HealthLawProf Blog

Editor: Katharine Van Tassel
Akron Univ. School of Law

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Monday, April 17, 2006

Women and Rest

Newsweek has an interesting cover story on women and the sleeping disorders called, The Quest for Rest,"   There are a suprising number of reasons that men and women may not be sleeping well and the article points out that taking sleeping pills may not be the best answer.  It states,

The craving for sleep has fueled a huge demand for sleeping pills—with more than $2 billion in annual sales, according to IMS Health, a pharmaceutical information and consulting company. Expect more options in the next few years. Drug companies are working hard to target areas of the brain that induce sleep. But taking a sleeping pill can actually make it harder to find out what's really going on. "People are starting to think about these things as though they are painkillers you take for a headache," says Dr. Meir Kryger, author of "A Woman's Guide to Sleep Disorders." "I personally don't think it's a good development." Kryger says a patient should get a diagnosis before starting any treatment, and sleep medications should never be the first or only line of defense. Although the current generation of drugs—products such as Ambien, Lunesta and Rozerem—don't have the addictive potential of the older sleep medications, patients need to follow their doctors' instructions carefully. These drugs work best to help people get over short-term sleep problems, such as after the death of a family member or some other stressful event.

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