Saturday, August 31, 2013

CDC's report on sleeping pills

This article discusses the recent report by the CDC on sleep pill usage that showed 4% of adults have used sleep aids in the past month, that more older people use sleeping aids, and that more women than men use sleep aids.

A new study shows that many Americans continually look to sleep aids in order to get a good night's rest. In fact, around 4 percent of Americans use prescription sleep aids, according to the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC). Yet many still question the drug's side effects and effectiveness.
A national survey between 2005 and 2010 showed that about 4 percent of adults ages 20 and over reported taking prescription sleep aids in the past 30 days. Approximately 2 percent of the younger age group, 20 to 39, reported using sleeping pills, while 6 percent ranging in age from 50 to 59 reported using them. Ages 80 and up reported a 7 percent use.
The study showed that the rate of use also depended on gender, race and ethnicity. For instance, about 5 percent of women used prescription sleep aids compared to about 3 percent of men. While adults were also more likely to use sleep aids than black or Mexican-American men.
"More authorities think that use of sleeping pills should be minimized," said Dr. Daniel Kripke, professor emeritus of psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego, via Live Science.
Prescription sleep aids can be used as a treatment for those who have trouble falling asleep as many of the medications can work by suppressing activities in the nervous system. In fact, some estimates show that 50 to 70 million Americans suffer from sleep disorders or deprivation. This problem can greatly harm their daily function and may also adversely affect their health, according to CDC researchers.
Researchers looked at 33,000 people to find that the use of common sleep medications caused a greater risk of dying prematurely and even some type of cancer.
The CDC survey showed that when people slept for durations of greater or less than 7 hours, sleep aids use often increased. As for people who slept less than five hours a day, they were more likely to sleep nine hours a day and had the highest use of prescription sleep aid compared to those who reported getting seven hours a day.
Findings also showed that one in six people were diagnosed with a sleep disorder and up to one in eight reported problems with sleep. However, it's not clear whether the medications are effective at helping patients get a good night's rest or helping them feel refreshed in the morning.
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