Whatever its causes, chronic insomnia often has disruptive—even devastating—effects on the lives of its sufferers."
So caution Anthony Kales, MD, director of the Sleep Research and Treatment Center, and Joyce D. Kales, MD, director of the Sleep Disorders Clinic at the College of Medicine, Pennsylvania State University, Hershey.
Their recent book, Evaluation and Treatment of Insomnia (New York, Oxford University Press, 1984), is a "guide to the general practitioner who almost daily is confronted with the problem of evaluating and treating patients with chronic insomnia," the two physicians say.
A 1979 survey of almost 4,500 physicians in the United States indicated that, across all specialties, the physicians estimated that about 20% of adult patients complained of difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep. Psychiatrists reported the highest prevalence, with approximately 32% of their patients suffering from insomnia (Am J Psychiatry 1979; 136:1257-1262; Soc Sci Med 1976;10:239-244; Selected Symptoms of Psychological Distress