A recent study has found a causal link between moderate to high risk of suicide and sleep deprivation. It furthered that for every one hour increase in quality sleep, there was a 72 percent decrease in suicidal idealization.
With upwards of 100 millions Americans struggling with with sleep disorders, it stands to reason that science will need to come up with new sleep treatments that challenge the 4.5 billion dollar sleeping pill industry.
Recently, the FDA has recommended that prescribing doctors and pharmaceutical companies begin reducing the doses of Ambien and two other sleep medications by half. Nine million Americans take sleeping pills on a regular basis and the thought of not getting their normal dose raises some legitimate fears.
It seems that everyone in American culture now has to deal with varying degrees of mental fatigue due to a lack of sleep. It’s estimated that 100 million people in this country now go without adequate sleep on a nightly basis. The average sleep duration for these people is between 4 and 6 hours. Over time, this leads to increased risks for heart disease, stoke, impaired driving and a whole host of other deadly ailments which are silently ignored by doctor and patient alike.
The fine folks in the pharmaceutical industry see this as an endless market of desperate, hopeless people who are willing to turn a blind eye to the side effects, memory loss and out and out risk of death from long term use of sleeping pills for insomnia. At last count, the sleeping pill market reached 4.5 billion dollars per year in domestic sales.
It seems insomnia is a considerable problem in space. So sever in fact that sleeping pill use by astronauts is second only to painkillers.
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