Thursday, September 28, 2017

Third of older people use sleep aids

I have never been a good sleeper...even as a youngster, I awoke 2-3 times a night. Now, it can be that and more.

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.

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