Use of alcohol and hypnotic medication as aids to sleep among the Japanese general population

Sleep Med. 2007 Nov;8(7-8):723-32. doi: 10.1016/j.sleep.2006.10.009. Epub 2007 May 18.

Abstract

Objective: The present study was conducted to clarify the prevalence of the use of alcohol and hypnotic medication as sleep aids, and associated factors, in the general population in Japan.

Methods: The survey was conducted in June 2000, using self-administered questionnaires, targeting a population that was selected randomly from among 300 communities throughout Japan. A total of 18,205 responses indicating alcohol use and 16,804 responses indicating hypnotic medication use were analyzed.

Results: The prevalence of alcohol use as a sleep aid one or more times per week was 48.3% among men and 18.3% among women. The prevalence of the use of hypnotic medication one or more times per week was 4.3% among men and 5.9% among women. The prevalence of alcohol used as a sleep aid increased gradually for men and women up to age 55-59 years and 40-44 years, respectively, and then declined with increasing age thereafter. The prevalence of the use of hypnotic medication among both men and women showed a trend toward a gradual increase with age. The use of alcohol as a sleep aid was associated with "difficulty maintaining sleep," but no such problem was associated with the use of hypnotic medication.

Conclusions: Alcohol is a more popular sleep aid than hypnotic medication. The factors associated with the use of alcohol and of hypnotic medication are different.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Asian Continental Ancestry Group / statistics & numerical data*
  • Central Nervous System Depressants / administration & dosage*
  • Drug Therapy / statistics & numerical data*
  • Ethanol / administration & dosage*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypnotics and Sedatives / administration & dosage*
  • Japan / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Population Surveillance / methods
  • Sleep / drug effects*
  • Sleep Initiation and Maintenance Disorders / drug therapy*
  • Sleep Initiation and Maintenance Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires

Substances

  • Central Nervous System Depressants
  • Hypnotics and Sedatives
  • Ethanol