Epidemiology of insomnia in France

Institut de Veille Sanitaire, Département Maladies Chroniques et Traumatismes, 94410 Saint-Maurice, France.
Revue d Épidémiologie et de Santé Publique (Impact Factor: 0.59). 12/2011; 59(6):409-22. DOI: 10.1016/j.respe.2011.05.005
Source: PubMed


Sleep is usually considered as a factor for good health and personal equilibrium. However, the epidemiology of insomnia, which is the most frequent of sleep disorders, is still unknown in France.
All epidemiological studies concerning the prevalence of insomnia and its associated factors carried out in France and published between 1980 and 2009 have been extracted from Medline. Subsequently, a research of reports not indexed in Medline has been carried out in the national Public health Database. We also sought the presence of questions concerning sleep disorders in questionnaires and reports from health surveys in the general population.
In the general population, six specific studies had been undertaken between 1987 and 2003 while there had been eight occupational studies between 1980 and 2000. Surveys in schoolchildren and in students focused on the daytime tiredness due to lack of sleep but few studies investigated insomnia in children and teenagers. Methodological differences as well as the heterogeneity in the definition of the disorders yielded very diverse prevalences. Between 30 and 50% of adults in France declared the presence of at least one sleep disorder while the prevalence of insomnia using the DSM-IV criteria concerned between 15 and 20% of the population. Women reported sleep disorders more frequently than men. Sleep disorders were associated with work absenteeism. Comorbidity with anxiety and depressive disorders has also been highlighted in several studies.
Surveillance of sleep disorders appears as an important public health issue requiring prior standardization of questionnaires and survey methods.

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