Prevalence of common sleep disorders in a middle-aged community sample

Nigel McArdle, Amy Reynolds, David Hillman, Eric K. Moses, Kathleen J. Maddison, Phillip E. Melton, Peter Eastwood

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Study Objectives: There is a paucity of contemporary prevalence estimates for common sleep disorders of insomnia, obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), and restless legs syndrome. We aimed to assess the prevalence of clinically significant common sleep disorders in a middle-aged community sample. Methods: Parents of participants in the community-based Raine Study underwent assessments between 2015 and 2017, including comprehensive questionnaires, anthropometric measures, and in-laboratory polysomnography. Clinically significant sleep disorders were defined as chronic insomnia using the Pittsburgh Sleep Symptom Questionnaire–Insomnia with duration criterion ≥ 3 months; OSA as apnea-hypopnea index ≥ 5 events/h with excessive sleepiness (Epworth Sleepiness Scale ≥ 11) or apnea-hypopnea index ≥ 15 events/h (even in the absence of symptoms); restless legs syndrome when participants endorsed the International Restless Legs Syndrome Study Group diagnostic criteria (2003) with symptoms ≥ 5 times/month involving moderate–severe distress. Results: At least 1 sleep-related assessment was completed by 1,005 (female = 586, 58.3%) middle-aged (45–65 years) participants, 72.5% of eligible Raine Study parents. The respective prevalences for clinically significant disease in females and males were as follows: OSA, 24.0% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 20.5–27.7) and 47.3% (95% CI: 42.2–53.4); insomnia, 15.8% (95% CI: 13.1–19.0) and 9.3% (95% CI: 6.8–12.4); restless legs syndrome, 3.7% (95% CI: 2.4–5.4) and 2.2% (95% CI: 1.1–3.9). At least 1 sleep disorder was present in 42.9% of those with complete data on all assessments (n = 895). Conclusions: Common sleep disorders are highly prevalent, to a clinically important extent, in an Australian community sample of middle-aged adults. Contemporary OSA prevalence is notably higher than previously reported and further work is needed to determine the communal impact of OSA.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1503–1514
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Clinical Sleep Medicine
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2022


  • insomnia
  • restless legs syndrome
  • obstructive sleep apnea
  • community prevalence


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