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SLEEPLESS NIGHTS: One in 25 Americans needs sleeping pills for rest

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
August 30th, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Tossin' and turnin', that's what a lot of Americans are doing. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, at least one in 25 Americans are reliant on sleeping tablets to get their rest. In a recent study,. Some highly interesting figures were gleaned about the nation's sleeping habits and pill dependency.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Experts with the CDC found some distinct patterns among sleeping pill users:

 -- Women are far more likely to use sleeping pills than men (five percent of women used them, along with 3.1 percent of men).

-- People older than 50 years old were more likely to take sleeping pills than younger folks. Six percent of people in their fifties used the pills, along with 5.5 percent of adults in their sixties, 5.7 percent of those in their seventies and seven percent of those in their eighties. By comparison, only 1.8 percent of people in their 20s or 30s took the pills.

-- Caucasians were more likely to use sleeping pills than blacks or Mexican-Americans (4.7 percent of non-Latino whites took the pills, along with 2.5 percent of non-Latino blacks and 2 percent of Mexican-Americans).

-- Far more interestingly, education also factored into sleeping pill dependency. The study found that people with more degrees were more likely to take sleeping pills (4.4 percent of Americans who had schooling beyond high school used them, along with 3.9 percent of those with just a high school diploma and 3 percent of people who didn't finish high school).

-- People who had been diagnosed with a sleep disorder or who told their doctor they had trouble sleeping were far more likely to use the pills compared to people without a medical need.

The figures were pulled from the CDC's National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Researchers focused on the years 2005 to 2010.

The new report marked the first time government experts have tallied the use of prescription sleep aids in America. Previous reports have measured the number of prescriptions filled, but that didn't show whether the pills were actually taken.

In a more sinister application of sleeping medication, a deliberate overdose brought on by sleeping tablets - sometimes mixed with wine or alcohol, is a popular form of "final exit" for many. Those who died from a deliberate overdose of sleeping pills include actresses Marilyn Monroe, Diana Barrymore and Joyce Jameson.

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