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article imageSleeping Pill Use Increases in Recession

By Carol Forsloff     Mar 29, 2009 in Health
If you're sleepless in Seattle, you're not alone. Many people are experiencing financial stress. This leads to increased use of sleeping pills for folks who worry about paying the bills.
Across the nation there has been an uptick in the use of sleeping pills. Reports maintain folks are worried so much about the economy, they are unable to sleep. Lack of sleep can lead to all sorts of medical conditions, so perhaps this may lead to problems on other fronts in the medical arena as well. All of this is going on in the United States while issues remain about high medical costs.
The Sleep Foundation has been reporting on the seriousness of this problem. What they discovered, according to a poll, is a significant number of people reporting sleep problems related to money issues. 27 per cent reported these problems in the few weeks prior to the study reported earlier this month, with 16 per cent concerned personally, 15 per cent about the U.S. economy. Another 10% are anxious they will lose their jobs. In fact the number of Americans reporting sleep problems has increased steadily since 2001 with a particularly significant increase in those reporting less than eight hours a night from 38% a year ago to 28% now.
Another medical resource maintains that nearly 1/3 of those surveyed report sleep problems connected with the economy. Folks are reporting also that reduced sleep is causing them to exercise less, work less efficiently and have less sex.
The issues may become bigger than that. For one thing people don't work as effectively when they are sleep deprived, medical experts maintain. According to the National Center for Sleep Disorder Research the direct and indirect costs of lost sleep are from $50 billion to $100 billion/year. Falling asleep at the wheel is related to 100,000 car crashes annually with71,000 injuries and 1,550 deaths. Sleep loss also affects the ability to learn, so those young adults in college could experience educational difficulties. Other young people, including children, can be affected by family stress and also have problems sleeping according to the research of the NCSDR.
So sales of sleeping pills are up, news sources report. Money woes are at the bottom of the lost sleep, and people are turning to pills to help them relax and sleep better. Not only are sleeping pills sales up, so are the sales of anti-depressants. People report anxiety and lack of sleep so that they turn to medications to help.
The impact of medication costs coupled with financial worries and a steadily increasing cost in overall health maintenance is serious business. The economic problems are like the proverbial snowball that continues to increase as it plunges downhill. Hopefully that economic snowball finds a flat surface or melts slowly with the spring soon so folks can get sleep.
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