Insomnia is an expensive sleep disorder, costing the U.S. $100 billion for those who are untreated. The researchers of the study suggest providing drug and behavioral therapy treatments for those who have untreated insomnia could lead to significant health care savings.
Nearly one in five Americans have difficulties falling or staying asleep. The researchers reviewed previous research to come up with their estimate of how much insomnia costs. Their estimates range from $28 billion to $216 billion based on insomnia’s toll on workplace performance, high accident rates, and greater use of health care services.
There are effective insomnia treatments available, but sadly many sufferers of insomnia do not receive the treatment they require in order to get the sleep they need.
Access to care is another problem, as lead researcher Emerson Wickwire explained, “Payers, such as health insurers, have historically underfunded insomnia treatment, in part because they have not been sure what the payoff is.”
Dr. E. Albert Reece, vice president for medical affairs at the University of Maryland, commented on the study, “Cost-effectiveness is a key part of current health care research. This timely review presents information that may help policymakers determine the most effective, most efficient ways to improve the quality of sleep, which is a fundamental health requirement.”
The findings were published in Sleep Medicine Reviews.