Results Announced from Largest U.S. Survey of People with Trouble Sleeping, as well as Doctors, to Better Understand the Hidden Toll of Insomnia
• Conducted by The Alliance for Sleep, results demonstrate drastic need for education, improved dialogue and new solutions for people affected by insomnia
• 70% of people with trouble sleeping are desperate to improve their sleep
• Everyone agrees on the importance of sleep, yet there is an ‘insomnia conversation gap’ between people and doctors
• Despite patients feeling knowledgeable about sleep, many myths are still believed
Radnor, Pa. – April 5, 2022
The Alliance for Sleep today announced eye-opening results from its landmark survey, Wake Up America: The Night & Day Impact of Insomnia, conducted online by The Harris Poll. This U.S. survey, the largest of its kind, was created under the direction of the nation’s foremost sleep experts, supported by Idorsia Pharmaceuticals U.S., to bring to life the complexities of insomnia and highlight changes needed to improve the ability of patients and healthcare providers to address this prevalent sleep/wake disorder.
The Wake Up America survey reveals that trouble sleeping and insomnia have a massive impact on a variety of aspects across people’s lives – during both the day and night. More than half of people with trouble sleeping (PWTS) feel frustrated and 70% report that they are desperate to find a solution which helps them get quality sleep and fully function the next day. This desperation is underscored by people with trouble sleeping cumulatively spending approximately $7.125 billion1 annually on products or sleep aids (excluding mattresses) in an effort to improve their sleep, such as blackout curtains, white noise machines, and eye masks. Collectively, these findings point to a clear need for change in how Americans are managing sleeplessness.
Sleep is overwhelmingly seen as the third pillar of health, alongside diet and exercise (98% of primary care physicians (PCPs) and 91% of PWTS). Yet despite acknowledging the importance of sleep, just 66% of PCPs report frequently asking about sleep during routine visits and only 27% of PWTS report that their doctors ask about their sleep during every visit. Additionally, more than half (57%) of PWTS who have not been diagnosed with insomnia have not spoken about their trouble sleeping with their doctor. This disconnect not only illustrates the current ‘insomnia conversation gap,’ but also underscores the need for further education and more support to those struggling with insomnia.
“Despite seeing first-hand the toll of insomnia with our patients, these findings were still startling in that they highlight the extent of the problem on all aspects of people’s lives. But what is perhaps most shocking is the disconnect between the lengths people are willing to go to fix their sleep issues and the lack of conversation happening in doctors’ offices,” said Ruth Benca, MD, PhD, co-chair of The Alliance for Sleep. “We hope these survey results will spark a true wake up call for Americans, both patients and healthcare providers, demonstrating things need to change if we are to shore up sleep as the third pillar of health.”
The survey documents important knowledge gaps and the presence of stigma when it comes to sleep and treating sleep issues. Nearly three-quarters (74%) of PWTS believe they are very or somewhat knowledgeable about sleep and insomnia. Yet this confidence is, in fact, misplaced. Approximately two-thirds of PWTS believe common sleep myths including: “Your body can get used to functioning on less sleep” and “Naps make up for loss of sleep during the night” (63% and 61% falsely believe or are not sure about each, respectively). Furthermore, two-thirds (66%) of those who take or have taken prescription sleep medication believe there is a stigma associated with prescription sleep medication.
“Asking people and healthcare providers to open up about a basic human need – sleep – revealed an overwhelming need for education. Based on these findings, we are expanding and intensifying our commitment to education, supporting the prioritization of sleep and the recognition of insomnia as a medical condition that, when left unmanaged, can have devastating effects on a person’s overall health and wellbeing,” said Patricia Torr, President and General Manager of Idorsia U.S.
Additional findings from the Wake Up America survey further reinforce the need for education, increased awareness and change in key areas:
• Dramatic negative daytime effects across work and relationships:
o 29% report struggles at work o 27% report financial struggles
o 19% report end of a relationship with friends/family
o 13% report end of a romantic relationship
o 10% report ever experiencing job loss
• Enormous impact on work productivity:
o Employed PWTS estimate they lose eight hours of work a week, on average
o That turns into 416 hours lost each year per employee in the U.S.
o In total, an estimated 6.5 billion hours2 total of lost work across the U.S. due trouble sleeping.
