Department of Psychosocial Science, University of Bergen, P.O. Box 7807, N-5020 Bergen, Norway; Norwegian Competence Center for Sleep Disorders, Jonas Lies vei 65, 5021 Bergen, Norway. Electronic address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
We aimed to investigate the 10-year trend in the prevalence of insomnia symptoms, insomnia cases, and use of hypnotic agents in the adult Norwegian population.
Data from two representative surveys assessing identical insomnia symptoms in the adult population of Norway, one conducted in 1999-2000 (N=2001) and one conducted in 2009-2010 (N=2000), were compared.
Controlling for basic demographic variables, significant increases were found over the 10-year study period in the prevalence of sleep-onset insomnia from 13.1% to 15.2%, dissatisfaction with sleep from 8.2% to 13.6%, daytime impairment from 14.8% to 18.8%, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fourth edition (DSM-IV) insomnia cases from 11.9% to 15.5%, and hypnotic agent use from 6.9% to 11.1%. No secular trend was found for maintenance insomnia or for early morning awakening insomnia. Across the two surveys, women reported a higher prevalence of insomnia than men. Age was positively associated with the prevalence of nocturnal sleep problems and use of hypnotic agents but was inversely associated with daytime impairment. Individuals with low socioeconomic status (SES) reported a higher prevalence of several insomnia symptoms.
Insomnia seems to be on the rise in the general adult population, which gives reason for concern. Prevention of insomnia and cost-effective interventions should receive higher priority in the future.
Answering comments on the letter of J.O. Hörnquist. An expression of concern on the paper 'Sleep and hypnotic use in relation to perceived somatic and mental health among the elderly' by Dr Ragnar Asplund (Arch. Gerontol. Geriatr. 31, 199-205 (2000)), which appeared in Arch. Gerontol. Geriatr. 35, 189-192 (2002).
This study was conducted with a representative sample of the French population of 5,622 subjects of 15 years old or more. The telephone interviews were performed with EVAL, an expert system specialized for the evaluation of sleep disorders. From this sample, 20.1% of persons said that they were unsatisfied with their sleep or taking medication for sleeping difficulties or anxiety with sleeping difficulties (UQS). A low family income, being a woman, being over 65 years of age, being retired and being separated, divorced or widowed are significantly associated with the presence of UQS. A sleep onset period over 15 minutes, a short night's sleep and regular nighttime awakenings are also associated with UQS. Medical consultations during the past 6 months and physical illnesses are more frequent among the UQS group. The consumption of sleep-enhancing medication and medication to reduce anxiety is important: in the past, 16% of subjects had taken a sleep-enhancing medication and 16.2% a medication to reduce anxiety. At the time of the survey 9.9% of the population were using sleep-enhancing medication and 6.7% were using medication for anxiety. For most, hypnotic consumption was long-term: 81.6% had been using it for more than 6 months.
1. During an epidemiological study conducted by telephone on sleep disorders in the metropolitan area of Montreal (Quebec, Canada), the authors found that 5% of subjects used psychotropic drugs. These drugs were usually prescribed by a general practitioner (72.9%). 2. From this population, the authors drew three groups of subjects: users with sleeping difficulties (USD); non users with sleeping difficulties (NUSD) and, non users without sleeping difficulties (NUWSD). 3. Results showed that the utilization of psychotropics was usually chronic and more frequent among the elderly and women. 4. In multivariate models, when users were compared to NUWSD, the authors found eight variables significantly associated with psychotropic consumption: age (> or = 55), sex (female), presence of physical illness, medical consultation, dissatisfaction with sleep onset period and sleep quantity, sleep onset period greater than 15 minutes, and to never or rarely dream. 5. When users were compared to NUSD, three variables were found to be associated with psychotropic consumption: age, to be formerly married, and to experience regular nighttime awakenings. 6. It appears that the utilization of psychotropic drugs does not increase the quality of sleep when consumers are compared to non treated insomniacs (NUSD) on parameters of sleep satisfaction.
Benzodiazepine (BZD) drug use among seniors is an important public health issue because the benefit from their use is moderate and of short duration and numerous adverse events have been linked to their use. Furthermore, there is a significant discrepancy between the prevalence of mental health disorders and BZD drug use in the elderly population, which can be attributed to a measurement issue. The goal of this cross-sectional descriptive study was to determine the prevalence of mental health disorders among seniors using BZD and living in the community, basing this information on both a thorough face-to-face interview and a pair of self-reported validated instruments. Among the 216 seniors recruited in our study, nearly 20 % were users of BZD and over three quarters of them had been using this drug for more than a year. Thirteen subjects were recognized as depressed according to a self-report measure compared to 18 according to the interview. Likewise, 13 seniors were categorized as anxious, based on a self-report questionnaire compared to 39 based on the interview. Among self-reported measures of mental health variables, logistic regression indicated that insomnia increases by 7 the likelihood of using BZD (odds ratio: 7.2) and is the only statistically significant variable associated with BZD consumption. Based on thorough interviews, logistic regression showed that insomnia (odds ratio: 6.9) is still the dominant symptom associated with BZD drugs. In conclusion, our results clearly support the assertion that mental health status is influenced according to how it is measured. Finally, nurses should be aware that not all individuals are capable of expressing their mental health problems using either psychological or emotional terminologies. They may opt for expressing their psychological suffering as a physical symptom such as sleeping problems.
