Health & Social Impact
Sleep disturbance, and the resulting daytime fatigue, can cause distress and impairment of daytime functioning, both social and occupational, leading to a reduced quality of life. Impairments in vitality, energy, emotional and mental health domains have been widely reported. One study concluded that severe insomnia is independently associated with worsened health-related quality of life to almost the same extent as chronic conditions such as congestive heart failure and major depression37.
Potential consequences of insomnia63
- Higher rates of mental health problems
- Worsened health-related QoL
- Drug and alcohol abuse
- Cardiac morbidity
- Healthcare resource utilisation
- Increased risk of accidents
- Increased mortality
Insomnia is also associated with an increased risk of developing depression, increased duration of established depression and relapse following treatment for depression77. A UK survey reported a threefold increase of new depression and a twofold risk of new anxiety disorder in subjects who had reported one sleep problem occurring ‘on most nights’ a year earlier55.
A Canadian study has also indicated a significant economic burden, concluding that the largest proportion of all costs (both direct and indirect - 76%) were attributable to insomnia-related work absence and reduced productivity21.