Sleep Aids and Insomnia
can have a very serious impact on quality of life, productivity and safety:
While individual suffering is hard to measure, researchers can estimate specific direct and indirect costs to the nation. Direct costs include dollars spent on insomnia treatments, healthcare services, hospital and nursing home care. The most recent annual estimate of the direct costs of insomnia is nearly $14 billion!
Indirect costs - such as work loss, property damage from accidents, and transportation to and from healthcare providers - are estimated at double the direct costs near $28 billion. One conservative report places total costs at up to $35 billion. (A National Sleep Foundation 1997 survey calculated that lost productivity alone from insomnia topped $18 billion!)
Treating insomnia with medication is the most common treatment for these sleep problems. Twenty-five percent of Americans take some type of medication every year to help them sleep.
Medications may be taken when:
Treatment with medications should:
Prescription medications that promote sleep are called hypnotics. These