A Sleepless Nation 70 Million Strong

A new report from the National Academies’ Institute of Medicine shows that between 50 and 70 million Americans have chronic sleep problems. According to the United States general surgeon, sleep deprivation and sleep disorders cost the nation $ 15 billion in health care costs and a loss of productivity of $ 50 billion a year.

Lack of sleep can take a toll, both mentally and physically, from daytime fatigue to a weakened immune system. Long-term sleep deprivation leads to problems such as memory disorders, depression, irritability and impaired work performance.

To win the fight over sleepless nights, many Americans turn to medication. In 2005, 42 million sleeping pill recipes were filled. An analysis by Medco Health Solutions, Inc. found that the number of adults aged 20 to 44 years using sleeping pills increased by 128 percent between 2000 and 2005 and by 114 to 10 to 19 year olds in the same period Percent has increased / p>

Insomnia is the most common sleep disorder, affecting 30 to 40 percent of adults within a given year. Other sleep disorders include sleep apnea – a temporary interruption in breathing that occurs during the night – and restless leg syndrome, which is characterized by severe discomfort, which usually occurs in the legs 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 insomnia:

• Stick to a regular sleep schedule: go to sleep and wake up at about the same time each day, including on weekends.

• Regular exercise: Exercises performed early in the day can reduce stress and help you fall asleep at night.

• Pay attention to what you eat and drink: Avoid alcohol, caffeine, and meals just before bedtime, but a cup of warm milk can make you sleepy.

• Pull the plug out of the socket: This is particularly important for teenagers with sleep disorders – Make sure that the bedroom is free of computers, video games, televisions and telephones.

Sleep disorders can be a symptom of a physical or mental illness that needs to be treated. Therefore, it is important to see your doctor if your sleep problem persists. Depending on the diagnosis, your doctor may recommend behavioral therapy and possibly drug treatments for severe sleep disorders. Medications include both over-the-counter and prescription drugs, so-called hypnotics. Drug therapy is usually only recommended for short-term use. A combination of medication and behavioral interventions is often more effective in patients with chronic insomnia than either approach alone.

Every fourth American reports sleep disorders.

Photos provided by Pexels

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