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This study estimates the prevalence of nighttime insomnia symptoms among Canadians aged 6 to 79, and examines trends over time (2007 to 2015). The study is based on 21,826 respondents from the 2007-to-2015 Canadian Health Measures Survey, a nationally representative, cross-sectional survey. Nighttime insomnia symptoms and duration were self-reported. A 42% increase in nighttime insomnia symptoms was observed for adults aged 18 or older (from 16.8% to 23.8%). The majority of Canadians with insomnia symptoms reported having the symptoms for more than one year. This study also showed nighttime insomnia symptoms to be more prevalent in older age groups, women, those from lower socioeconomic backgrounds, and individuals reporting poor health and quality of life. Efforts toward prevention and intervention strategies could reduce the burden of insomnia symptoms among Canadians.


nighttime insomnia, sleep, trends, surveillance, population health


Insomnia is the most prevalent sleep disorder and affects a large proportion of the population on a situational, recurrent or chronic basis. Insomnia is predominantly characterized by dissatisfaction with sleep and difficulties initiating or maintaining sleep, along with substantial distress and impairments of daytime functioning. Persistent insomnia has been associated with adverse health outcomes, including reduced quality of life and physical and psychological morbidity. In Canada, the individual economic burden of insomnia is estimated at $5,010 per person per year, with nearly 90% of this amount attributed to indirect costs such as work absenteeism and reduced productivity. Despite its high prevalence and burden, insomnia is often unrecognized and untreated because of barriers to its assessment and management. There is a clear need to develop more cost-effective, efficient and accessible therapies for insomnia. [Full Text]


Jean-Philippe Chaput (jpchaput@cheo.on.ca) is with the Healthy Active Living and Obesity Research Group of the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute, Ottawa, Ontario. Jessica Yau and Deepa P. Rao are with the Behaviours, Environments and Lifespan Team, Centre for Surveillance and Applied Research, Public Health Agency of Canada, Ottawa, Ontario. Charles M. Morin is with the École de psychologie, Université Laval, Québec, Quebec.

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