Put Down The Sleep Meds, Says Consumer Reports Magazine
According to the upcoming September issue of Consumer Reports magazine, too many people are dependent on both prescription sleep medications and over the counter sleep aids. The magazine staff performed a nation wide survey and discovered that forty-four percent of Americans are problem sleepers. Sleep problems are defined as difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, or consistently waking up too early. Furthermore, one in five Americans use prescription or over-the-counter drugs – and twenty-four percent became dependent on those sleep aids.
Obviously, America’s sleeplessness is a major issue; however, using drugs to combat the problem is only masking the underlying cause, and those drugs pose significant risks in regard to long-term dependency and other potential health risks.
Prescription sleep medications are an incredibly popular solution to sleep problems for many people – in fact, in 2007 over twenty-four million prescriptions were written for the four best selling sleep medications alone, and the two most popular were also the most heavily advertised prescription drugs (to the tune of $500 million), Ambien CR and Lunesta. Judging from those numbers, it is no wonder that exhausted Americans are turning to sleeping pills more often than ever, despite the dangers.
Fortunately, another Consumer Reports survey had more positive findings. Many individuals found that sound machines, muscle relaxation techniques, and other non-pharmaceutical sleep aids (such as Speed Sleep) worked equally well to help them fall asleep and stay asleep.