Sleep disorders affect 40 percent of Canadians

September 8, 2011

Science Daily/Université Laval

Sleep disorders affect 40% of adult Canadians according to a study conducted by Université Laval researchers under the supervision of Dr. Charles M. Morin. The work of Dr. Morin and his colleagues will be presented at the 4th World Congress on Sleep Medicine which runs September 10-14 in Quebec City, Canada.

 

Although many respondents experienced at least one symptom of insomnia, only 13% said they had consulted a healthcare professional about it. The survey data revealed that Canadians use prescription medicine (10%), natural products (9%), over-the-counter drugs (7%), or alcohol (5%) to treat their sleep problems.

 

Surprisingly, the researchers observed that 9.5% of French speakers suffered from insomnia compared to 14.3% of English speakers. However, French speakers take more prescribed sedatives (13% vs. 9%) and natural products (16% vs. 7%) than English-speaking Canadians.

 

"Many people who suffer from insomnia try to treat the problem themselves rather than consulting a healthcare professional," said Dr. Morin, a professor and researcher at Université Laval's School of Psychology. "This is not a good idea because we don't know the risks and benefits of products that have not been approved by government health agencies," he explained.

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