Skip to comments.What's Holding Up the Sandman?
Posted on 04/19/2006 10:49:14 PM PDT by neverdem
Americans' use of sleeping pills is skyrocketing, up nearly 60 percent since 2000, with about 42 million prescriptions filled last year. Experts surmise that "modern lifestyles" and the accompanying stress of too much to do in too little time are largely responsible for the growing need for the drugs.
That may be true. But I see an altogether different explanation for the flagrant use of sleeping pills. In the last decade, there has been a sea change in the kinds of drugs available to induce sleep, and these drugs have been widely promoted in print and on television. You could hardly have missed that pale green luna moth (sans antennas) drifting over peaceful sleepers in ads for Lunesta, which has joined Ambien, Sonata and others in a new class of sleep aid.
A Tempting Offer
How tempting it is when people hear that, say, five milligrams of Ambien can temporarily sweep their worries under the mattress, allow them to fall asleep within 15 minutes and awaken the next morning refreshed and raring to go. I took it myself for several months last winter when the painful aftermath of knee replacements rendered a restful night's sleep impossible.
Unfortunately, with the ease of writing and filling a prescription and the mostly good press these new drugs have gotten to date, millions of people are now taking them without first exploring the reasons for their sleep problems and possible nondrug routes to cure them.
Insomnia can have serious underlying causes. Failure to diagnose and treat these causes merely perpetuates the need for sleep medications, allows a health problem to worsen and in some cases can prove life-threatening.
No one questions the value of a good night's sleep. Whether you are biologically programmed to sleep 4 hours, 10 hours, or, like most people, 7...
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
One reason the new drugs are being prescribed more is that they are less addictive and no fun at all. So doctors feel safer prescribing.
The old Sandman (Morpheus, Dream of the Endless, Lord-Shaper of the Dreaming) died some time ago, and the new Sandman, Daniel, is still relatively new at it. Give him some time; a few decades or so, and he should be up to speed. /gaimanfandom