As many as 10 percent of adults suffer from the sleep disorder, and it leads to fatigue, anxiety, depression, and even congestive heart failure.
Insomnia is the most common sleep disorder. Approximately 25 percent of the adult population suffer from sleeping problems, and as many as 10 percent reach the threshold of insomnia. Insomniacs experience difficulty falling or staying asleep, a lack of restorative sleep, and daytime symptoms such as fatigue, mood disturbances, and difficulty concentrating.
For insomniacs, theirs is often a chronic condition. Nearly 70 percent continue to experience symptoms a year later, and half still have insomnia up to three years later. Compared to the general population, people with insomnia are more than five times as likely to experience anxiety and depression, are at more than twice the risk of developing congestive heart failure and diabetes, and may have an elevated risk of death. Insomniacs may also be at significantly greater risk of alcohol and substance abuse.
But despite the large number of people affected, insomnia often goes unrecognized and untreated. "In view of the high prevalence and substantial morbidities of insomnia, patients should routinely be asked about sleep problems by health care providers," say the authors of a new review paper about chronic insomnia.