A Sleepless Nation 70 Million Strong

A Sleepless Nation 70 Million Strong

A Sleepless Nation 70 Million Strong
A new report by the National Academies Institute of​ Medicine shows that between 50 and ​ 70 million Americans struggle with chronic sleep problems, and ​ according to the United States Surgeon General, sleep deprivation and ​ disorders cost the nation $15 billion in health care expenses and ​ $50 billion in lost productivity each year.
A lack of​ sleep can take a​ toll both psychologically and ​ physically, from daytime sleepiness to weakened immune systems. ​
Longterm sleep deprivation leads to problems that can include memory lapses, depression, irritability and ​ impaired work performance.
To win the battle over sleepless nights, many Americans are turning to medication. ​
In 2018, 42 million prescriptions for sleeping pills were filled. ​
An analysis by Medco Health Solutions, Inc. ​
found that the number of​ adults ages 20 to 44 using sleeping medications rose 128 percent between 2000 and ​ 2018, and ​ was up 114 percent among 10 to 19yearolds in that same time period.
Insomnia is the most common sleep disorder, affecting between 30 and ​ 40 percent of​ adults within a​ given year. ​
Other sleep disorders include sleep apneaa temporary suspension of​ breathing that occurs throughout the nightand restless leg syndrome, which is characterized by intense discomfort, mostly felt in the legs when at ​ rest. ​
One of​ the first steps to relieving sleep problems is to talk to your doctor or​ pharmacist about it. ​

Here are some tips for insomniacs
• Keep to a​ regular sleep schedule Go to sleep and ​ wake up at ​ about the same time each day, even on weekends.
• Exercise regularly Exercise done early in the day can reduce stress and ​ help put you to sleep at ​ night.
• Watch what you eat and ​ drink Avoid alcohol, caffeine and ​ meals close to bedtime, but a​ cup of​ warm milk can help make you sleepy.
• Unplug This is particularly important for teens with sleep problemsmake sure the bedroom is free of​ computers, video games, TVs and ​ phones.
Sleep troubles can be a​ symptom of​ a​ physical or​ psychological condition that requires treatment, so its important to see your doctor if ​ your sleep problem persists. ​
Depending on the diagnosis, your physician may recommend a​ behavioral therapy and ​ possibly ​Drug​ treatments for serious sleep disorders. ​
Medications include both overthecounter and ​ prescription ​Drug​s called hypnotics. ​
​Drug​ therapy is usually only recommended for shortterm use. ​
a​ combination of​ medication and ​ behavioral interventions is often more effective than either approach alone for those with chronic insomnia.
As many as​ one in four Americans report trouble sleeping.

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