Beware Risky Sleep Drug Usage in Older Americans, All for a Good Night's Sleep

July 9, 2014 12:23 PM

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Beware Risky Sleep Drug Usage in Older Americans, All for a Good Night's Sleep

Before you reach into your medicine drawer tonight, read this. Insomnia is the most common sleep complaint among Americans and affects about 25 percent of the U.S. adult population who report either trouble falling asleep or difficulty staying asleep. [1] It is estimated that 50-70 million Americans have chronic insomnia, a sleep disruption occurring at least three times a week and lasting for more than a month. [2] Women report more problems falling asleep, tend to be more sleep deprived and are at greater risk for insomnia than men. [3]

As we age, the problem gets worse. Older Americans, those age 65 or older, make up 13 percent of our population, with a third of them taking prescription medications and 30 percent of those taking over-the-counter (OTC) medication. [4] A recent conference on the use of OTC sleep aids in the elderly,...

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