The epidemiology of sleep disorders in Israel: results from a population-wide study

Naama Fund*, Amit Green, Gabriel Chodick, Melanie Orin, Gideon Koren, Varda Shalev, Yaron Dagan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Studies on the prevalence of sleep disorders have found great variability due to different data collection methods and case definitions. We aimed at assessing the prevalence of sleep disorders in a large, unselected population using validated clinical patient records. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first large clinically based study on sleep disorders. Methods: This retrospective study used the computerized data of 2.3 million members of Maccabi Healthcare Services (MHS) public mandated health provider. Among enrolled MHS members alive in June 2018, electronic medical records were searched from January 2010 for sleep disorders using diagnosis codes, sleep medications, and recorded sleep studies. Results: A total of 195,201 patients (9% of the total MHS population) were identified. Patients were 48.3% men and the average age at diagnosis was 50.4 years (SD = 20.9). Prevalence increased with age; 3.2% in children under 10 years, 5.2% in young adults, and 22.3% among seniors aged 75 or older. The two most prevalent disorders were insomnia (7.4%), and sleep-related breathing disorders (2%). Less prevalent disorders included central disorders of hypersomnolence (100 per 100,000), circadian rhythm sleep–wake disorders (49 per 100,000), parasomnias (140 per 100,000), and sleep-related movement disorders (20 per 100,000). Conclusions: The overall prevalence of sleep disorders including insomnia and sleep related breathing disorders in Israel were similar to other western countries despite stressful life events of ongoing war and terrorism. The large sample size allowed us to calculate the prevalence of more rare sleep disorders, which have been generally less known.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)120-127
Number of pages8
JournalSleep Medicine
StatePublished - Mar 2020


  • Circadian rhythm sleep–wake disorders
  • Hypersomnolence
  • Insomnia
  • Sleep disorders
  • Sleep-related breathing disorders
  • Sleep-related movement disorders


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