Insomnia and global sleep dissatisfaction in Finland

J Sleep Res. 2002 Dec;11(4):339-46. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2869.2002.00317.x.


The purpose of this study is to assess the prevalence of insomnia symptoms and diagnoses in the general population of Finland. A total of 982 participants, aged 18 years or older and representative of the general population of Finland, were interviewed by telephone using the Sleep-EVAL system. The participation rate was 78%. The questionnaire included the assessment of sleep habits, insomnia symptomatology according to Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-IV (DSM-IV) and International Classification of Sleep Disorders (ICSD), associated and sleep/mental disorders and daytime consequences. The overall prevalence of insomnia symptoms occurring at least three nights per week was 37.6%. Difficulty initiating sleep were mentioned by 11.9% of the sample, difficulty maintaining sleep by 31.6%, early morning awakenings by 11.0% and non-restorative sleep by 7.9% of the sample. Global dissatisfaction with sleep was found in 11.9% of the sample. Daytime consequences (fatigue, mood changes, cognitive difficulties or daytime sleepiness) were reported by 39.9% of participants with insomnia symptoms and 87.6% of those with sleep dissatisfaction. A deterioration of sleep in summer or winter was associated with more complaints of sleep dissatisfaction. Prevalence of any DSM-IV insomnia diagnosis was 11.7%. More specifically, DSM-IV diagnosis of primary insomnia had a prevalence of 1.6% and DSM-IV diagnosis of insomnia related to another mental disorder was at 2.1%. Insomnia was a symptom of another sleep disorder in about 16% of cases and of a mental disorder in about 17% of cases. As reported in other Nordic studies, sleep quality was worse in summer. Insomnia symptomatology was common and was reported by more than a third of Finnish participants. Compared with other European countries studied with the same methodology (France, the UK, Germany, and Italy), the prevalence of DSM-IV insomnia diagnosis was 1.5 to two times higher in Finland.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
  • Female
  • Finland / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Personal Satisfaction*
  • Prevalence
  • Seasons
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Sleep Initiation and Maintenance Disorders / diagnosis
  • Sleep Initiation and Maintenance Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires