Study objectives: To assess the direct economic costs of insomnia in the United States in 1995.
Methods: The costs of prescription medications were based on 1995 data compiled by IMS America, Ltd. (Plymouth Meeting, PA). Non-prescription medication expenditures were provided by Information Resources, Inc. (Chicago, IL). The costs of physician visits related to insomnia were estimated from unpublished data of the 1994 National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics and from the America Medical Association Center for Health Policy Research. Several other sources were used for other cost estimates.
Results: Total cost for substances used to treat insomnia was $1.97 billion, less than half of which was for prescription medication. Health care services for insomnia totaled $11.96 billion, 91% of which is attributable to nursing home care. The total direct costs in the United States for insomnia in 1995 were estimated to be $13.9 billion.
Conclusions: Increased efforts are needed in several domains to offset the cost of insomnia including clinical research on the consequences of untreated and treated insomnia, development and implementation of curricula to provide knowledge about sleep and sleep disorders for medical students, physicians, and other health professionals, education to increase public awareness of insomnia and sleep disorders, and more support for basic research on neural mechanisms involved in healthy and disordered sleep.