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Many Experience Insomnia After September 11th
Reuters Health Information - Thurs., Nov. 29, 2001


NEW YORK, Nov 29 (Reuters Health) - Insomnia was more widespread than usual across the United States after the September 11th attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, even among those who live far from where the attacks took place, according to the results of a survey. The survey, from the National Sleep Foundation (NSF), a research institute in Washington, DC, showed that of the 993 American adults interviewed, 44% reported insomnia during the days immediately following the attacks. Sleep problems were more common among women than among men. The region where a person lived played no significant role in whether he or she experienced insomnia, the poll results show.

According to the National Library of Medicine, 25% of Americans occasionally have insomnia, while insomnia is chronic for about 10% of the population. "Sleep problems frequently experienced by those polled in the immediate aftermath of September 11th included: difficulty falling asleep (44%), awakenings during the night (48%) and waking up feeling unrefreshed (50%)," a press release from the NSF states. "Nearly two of out five respondents (39%) said they awakened too early and couldn't get back to sleep. Each of these sleep problems is characterized by a symptom of insomnia by sleep experts," according to the release. The pollsters report that stress and anxiety were the leading causes of frequent night awakenings. "Among those who reported an inability to sleep through the night, 71% attributed the problem to stress and anxiety, while fear (33%), depression (32%) and bad dreams (23%) were other reasons cited," the survey found. The NSF also found that 50% of females surveyed compared with 37% of males reported that they frequently had difficulty falling asleep in the aftermath of the attacks….

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