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Common Facts About Insomnia & Sleep

Research shows that 83 million Americans have chronic insomnia, however 80% avoid sleep aids for fear of next day drowsiness, adverse complications with other medications, or fear of addiction.

Over 50% of business travelers suffer from some form of insomnia. Lack of sleep often results in next day problems which include impaired judgment, lack of creativity, impaired memory, and occasionally depression/anxiety symptoms.

Fibromyalgia is considered to be a common, lifelong rheumatic disorder which is responsible for amplified pain that shoots through the body. Depressed fibromyalgia patients are often more troubled by sleep problems than their sadness. They spend less time in deep, slow wave sleep (delta sleep). Nearly 90% of patients with severe depression have early morning insomnia—meaning they wake up a few hours before scheduled and cannot return to sleep.

Sleep-related accidents were linked to as many as 2.5 million disabling injuries a year, along with annual costs of over $60 billion. Longer commuter distances are increasing the number of auto accidents.

Menopause is considered to be about one year after menstrual periods have stopped. From peri-menopause to post-menopause, women report the most sleep problems. Symptoms in addition to insomnia often include hot flashes, mood swings, sleep disordered breathing and depression and anxiety. Sleep can be helped by avoiding alcohol, caffeine and nicotine during the day and avoiding sleeping pills. Relaxation exercises, meditation, warm bath or Jacuzzi, and other relaxation methods can enhance and reduce symptoms of insomnia.

Sleep Deficits can contribute to a shortened life span. Mortality rates are higher for individuals who sleep less than 6.5 hours per night.

During the second or third trimester of pregnancy, an expectant mother’s sleep efficiency is significantly reduced. Sleep disturbances also contribute to post partum depression and compromise the general physical and mental well-being of new mothers.

A common side effect of many prescription medications is disrupting of the sleep cycle, causing fatigue, memory loss, irritability, poor concentration, anxiety and depression. A partial list of medications disrupting sleep includes: Ritalin (for ADD problems), Beta blockers (high blood pressure, arrhythmias, angina), pain killers containing caffeine, Clonedine (hypertension), Anti-inflammatories, Respiratory meds, thyroid meds, and steroids.

Adolescents are noted for their daytime drowsiness. Because of rapid growth, teenagers need about an hour more sleep than they did as young children. However, most actually sleep an hour or so less. Difficulty in sleep onset often makes it difficult to awaken on time and produces daytime drowsiness, creating a multitude of problems with parents and relatives.

Sleeping medications either prescription or over the counter, when taken for long periods of time, often will make older individuals appear to suffer from dementia – including symptoms of slowed and or slurred speech, impaired thinking and memory problems.


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