Study authors Yinong Chong, Cheryl D. Fryar and Dr. Qiuping Gu of the National Center for Health Statistics, part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said studies on sleep aid use are mostly based on the number of times sleep aid prescriptions were filled rather than how many people actually used prescription sleep aids.
This report provides the first person-based national data on prescription sleep aid use among the non-institutionalized U.S. adult population, the researchers said.
Approximately 4 percent of U.S. adults ages 20 and older reported using a prescription sleep aid in the past month. Those most likely to use a sleeping aid were non-Hispanic white adult women who were better educated.
Prescription sleep aid use varied by sleep duration and was highest among adults who slept fewer than 5 hours -- 6 percent -- or sleep 9 or more hours -- 5.3 percent, the report said.
One-in-6 adults with a diagnosed sleep disorder and 1-in-8 adults with trouble sleeping reported using sleep aids, the researchers said.