Economic burden of insomnia symptoms in Canada


To estimate health care and productivity costs associated with insomnia symptoms in Canadian adults.


Three pieces of information were needed to calculate estimates based on a prevalence-based approach: (1) the pooled relative risk estimates of health outcomes consistently associated with insomnia symptoms obtained from recent meta-analyses of prospective cohort studies; (2) the direct (health care) and indirect (lost productivity due to premature mortality) costs of these health outcomes using the Economic Burden of Illness in Canada information; and (3) the prevalence of insomnia symptoms in Canadian men (18.1%) and women (29.5%) obtained from a nationally-representative survey.


The direct, indirect, and total costs of insomnia symptoms in Canada in 2021 were $1.9 billion, $12.6 million, and $1.9 billion, respectively. This value represents 1.9% of the overall burden of illness costs for 2021 in Canada. The 2 most expensive chronic diseases attributable to insomnia symptoms were type 2 diabetes ($754 million) and depression ($706 million). The main contributor to the costs for type 2 diabetes and depression was prescription drugs. A 5% decrease in insomnia symptoms (from 23.8% to 18.8%) would result in an estimated $353 million in avoided costs while a 5% increase in insomnia symptoms (from 23.8% to 28.8%) would result in an estimated $333 million in additional expenditures yearly.

Lead Researchers

Link to Publication


  1. Jean-Philippe Chaput

    Senior Scientist, CHEO Research Institute

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