Exploring Insomnia, Workplace Productivity, and Healthcare Utilization

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The cross-sectional analysis found a significant association between greater insomnia severity and worsened quality of life, decreased productivity, and increased healthcare resource utilization.

When evaluating workplace productivity, individuals with severe insomnia experienced higher levels of work impairment, indicating a decreased level of productivity, in a recent study. Those with more intense insomnia symptoms also exhibited higher healthcare resource utilization, such as frequent healthcare visits, medications, and hospitalizations.

Insomnia is a common sleep disorder that affects millions of people worldwide, causing difficulty in falling or staying asleep, or waking up too early and being unable to go back to sleep. The condition can have a negative impact on many aspects of an individual’s life, including their physical and mental health, work productivity, and their ability or motivation to seek healthcare resources.

Investigators noted that despite this, little is known about the specific associations between insomnia severity, insomnia symptoms, and key health outcomes.

François-Xavier Chalet, Idorsia Pharmaceuticals Ltd., Hegenheimermattweg 91, and investigators aimed to address this knowledge gap, by conducting a retrospective, cross-sectional analysis using 2020 United States National Health and Wellness Survey (NHWS) data. The study sought to determine the associations between insomnia severity and a number of health outcomes relevant to patients, employers, and healthcare payers.

Lower Physical and Mental Competency

Results demonstrated that greater insomnia severity was significantly associated with worsened quality of life, decreased productivity, and increased healthcare resource utilization in a clear linear pattern.

Specifically, individuals with more severe insomnia symptoms had lower physical and mental component summary scores on the Short Form-36v2 (SF-36v2) questionnaire, indicating an inferior health-related quality of life (HRQoL).

Additionally, these individuals displayed lower health utility scores on the Short Form-6D (SF-6D) and EuroQoL-5D (EQ-5D) questionnaires, resulting in overall weaker health status.

Implications of Severe Insomnia

To examine this population, investigators used the Insomnia Severity Index (ISI) questionnaire to assess overall insomnia severity. The ISI is a validated tool used to measure the severity of insomnia symptoms in individuals, with scores ranging from 0-28, with higher scores indicating greater insomnia severity.

Health-related quality of life was assessed using the physical and mental component summary scores of the SF-36v2 questionnaire. Along with that, health utility status was measured using the SF-6D, as well as the EQ-5D, questionnaire.

Workplace productivity was determined according to scoring based on the Work Productivity and Activity Impairment (WPAI) questionnaire, while healthcare resource utilization was gauged by analyzing the number of healthcare visits, medications, and hospitalizations.

These findings have important implications for future research and clinical practice, according to the study, which underscored the need for specific assessment of insomnia symptoms and their impact on key health outcomes, including quality of life, workplace productivity, and healthcare resource utilization.

Investigators stressed that with this information, clinicians may be able to better understand the impact of insomnia on their patients and develop more effective treatment plans. It can also inform policymakers and employers about the potential economic and societal costs of untreated insomnia.

“It is well-established that insomnia is associated with increased health and economic burdens, with costs borne by patients, payers, employers, and society,” investigators wrote. “Our findings are, thus, consistent with, and build upon, previous results by utilizing the ISI, a validated measure of insomnia severity, to examine the associations between insomnia severity and a number of key outcomes that matter to patients, payers, and employers."


  1. Chalet F-X, Saskin P, Ahuja A, Thompson J, Olopoenia A, Modi K, Morin CM, Wickwire EM. The Associations between Insomnia Severity and Health Outcomes in the United States. Journal of Clinical Medicine. 2023; 12(6):2438.