Tue Oct 25 23:11:46 SAST 2016
Mkhwebane leaves Zuma‚ Van Rooyen interdicts

The new public protector says she will leave the dispute over the state capture report prepared by h.

No money, long nights

By unknown | Apr 28, 2009 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

More than one in four Americans say they are literally losing sleep over the economic downturn - tossing and turning over personal finances, the economy, job security or healthcare costs.

More than one in four Americans say they are literally losing sleep over the economic downturn - tossing and turning over personal finances, the economy, job security or healthcare costs.

Those were the results of a poll released last month by the National Sleep Foundation, a nonprofit group financed by federal and private sources that include healthcare companies like Merck, Wyeth and Johnson & Johnson and mattress makers like Sealy.

It is little surprise, then, that some over-the-counter sleeping pills have been doing a brisk business in recent months.

In the four-week period that ended March 22, sales of Advil PM tablets, which combine a sleeping aid with a pain reliever, were up 16percent compared with the same period a year ago, according to Information Resources, a market research company.

There is plenty of sheep-counting even in the best of financial times. The National Institutes of Health estimates that 30percent of Americans have trouble sleeping and 10percent have some form of insomnia; their daytime symptoms include moodiness as well as impaired concentration and memory.

But economic factors do weigh heavily. A survey done by the market research firm Experian Simmons last year found that those with household incomes under $25000 (about R220849) were 48percent more likely than the general population to have sleep disorders, and those with no employed adults in the household were 45percent more prone.

According to a recent report by the market research firm Packaged Facts, the age group most likely to suffer from insomnia is people 55 to 64 years old, who may have arthritis or other ailments and are 26percent more likely than the average consumer to buy pain-relieving sleep aids.

"Not only does this age group have to deal with the pains of getting old, but they are also most affected by the financial crisis, a huge headache in and of itself," the Packaged Facts report said.

Packaged Facts estimates the entire over-the-counter sleep aids market for last year at $604million, and painkilling sleeping pills account for 61percent of that.

The active ingredients in most over-the-counter sleeping pills are antihistamines, like those in allergy pills.

Dr Phyllis Zee, director of the sleep disorders program at Northwestern University, said she had had patients for whom over-the-counter pills had been effective, but she added that the medicines were not risk-free and discouraged using them more than occasionally.

"If you take something like Advil PM intermittently when you have pain and can't sleep, that's a reasonable approach," Zee said.

"But I don't think there really have been long-term studies to look at their safety and efficacy when taken on a long-term basis."

In a 2005 report about insomnia, the National Institutes of Health cited "significant concerns about risks" of such antihistamine sleeping pills, including "residual daytime sedation, diminished cognitive function and delirium, the latter being of particular concern in the elderly".

For those lying awake worrying about money, meanwhile, one way out of their financial predicament might be to develop solutions for people lying awake worrying about money.

Packaged Facts projects that sleeping aids - not just medication but a host of products including herbal supplements, travel aids like neck pillows, sound machines and sleep masks - will continue to grow as much as 10percent annually through 2013. - © 2009 The New York Times News Service


Login OR Join up TO COMMENT