Insomnia, trouble sleeping, and complementary and alternative medicine: Analysis of the 2002 national health interview survey data

Arch Intern Med. 2006 Sep 18;166(16):1775-82. doi: 10.1001/archinte.166.16.1775.


Background: Insomnia and other disorders that result in trouble sleeping are common in the United States and are often associated with chronic health conditions. Some individuals with insomnia or trouble sleeping use complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) therapies to treat their condition, but the prevalence of such use and the most common types of CAM therapies selected are not known.

Methods: Prevalence of insomnia or trouble sleeping and of CAM use for treating such conditions was examined using the 2002 National Health Interview Survey. Logistic regression was used to examine associations between insomnia or trouble sleeping, comorbid conditions, and use of CAM treatments.

Results: The 12-month prevalence rate of insomnia or trouble sleeping was 17.4%. There was a strong positive association between adults who reported having insomnia or trouble sleeping and adults who reported 4 of 5 common conditions: obesity (adjusted odds ratio [OR], 1.15; 99% confidence interval [CI], 1.01-1.31), hypertension (OR, 1.32; 99% CI, 1.16-1.51), congestive heart failure (OR, 2.24; 99% CI, 1.60-3.14), and anxiety or depression (OR, 5.64; 99% CI, 5.07-6.29). Of those with insomnia or trouble sleeping, 4.5% used some form of CAM therapy to treat their condition.

Conclusions: According to the National Health Interview Survey analysis, over 1.6 million civilian, noninstitutionalized adult US citizens use CAM to treat insomnia or trouble sleeping. The details of this analysis will serve as a guide for future research on CAM therapies for sleep disorders.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Distribution
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Anxiety / epidemiology
  • Attitude to Health
  • Complementary Therapies / statistics & numerical data*
  • Depression / epidemiology
  • Educational Status
  • Female
  • Health Surveys
  • Heart Failure / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Hypertension / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / epidemiology
  • Racial Groups
  • Sex Distribution
  • Sleep Initiation and Maintenance Disorders / epidemiology
  • Sleep Initiation and Maintenance Disorders / prevention & control*
  • United States / epidemiology