Public health impact and treatment of insomnia. European psychiatry Dement, W., Pelayo, R. 1997; 12: 31-39


A growing number of people are concerned about their sleep in the United States. There are an estimated 40 million US citizens with chronic sleep disorders. The cost to society of sleep disorders has been estimated at greater than $90 billion US dollars. Despite this enormous cost to society, there remains a pervasive lack of attention provided to medical management of this problem. This is compounded by inadequate funding of sleep disorders research. There are treatments available to improve insomnia. These include different behavioral and pharmacologic regimes that can be used separately or in combination. Successful treatment requires thorough knowledge of the differential diagnosis of insomnia. The greatest public health challenge in the management of insomnia is how to develop effective educational programs that will allow the general public to improve their sleep. This will require greater cooperation from primary care providers and the government. Sleep disorders are the most important public health problem not being addressed in the United States.

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