Thursday, September 28, 2017
Third of older people use sleep aids
A University of Michigan study now shows that nearly half of older Americans have sleep issues and more than one in three has resorted to some kind of medication--most adding that they just did it and did not consult a doctor first.
Problem is, over-the-counter and "natural" sleep aids can carry risks, either alone or in combo with other meds--and especially for older people.
Eight percent of older people take meds for sleep every night.
For those with trouble sleeping three or more nights a week, 23% have a prescription for it.
They take these drugs--designed for short-term use only--for years.
Sleep problems, doctors point out, cannot be "cured," as such.
Your first step is to talk to a doctor.
For instance, 23% of people with trouble said it was from being in pain. Forty percent said their health was fair or poor. Worry, stress, need to pee--all reasons.
Insomnia can lead to memory issues, depression, falls, accidents.
I keep my audiobook player right next to my head on a little table...If I awake, I go to the john, then listen to a few minutes of a "story" and usually will fall back to sleep. The popular hormone melatonin makes me need to pee more.