Health economics of insomnia treatments: The return on investment for a good night's sleep

Sleep Med Rev. 2016 Dec;30:72-82. doi: 10.1016/j.smrv.2015.11.004. Epub 2015 Nov 28.


Chronic insomnia is the most common sleep disorder among adults and is associated with a wide range of negative outcomes. This article reviews the economic consequences of the disorder and the cost effectiveness of insomnia treatments. First, the total costs of insomnia are reviewed; in aggregate these costs exceed $100 billion USD per year, with the majority being spent on indirect costs such as poorer workplace performance, increased health care utilization, and increased accident risk. Next, the deleterious impact of insomnia on quality of life and the impact of treatment on quality of life are briefly considered. Finally, ten published studies evaluating the cost effectiveness of both pharmacological and behavioral treatments for insomnia are reviewed in detail. A significant majority of studies reviewed found that the cost of treating primary and comorbid insomnia is less than the cost of not treating it. Treatments were generally found to be cost-effective using commonly employed standards, with treatment costs being recouped within 6-12 mo.

Keywords: Cognitive-behavioral therapy; Cost-effectiveness; Economics; Insomnia; Quality of life; Sedative hypnotic therapy; Treatment.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Comorbidity
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis*
  • Humans
  • Quality of Life*
  • Sleep Initiation and Maintenance Disorders / economics*
  • Sleep Initiation and Maintenance Disorders / epidemiology
  • Sleep Initiation and Maintenance Disorders / therapy*