Insomnia can lead to "substantial long-term effects" on sufferers' physical and mental health, according to new research, meaning it has never been more important for doctors to question patients who struggle to sleep in their divan beds in a bid to get to the root of their problem.
In a review published by the Lancet, it was revealed that 70 per cent of insomnia sufferers continue to experience their symptoms a year down the line, while half live with the problem three years later. As a result, they are left open to conditions like high blood pressure, diabetes and depression.
The lead authors of the review - Dr Charles Morin from the Université Laval in Québec City and Ruth Benca from the University of Wisconsin in Madison - emphasised the need for routine questioning of patients about their sleep problems.
"There is an urgent need for more public education about sleep and broader dissemination of evidence-based therapies for insomnia, and education and training to prepare health-practitioners to attend and treat insomnia complaints according to clinical guidelines."