Checklist (HSCL): Factors derived from the HSCL-90 . J Affective Disord 1979;1:9-24.Crossref 23. Consensus Development Conference Statement: Drugs and insomnia: The use of medications to promote sleep . JAMA 1984;251:2410-2414.Crossref 24. Association of Sleep Disorders Centers, Sleep Disorders Classification Committee: Diagnostic classification of sleep and arousal disorders . Sleep 1979;1:1-137.

Journal

Archives of General PsychiatryAmerican Medical Association

Published: Mar 1, 1985

References