Recognizing the array of needs for education and communication support, as well as the opportunity to drive change, The Alliance for Sleep is developing a roadmap to support patients and healthcare providers in addressing insomnia. Stay up-to-date on the Wake Up America: The Night & Day Impact of Insomnia survey by visiting WakeUpAmericaSurvey.com, where you can also download an executive summary of the results.
Notes to the editor
About the Wake Up America Survey: The Night & Day Impact of Insomnia
The Wake Up America: The Night & Day Impact of Insomnia survey was conducted online within the United States by The Harris Poll on behalf of Idorsia from September to October 2021 among 300 primary care physicians (PCPs), 152 psychiatrists, and 1,001 U.S. adults ages 18+ who have been diagnosed with insomnia by a healthcare provider or who have experienced difficulties sleeping for a period of time (i.e., people with trouble sleeping). Results for each audience were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population.
About The Alliance for Sleep
The Alliance for Sleep is sponsored by Idorsia U.S. and is a multidisciplinary committee built to promote education, awareness, and research on sleep and sleep disorders. Its mission is to advance research, elevate the standard of care, and improve the health and quality of life of those experiencing insomnia and other sleep disorders. Members of The Alliance for Sleep are paid consultants for Idorsia Pharmaceuticals U.S. Inc.
Insomnia is defined as a combination of difficulty obtaining sufficient sleep and dissatisfaction with sleep combined with a significant negative impact on daytime functioning. Chronic insomnia is defined as difficulty initiating and/or maintaining sleep on at least three nights per week for at least three months, despite adequate opportunity to sleep.
Insomnia is a condition of overactive brain activity during sleep, and studies have shown that areas of the brain associated with wakefulness remain more active during sleep in patients with insomnia.
Significant insomnia is a common problem with a prevalence of approximately 10%. On this basis, and assuming a US adult population of around 250 million, there are approximately 25 million adults in the US who suffer from insomnia.
Insomnia as a chronic disorder is different from a brief period of poor sleep, and it can take its toll on both physical and mental health. It can be a persistent condition with a negative impact on daytime functioning. Idorsia’s research has shown that poorquality sleep can affect many aspects of daily life, including the ability to concentrate, mood, and energy levels.
The goals of managing insomnia are to improve sleep quality and quantity, as well as daytime functioning. Current recommended treatment of insomnia includes sleep hygiene recommendations, cognitive behavioral therapy, and pharmacotherapy.
About Idorsia U.S.
Idorsia U.S., an affiliate of Idorsia, is reaching out for more – we have more ideas, we see more opportunities, and we want to help more patients. To achieve this, we will help develop Idorsia into a leading biopharmaceutical company, with a strong scientific core. With commercial operations based outside of Philadelphia, PA, one of densest communities of life sciences talent in the world, we are helping to realize the company’s ambition of bringing innovative medicines from bench to bedside. Our goal is to build a commercial footprint that will deliver Idorsia’s deep pipeline of products from its R&D engine to the U.S. market – with the potential to change the lives of many patients. Idorsia was listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange (ticker symbol: IDIA) in June 2017.
For further information, please contact
Head, U.S. Communications
Idorsia Pharmaceuticals U.S. Inc., One Radnor Corporate Center, Suite 101, 100 Matsonford Rd, Radnor, PA
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1Calculation: $285 spent per person per year (from survey) multiplied by 25 million people with insomnia in the U.S. (source: Bhaskar S, Hemavathy D, Prasad S. Prevalence of chronic insomnia in adult patients and its correlation with medical comorbidities. J Family Med Prim Care. 2016;5(4):780-784. doi:10.4103/2249- 4863.201153)
2Calculation: 8 work hours lost per person per week (from survey) multiplied by 52 weeks in a year and then 15.75 million employed people with trouble sleeping in the U.S. (source: 25 million people with insomnia per Bhaskar S, Hemavathy D, Prasad S. Prevalence of chronic insomnia in adult patients and its correlation with medical comorbidities. J Family Med Prim Care. 2016;5(4):780-784. doi:10.4103/2249-4863.201153) multiplied by 63% (employed, from survey))