The annual prevalence of insomnia symptoms ranges from 35-50%, and the prevalence of insomnia disorder ranges from 12-20%. Insomnia is associated with increased risk of numerous medical conditions including diabetes, hypertension, major depression and congestive heart failure. In addition, insomnia contributes to reduced work productivity, accidents, increased alcohol consumption and poor health.
Sedative hypnotics are the most common treatments offered to patients for Insomnia Disorder. Numerous negative side effects accompany traditional hypnotics. These drugs provide only symptomatic relief and do not address underlying mechanisms which sustain primary insomnia. As a result, upon termination of sleep medication, these patients often experience a full return of their insomnia symptoms.
The most prominent non-drug treatment is cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I). Meta-analysis indicates 36% remission of insomnia disorder upon completion of CBT-I versus 16.9% in the comparison group. This means 64% of those completing CBT-I continued to meet diagnostic criteria for Insomnia Disorder. While CBT-I has made a major contribution to assist with insomnia, there is room for improvement as evidenced by 64% still having Insomnia Disorder upon completion of CBT-I treatment.