Patient characteristics and predictors of sleep medication use

Int Clin Psychopharmacol. 2010 Mar;25(2):91-100. doi: 10.1097/YIC.0b013e328334e5e6.


The objective of this study was to investigate the characteristics of sleep medication users, and their satisfaction with treatment and subjective difficulty with quitting the drugs. A representative sample of 5000 adults in Norway was selected to participate in an epidemiologic study. The data were collected through a postal survey in which a total of 2645 (52.9%) participants responded. Weighted logistic regression was used to explore predictors for the drug pattern use. The prevalence of lifetime, current, and chronic use of sleep medications were 18.8, 7.9, and 4.2%. The use was associated with low socioeconomic status, older age, female sex, and frequent symptoms of sleep disorders, anxiety, and depression. Older age and low perceived control over sleep were the strongest predictors for use and difficulty in quitting sleep medications. Among responders who had ever used sleep medications, 80.3% would prefer a nonpharmacological treatment alternative. It is concluded that consumption of sleep medications is widespread in Norway, and that perception of control over sleep may play a significant role in the drug pattern use. Nonpharmacological treatment is to a small extent implemented in the health care sector.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Anxiety / psychology
  • Depression / psychology
  • Drug Utilization
  • Female
  • Forecasting
  • Health Care Surveys
  • Humans
  • Hypnotics and Sedatives / therapeutic use*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Norway / epidemiology
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Sleep Initiation and Maintenance Disorders / epidemiology
  • Sleep Initiation and Maintenance Disorders / etiology
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / drug therapy*
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / therapy
  • Substance Withdrawal Syndrome / epidemiology
  • Substance Withdrawal Syndrome / psychology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Young Adult


  • Hypnotics and Sedatives