A new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that some 9 million Americans — a majority being older — are taking prescription sleeping pills, such as Ambien (NYSE:SNY).
The study also found that still millions more take over-the-counter sleep aids, holistic sleep aids or simply suffer through restless nights.
While it’s unclear if use is increasing, CDC research suggests that use rose at least 1% based on calculations done from 2003 to 2006.
“Sleep disorders overall are more prevalent than what they were,” Dr. Ana Krieger, medical director of New York’s Weill Cornell Center for Sleep Medicine, told the Associated Press.
Health experts agree that adults should generally get between 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night, yet CDC studies show that less than one-third of adults are that rested. Lack of sleep has been linked to conditions such as diabetes, heart disease and depression.
The study noted that:
- More whites take sleeping pills, compared to blacks or Hispanics.
- Use of prescription sleep drugs increase with age.
- More women than men take sleeping pills.
The study, taken from 2005 to 2010, was based on interviews with some 17,000 adults.