March 26, 2012

I DON'T CARE IF IT'S GOOD FOR ME, IT'S EASY!

The Case for Sleep Medicine (GAYLE GREENE, 3/25/12, NY Times)

ACCORDING to a new study in the journal BMJ that has received wide media coverage, people who regularly took sleeping pills were nearly five times more likely to die over a two and a half year period than those who didn't take them.

Oh no, I groaned, reading the headlines, not another scare story about sleeping pills. As a lifelong insomniac who has extensively researched the topic, I find such stories alarming -- but not because of the information they present. Rather, I'm afraid that they will cause doctors to stop prescribing these medications to people who need them. [...]

The study in BMJ alludes to "the meager benefits" of sleep medications and the greater success of behavioral methods of dealing with insomnia, which include things like going to bed and getting up at set times and using the bed only for sleep. But such strategies are not as effective as is sometimes claimed: studies that demonstrate their efficacy tend to look at small numbers of carefully screened, self-selected and highly motivated subjects. Face it, if behavioral modification were that simple, there wouldn't be so many of us taking medications.

In other words, she doesn't need them, she just lacks the will to simple changes to her behavior instead.


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Posted by at March 26, 2012 6:37 AM
  

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