Insomnia is a common sleep problem for adults. The National Institutes of Health estimates that roughly 30 percent of the general population complains of sleep disruption, and approximately 10 percent have associated symptoms of daytime functional impairment consistent with the diagnosis of insomnia.
In a 2005 National Sleep Foundation (NSF) Poll, more than half of people reported at least one symptom of insomnia (difficulty falling asleep, waking up a lot during the night, waking up too early and not being able to get back to sleep, or waking up feeling un-refreshed) at least a few nights per week within the past year. Thirty-three percent said they had at least one of these symptoms every night or almost every night in the past year. The two most common symptoms, experienced at least a few nights a week in the past year, included waking up feeling unrefreshed and waking up a lot during the night. A 2002 NSF Poll found that 63 percent of women (versus 54 percent of men) experienced symptoms of insomnia at least a few nights per week.
Other polls have found interesting trends associated with insomnia. For example, 68 percent of adults ages 18 to 29 report experiencing symptoms of insomnia, compared with 59 percent of adults ages 30 to 64, and only 44 percent of people over the age of 65. Not surprisingly, parents report more insomnia symptoms than adults without children in the household (66 vs. 54 percent).