To assess the prevalence of insomnia symptoms, their associated factors and daytime symptoms in the general population of Sweden.
This is a cross-sectional postal survey performed in the general population of Sweden aged between 19 and 75 years (6 million inhabitants). A total of 1209 out of 1705 randomly selected participants from the National Register of the Total Population completed the questionnaire. The participation rate was 71.3%. Participants filled out a paper-pencil questionnaire composed of 157 items covering sociodemographic characteristics, sleeping habits and environment, sleep quality and sleep symptoms, and health status.
We found 32.1% (95% confidence interval: 29.5-34.8%) of the sample reported having difficulty initiating (DIS) or maintaining sleep (DMS) or non-restorative sleep accompanied with sufficient sleep (NRS) at least 4 nights per week: 6.3% of the sample had DIS, 14.5% had DMS and 18.0% had NRS. Results from logistic regressions showed that restless legs symptoms, breathing pauses during sleep and depressive or anxious mood were associated with DIS and DMS but not NRS. Living in an urban area (OR:2.0) and drinking alcohol daily (OR:4.6) were associated only with NRS. Daytime symptoms were reported by over 75% of subjects with insomnia symptoms. DIS, DMS and NRS were associated with daytime fatigue but not excessive sleepiness as measured by the Epworth scale. DIS was associated with the use of sleeping pills or natural sleeping aid compounds in multivariate models.
Insomnia symptoms occurring at least 4 nights per week are frequent in Sweden, affecting about a third of the population. Subjects with NRS have a distinctly different profile than those with DIS or DMS, which suggests different etiological causes for this symptom.
The study examines the factors contributing to the initiation, continuation and termination of use among female and male long-term users of minor and major tranquilizers. The findings show the importance of the lay-referral system as a channel of introduction to psychotropic drug use, especially for men. The issue of dependency is explored both in terms of the users' own interpretation of its nature and their reports on the professional responses to their long-term use. The findings indicate that gender and drug use are intricately linked in both the non-professional and professional treatment of anxiety and insomnia.
This study compared prescribed psychotropic medication patterns for reported sleep disorders in French and Quebec samples.
The first study was undertaken in France (N = 5622) and the second in the metropolitan area of Montreal (N = 1722). Lay interviewers used a specialized knowledge-based system for the purpose of evaluating sleep disorders by telephone.
Results showed similar prevalence of insomnia complaints in both samples (20.1% and 17.8%, respectively). A higher level of psychotropic consumption was found in France (11.7% [95% confidence interval (CI), 10.9 to 12.5]) compared with Quebec, however, where consumption was less than half the French rate (5.5% [95% CI, 4.4 to 6.6]). Both studies identified females and the elderly as the primary consumers of these drugs. For approximately two-thirds of both samples, sleep-promoting medications were prescribed for a year or longer, revealing a chronicity of the consumption. Approximately 4 out of 5 prescriptions for sleeping medications were ordered by general practitioners in both samples.
These findings clearly show a higher prevalence of psychotropic drug use in the French compared with the Quebec population. The patterns of consumption and prescription, however, are quite similar in both studies.
Difficulty sleeping is a common complaint by older people which leads to medication use to help attain sleep.
This study provides a population-based description of medication, specifically taken to help with sleep, by Canadians over the age of 60. The proportion of this sleep medication that is prescribed, and the determinants of prescribed versus over the-counter (OTC) sleep medication use will also be presented.
The Canadian Community Health Survey, 2002, provided the study population of 9,393 respondents over the age of 60.
Almost 16% of Canadians over 60 reported taking sleep medication over the past year, of which 85% was prescribed by physicians. Sleep medication is higher for women, increases with age, poor health, chronic illness and poor quality sleep,and was especially high for people with a recent major depressive episode. Prescribed sleep medication increased with age, low income, low education, poor health, chronic illness and residence in the province of Quebec. Adjusting for health status or insurance covering medication costs made little difference.
This study provides important new information on the use of sleep medication by older Canadians. Overall sleep medication use and proportion of sleep medication prescribed are separate parameters with potentially different distributions, e.g., Quebec showed the same amount of sleep medication use as elsewhere, but a much higher proportion of it was prescribed.