Nearly 25% of Taiwanese experience insomnia

Study finds Taiwanese consume over 920 million sleeping pills a year

(Freepik photo)

(Freepik photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Nearly a quarter of Taiwanese have trouble falling asleep at night, according to a survey conducted by the National Suicide Prevention Center (NSPC) in July.

The survey results, released Saturday (Sept. 26) during the 2020 National Health Research Institutes (NHRI) Forum, showed that 23.3 percent of Taiwanese aged 15 and older had suffered insomnia in the week prior to taking the survey. Additionally, 4.2 million people had used sleeping aids on a regular basis, with the consumption of sleeping pills this year estimated to top 920 million.

NSPC Director Lee Ming-been (李明濱) noted that the percentage of Taiwanese experiencing sleeping difficulties is the lowest since 2006, but it is still very high. He added that this year's survey results were consistent with those of previous years and show that nearly one out of every four Taiwanese has insomnia.

Lee said the convenience of the country's healthcare system may have contributed to this prevalence. He said it is important for the government to consider limiting access to the medications, especially since they are used by 30 to 40 percent of Taiwanese who attempt suicide.

Lee emphasized that sleeping pills are not the only way to reduce sleep issues and that a heavy dependency on sedatives is cause for concern. He said the key to overcoming insomnia is identifying its main cause and creating a restful environment through relief strategies and behavioral treatment, reported Cnews.