National Sleep Foundation

Chapter 2: Insomnia

Consequences

Partial or total lack of sleep, disturbed sleep, and/or poor quality sleep can dramatically change an individual’s thinking and behavior and negatively impact his or her physical, mental, and emotional health.

Common daytime consequences of insomnia include: fatigue, lack of energy, daytime sleepiness, impaired concentration and/or memory, social or vocational dysfunction, and disturbances in mood and/or motivation.

Insomnia has several significant direct and indirect effects on one’s health that can increase functional impairment; decrease quality of life; 1, 2  increase psychological and psychiatric problems; reduce cognitive and psychomotor functioning;3 increase absenteeism from work and/or school;4,5 decreased job performance; 6 and increase use of health care services. 7, 8

Insomnia has also been associated with several chronic health problems including heart disease,9 hypertension, endocrine dysfunction,10 and musculoskeletal problems such as arthritis.11 12, 13, 14  In healthy human volunteers, even one night of total sleep deprivation can decrease cognitive functioning,16, 17  impair memory,18, 19   reduce endocrine and metabolic functioning,  and cause cardiovascular dysfunction.21

References

  1. National Sleep Foundation (NSF). Sleep in America poll. Arlington: NSF, 2005. Available at: http://sleepfoundation.org.
  2. Leger D, Scheuermaier K, Paillard M, et al. SF-36: evaluation of quality of life in severe and mild insomniacs compared with good sleepers. Psychosom Med. 2001;63:49-55.
  3. Riemann D, Voderholzer U. Primary insomnia: a risk factor to develop depression? J Affect Disord. 2003;76:255-259.
  4. Walsh JK. Clinical and socioeconomic correlates of insomnia. J Clin Psychiatry. 2004;65(suppl 8):13-19.
  5. Daley M, Morin CM, LeBlanc M, Gregoire JP, Savard J, Baillargeon L. Insomnia and its relationship to health-care utilization, work absenteeism, productivity and accidents. Sleep Med 2009;10:427-438.
  6. Schweitzer PK, Engelhardt CL, Hilliker NA, Muehlback MJ, Walsh JK. Consequences of reported poor sleep. Sleep Res. 1992;21:260.
  7. Simon GE, VonKorff M. Prevalence, burden, and treatment of insomnia in primary care. Am J Psychiatry. 1997;154:1417-1423.
  8. Leger D, Guilleminault C, Bader G, Levy E, Paillard M. Medical and socio-professional impact of insomnia. Sleep. 2002;25:625-629.
  9. Janson C, Lindberg E, Gislason T, Elmasry A, Boman G. Insomnia in men-a 10-year prospective population based study. Sleep. 2001;24:425-430.
  10. Institute of Medicine (IOM) Committee on Sleep Medicine and Research, Colten HR and Altevogt BM (ed.), Sleep Disorders and Sleep Deprivation: An Unmet Public Health Problem, Washington, DC: National Academy of Sciences, 2006.
  11. Bloom BJ, Owens JA, McGuinn M, Nobile C, Schaeffer L, Alario AJ. Sleep and its relationship to pain, dysfunction, and disease activity in juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. J Rheumatol. 2002;29:169-173.
  12. Moldofsky H. Sleep and pain. Sleep Med Rev. 2001;5:385-396.
  13. Ohayon M. Epidemiological study on insomnia in the general population. Sleep. 1996;19(supp 13):S7-S15.
  14. Roberts RE, Shema SJ, Kaplan GA. Prospective data on sleep complaints and associated risk factors in an older cohort. Psychosom Med. 1999;61:188-196.
  15. Belenky G, Wesenstein NJ, Thorne DR, et al. Patterns of performance degradation and restoration during sleep restriction and subsequent recovery: A sleep dose-response study. J Sleep Res. 2003;12:1-12.
  16. Vgontzas AN, Papanicolaou DA, Bixler EO, et al. Circadian interleukin-6 secretion and quantity and depth of sleep. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 1999;84:2603-2607.
  17. Heuer H, Kohlisch O, Klein W. The effects of total sleep deprivation on the generation of random sequences of key-presses, numbers and nouns. Q J Exp Psychol A. 2005;58:275-307.
  18. Nilsson JP, Soderstrom M, Karlsson AU, et al. Less effective executive functioning after one night's sleep deprivation. J Sleep Res. 2005;14:1-6.
  19. Copinschi G. Metabolic and endocrine effects of sleep deprivation. Essent Psychopharmacol. 2005;6:341-347
  20. Smith C. Sleep states and memory processes in humans: procedural versus declarative memory systems. Sleep Med Rev. 2001;5:491-506.