Study objectives: The present study was designed to assess selected aspects of sleep hygiene from a population-based sample of individuals with insomnia compared to age- and sex-matched controls.
Design: A random-sample phone survey of 258 individuals meeting Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition-based criteria for insomnia was compared to age- and sex-matched normal sleepers on specific measures of sleep hygiene. Sleep hygiene practices measured included cigarette smoking, smoking near bedtime, alcohol use, caffeine use, napping, time in bed, and reported likelihood of sleeping in on weekends.
Setting: Detroit tricounty population.
Participants: 258 individuals 18 to 65 years old with insomnia and 258 age- and sex-matched controls.
Measurements and results: Insomniacs reported poorer sleep hygiene, as evidenced by an increase in prevalence of smoking close to bedtime and increased use of alcohol. They also reported more naps per week and sleeping in on days not worked. Caffeine use did not differ between groups. Time in bed was also comparable between insomniacs and controls.
Conclusion: Insomniacs do engage in specific poor sleep hygiene practices, such as smoking and drinking alcohol just before bedtime. These particular aspects of sleep hygiene may be important components that exacerbate or perpetuate insomnia.