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Insomnia most prevalent in women

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia). Base: Australians aged 14+ (January–December 2009): n= 18,916

A new study utilising the Roy Morgan Health Care Monitor has identified that insomnia is a serious health issue for women. There are approximately 2 million people in Australia who report suffering from insomnia, and women are more likely to be affected than men.

In the 12 months to December 2009, 11.3% of Australians aged 14+ (approximately 2 million people) reported suffering from insomnia in the previous 12 months. Women (15.3%), and middle aged people (14.2% of those 50-64), report disproportionally higher rates of insomnia than the average person aged 14+. Women are more than twice as likely to report insomnia as men.

Insomnia by Age/Sex

Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia). Base: Australians aged 14+ (January—December 2009): n= 18,916.

Richard Vantuno, Account Director, Roy Morgan Research, says:

“The higher prevalence of older and lower socio-economic profiles associated with many medical conditions is not the case when it comes to insomnia. Those reporting suffering from insomnia in the last 12 months are typically female, middle aged, and cut across all socio-economic segments of the population 14+.  It was also found that the environment at home has a significant bearing on the likelihood of reporting insomnia, with higher prevalence amongst the unemployed and the underemployed and amongst those who are divorced or separated.

“Attitudes of people suffering from insomnia reflect a dark side to the condition. Those people reporting insomnia are much more likely to agree with the statements ‘When I'm at home, I like to shut myself off from the rest of the world’, and ‘I find it difficult to switch off from work’ compared to the average Australian 14+.  Conversely, this group is less likely to agree with the statement I like to be with a crowd of people, ‘It is important to have a full social life”, and ‘I look for new experiences every day’, reflecting the overall emotional state of those with insomnia.

“People with insomnia are more likely to experience symptoms relating to anxiety, stress, or depressionPeople suffering from insomnia are more than three times as likely to report anxiety or mood disorders such as depression, and twice as likely to report suffering from stress than the population 14+.  This highlights the need for professional assessment in patients reporting insomnia.

“This exciting new series of health studies by Roy Morgan provides an understanding of a respondent’s illnesses or use of medicines, which, when combined with a view of their associated risk factors, becomes extremely valuable.  Roy Morgan Single Source takes it even further by providing in-depth insights into respondents’ behaviour and attitudes.”