Trends in insomnia and excessive daytime sleepiness among U.S. adults from 2002 to 2012

Sleep Med. 2015 Mar;16(3):372-8. doi: 10.1016/j.sleep.2014.12.008. Epub 2015 Jan 14.


Objective: Insomnia is a prevalent disorder in the United States and elsewhere. It has been associated with a range of somatic and psychiatric conditions, and adversely affects quality of life, productivity at work, and school performance. The objective of this study was to examine the trend in self-reported insomnia and excessive daytime sleepiness among US adults.

Methods: We used data of participants aged ≥18 years from the National Health Interview Survey for the years 2002 (30,970 participants), 2007 (23,344 participants), and 2012 (34,509 participants).

Results: The unadjusted prevalence of insomnia or trouble sleeping increased from 17.5% (representing 37.5 million adults) in 2002 to 19.2% (representing 46.2 million adults) in 2012 (relative increase: +8.0%) (P trend <0.001). The age-adjusted prevalence increased from 17.4% to 18.8%. Significant increases were present among participants aged 18-24, 25-34, 55-64, and 65-74 years, men, women, whites, Hispanics, participants with diabetes, and participants with joint pain. Large relative increases occurred among participants aged 18-24 years (+30.9%) and participants with diabetes (+27.0%). The age-adjusted percentage of participants who reported regularly having excessive daytime sleepiness increased from 9.8% to 12.7% (P trend <0.001). Significant increases were present in most demographic groups. The largest relative increase was among participants aged 25-34 years (+49%). Increases were also found among participants with hypertension, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, asthma, and joint pain.

Conclusions: Given the deleterious effects of insomnia on health and performance, the increasing prevalence of insomnia and excessive daytime sleepiness among US adults is a potentially troubling development.

Keywords: Arthralgia; Diabetes; Health surveys; Insomnia; Population surveillance; Trends.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Distribution
  • Aged
  • Disorders of Excessive Somnolence / complications
  • Disorders of Excessive Somnolence / epidemiology*
  • Disorders of Excessive Somnolence / psychology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Life Style
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Self Report
  • Sleep Initiation and Maintenance Disorders / complications
  • Sleep Initiation and Maintenance Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Sleep Initiation and Maintenance Disorders / psychology
  • Time Factors
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Young Adult