Thursday, August 25, 2022
HomeHealthAmerica's Love Affair With Sleeping Drugs Might Be Waning

America’s Love Affair With Sleeping Drugs Might Be Waning


By Steven Reinberg
HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 24, 2022 (HealthDay Information) — Fewer Individuals are turning to sleep drugs to struggle insomnia.

After a dramatic rise in prescriptions for medication like Ambien, the pattern has ebbed, in keeping with a brand new research, and fewer medical doctors are prescribing sleep drugs. Use of those sleep aids dropped 31% between 2013 and 2018, researchers discovered.

“There are a number of potential causes for this decline; for instance, there is a higher consciousness of the potential risks in using these drugs,” stated lead researcher Christopher Kaufmann. He is an assistant professor within the Division of Well being Outcomes and Biomedical Informatics on the College of Florida.

“Additionally, there’s been a latest upsurge in behavioral remedies for bettering sleep that do not have the potential opposed outcomes that some drugs may need,” Kaufmann stated.

The most important drop-off (86%) in use of sleep medication was seen amongst these over 80.

Earlier than this new decline, researchers had reported that between 1993 and 2010, prescriptions for benzodiazepines jumped 69%. The medication, which deal with anxiousness and insomnia, embrace diazepam (Valium) and alprazolam (Xanax). Over the identical interval, prescriptions for zolpidem (Ambien) rose 140%.

The surge was pushed by direct-to-consumer advertising and marketing, significantly of Ambien within the early Nineteen Nineties, in addition to higher consciousness of the advantages of sleep, Kaufmann stated.

Since then, use of all varieties of sleep drugs dropped, with the most important decline (55%) in federally permitted sleep aids.

For the research, Kaufmann’s workforce used information from 29,400 individuals in a U.S. authorities well being survey performed each two years.

Researchers stated the decline was pushed by information pointing to undesirable uncomfortable side effects of the drugs. Amongst these are daytime drowsiness, in addition to increased danger for automobile crashes, reminiscence loss amongst older sufferers and falls that resulted in damaged hips.

In 2019, the U.S. Meals and Drug Administration required “Black Field” warnings on packaging of the sleep medication eszopiclone (Lunesta), zolpidem (Ambien) and zaleplon (Sonata). Black Field warnings advise sufferers that affected medication pose critical security dangers.

Kaufmann famous that these medication had been initially designed for short-term use to get folks by bouts of insomnia as they reprogramed their sleep habits. As an alternative, many sufferers grew to become persistent customers.

“I believe that individuals are starting to grow to be conscious of the potential pitfalls of using these drugs,” Kaufmann stated.

Dr. Stella Hahn, affiliate medical director of the Northwell Sleep Dysfunction Heart in New Hyde Park, N.Y., stated medical doctors are prescribing these medication much less and recommending alternate options comparable to cognitive behavioral remedy extra.

“Cognitive behavioral remedy for insomnia is a extra sturdy and secure choice to deal with insomnia,” stated Hahn, who reviewed the research findings.

The remedy helps determine ideas, emotions and behaviors that contribute to insomnia. In different phrases, it will get on the underlying causes of sleep issues.

With the heightened consciousness of the unfavorable results of sleep medication, main care medical doctors do not feel snug ordering them for long-term use with out investigating different choices, Hahn stated.

She recommends a number of steps to assist her sufferers get an excellent evening’s sleep:

  • Restrict caffeine (together with none after 12 midday).
  • Take away TV, computer systems, tablets or telephones from the bed room.
  • Hold your bed room cool and darkish.
  • Restrict your time in mattress to sleep.
  • Wait till you are sleepy to go to mattress.
  • And when you have hassle sleeping, even in the midst of the evening, rise up and do one thing, like studying till you are drowsy.

For those who take a complement like melatonin that can assist you sleep, make sure you take it hours earlier than bedtime, Hahn stated.

“For those who’re taking it too near bedtime, it will possibly really mess up your circadian rhythm,” she stated, including that whereas it is not a fantastic sleep medicine, it will possibly assist sufferers with jet lag or shiftwork dysfunction.

The findings had been not too long ago printed on-line within the Journal of Scientific Sleep Drugs .

Extra info

The Mayo Clinic has extra about prescription sleep drugs.

SOURCES: Christopher Kaufmann, PhD, assistant professor, Division of Well being Outcomes and Biomedical Informatics, College of Florida School of Drugs, Gainesville; Stella Hahn, MD, affiliate medical director, Northwell Sleep Problems Heart, New Hyde Park, N.Y.; Journal of Scientific Sleep Drugs, July, 12, 2022, on-line

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