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Chronic Insomnia / Insomnia Disorder


Insomnia is a very common sleep disorder which negatively impacts health and leads to increased healthcare costs.

Population-based studies suggest that 30-60% of the general population have complaints of nocturnal insomnia symptoms, while approximately 10-15% report chronic nocturnal symptoms and associated daytime functional impairment consistent with the diagnosis of insomnia disorder.1

Insomnia disorder may be more prevalent in specific populations with predisposing and precipitating risk factors for insomnia.

For the past 6 years, the RACGP Health of the Nation survey of Australian GPs has reported that sleeping problems are among the most common reasons that patients present to a GP.2

Figure. Percentage of nocturnal and daytime insomnia related symptoms in the general population 3, 4


Insomnia disorder negatively impacts mental and physical health and leads to increased healthcare costs and reduced productivity and quality of life, equating to approximately $11 billion annually in Australia.5

Many patients suffering symptoms of insomnia may not report this to their GP. For example, in the BEACH study, ~4% of GP consultations were related to insomnia in 2013-14.6, 7


AHI - Apnoea-Hypopnoea Index
BBTi - Brief Behavioural Therapy for Insomnia
BMI - Body Mass Index (kg/m2)
BQ - Berlin Questionnaire
CBTi - Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Insomnia
CELL - Coblation Endoscopic Lingual Lightening
COPD - Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
CVA - Cerebrovascular Accident
CPAP - Continuous Positive Airway Pressure
CSA - Central Sleep Apnoea
DASS - Depression Anxiety Stress Scale
DBAS - Dysfunctional Beliefs and Attitudes about Sleep
DBP - Diastolic Blood Pressure
DIMS - Difficulties Initiating and/or Maintaining Sleep
DISE - Drug-Induced Sleep Endoscopy
DISS - Daytime Insomnia Symptom Scale
ENT - Ear Nose and Throat
ESS - Epworth Sleepiness Scale
FOSQ - Functional Outcomes of Sleep Questionnaire
FSH - Follicle-Stimulating Hormone
FTP - Friedman Tong Position
GP - General Practitioner
HANDI - RACGP Handbook of Non-Drug Interventions
HGNS - Hypoglossal Herve Htimulation
ISI - Insomnia Severity Index
K10 - Kessler Psychological Distress Scale
MAD - Mandibular Advancement Device
MAS - Mandibular Advancement Rplint
MBS - Medicare Benefits Schedule
MMA - Maxillomandibular Advancement Surgery
MRA - Mandibular Repositioning Appliance
ODI - Oxygenation Desaturation Index
OSA - Obstructive Sleep Apnoea
PLMD - Periodic Limb Movement Disorder
PT - Positional Therapy
PTSD - Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
PSG - Polysomnography
QSQ - Quebec Sleep Questionnaire
REM - Rapid Eye Movement
RFTB - Radiofrequency Thermotherapy of the Tongue Base
SBP - Systolic Blood Pressure
SCI - Sleep Condition Indicator
SE - Sleep Efficiency
SF36 - Short-Form (36) Health Survey
SMILE - Submucosal Minimally Invasive Lingual Excision
SNRIs - Serotonin-Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors
SOL - Sleep Onset Latency
SSRI - Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors
TFTs - Thyroid Function Tests
TIB - Time In Bed
TORS - Transoral Robotic Surgery
TST - Total Sleep Time
UPPP - Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty
WASO - Wake After Sleep Onset

Quick links


  1. Reynolds A, et al. Chronic insomnia disorder in Australia: A report to the Sleep Health Foundation. Sleep Health Foundation Special Report 2019
  2. https://www.racgp.org.au/general-practice-health-of-the-nation-2022
  3. Reynolds et al. Chronic Insomnia Disorder in Australia. A Report to the Sleep Health Foundation 2019
  4. Ohayon M Sleep Medicine Reviews 2002;6(2):97-111
  5. Deloitte Access Economics. Asleep on the job. Costs of inadequate sleep in Australia. Deloitte Access Economics 2017
  6. Family Medicine Research Centre, University of Sydney. SAND abstract No. 212 from the BEACH program: The prevalence of common chronic conditions in patients at general practice encounters 2012–14. Sydney: FMRC University of Sydney, 2014
  7. Grima NA, et al. Insomnia management. Australian Journal of General Practice, Formerly Australian Family Physician (AFP) 2019;48(4)