Chronic Insomnia Disorder across Europe: Expert Opinion on Challenges and Opportunities to Improve Care

Jason Ellis, Luigi Ferini-Strambi, Diego García-Borreguero, Anna Heidbreder, David O’Regan, Liborio Parrino, Hugh Selsick, Thomas Penzel*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
36 Downloads (Pure)


One in ten adults in Europe have chronic insomnia, which is characterised by frequent and persistent difficulties initiating and/or maintaining sleep and daily functioning impairments. Regional differences in practices and access to healthcare services lead to variable clinical care across Europe. Typically, a patient with chronic insomnia (a) will usually present to a primary care physician; (b) will not be offered cognitive behavioural therapy for insomnia—the recommended first-line treatment; (c) will instead receive sleep hygiene recommendations and eventually pharmacotherapy to manage their long-term condition; and (d) will use medications such as GABA receptor agonists for longer than the approved duration. Available evidence suggests that patients in Europe have multiple unmet needs, and actions for clearer diagnosis of chronic insomnia and effective management of this condition are long overdue. In this article, we provide an update on the clinical management of chronic insomnia in Europe. Old and new treatments are summarised with information on indications, contraindications, precautions, warnings, and side effects. Challenges of treating chronic insomnia in European healthcare systems, considering patients’ perspectives and preferences are presented and discussed. Finally, suggestions are provided—with healthcare providers and healthcare policy makers in mind—for strategies to achieve the optimal clinical management.
Original languageEnglish
Article number716
Number of pages23
JournalHealthcare (Switzerland)
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 28 Feb 2023

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