American seems to be gripped by a growing insomnia epidemic, though health officials still have no official explanation as to why. Up to nine million US citizens are now known to be turning to pills and other medication to on a regular basis to help them get some sleep, which has the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention extremely worried.
To put the figure in a different context, the data suggests that at least 4% of the country is popping pills to doze-off at night and that’s only taking into account the those being prescribed the necessary meds by doctors.
Were those taking non-prescription pills and over-the-counter remedies to be included, the figure would most likely be extraordinary.
The CDC carried out a study on approximately 17,000 people from a variety of backgrounds for a five-year period. After regularly consulting with the participants, it became strikingly obvious that sleep disorders and full-blown insomnia are growing as problems across the US.
What remained entirely unclear on the other hand is the reason or reasons why.
It’s been suspected for some time that the advent of modern consumer technology has had an adverse effect on people’s sleeping patterns. An uber-connected society could be finding it difficult to log-off in more ways than what, with its collective brains constantly mulling over its social, domestic and professional obligation.
And then of course there’s also the possibility that a generally poor state of overall health could be the root cause, or perhaps the growing financial and economic concerns generally plaguing the average American household.
Health officials are once again reissuing prior warnings on just how dangerous it can be to turn to sleep medications on a regular basis, rather than tapping into the root cause of the problem and looking for safer treatment methods. Nevertheless, these warning have been issued several times before and yet the problem continues to grow.
It is hoped that doctors and medical professionals will take a more active role in diagnosing and treating the causes of sleep problems, rather than handing over sleep-aids as quick-fix solutions that offer little benefit over the longer term.
Large-scale research has already highlighted the worrying fact that individuals who take sleep medication on a regular basis are not only more prone to developing serious physical and mental health problems, but are also known to live shorter lives on average.