1 in 3 seniors in the U.S. take medicine to aid sleep: study

Source: Xinhua| 2017-09-28 07:12:08|Editor: Liangyu
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CHICAGO, Sept. 27 (Xinhua) -- Researchers from University of Michigan found that one in three older adults in the United States use medications to help them sleep, and many are doing this without their doctors' knowledge, according to a new poll finding released on Wednesday.

The poll results are based on an online survey of 1,065 people aged 65 to 80 nationally, who answered a wide range of questions, according to the report released by University of Michigan Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation.

In all, 46 percent of respondents said they had trouble falling asleep once or more every week. Fifteen percent of the poll respondents said they had trouble falling asleep three or more nights a week.

Among those who report sleep troubles three or more nights a week, 23 percent said they use a prescription sleep aid. Most who use such drugs to help them sleep had been taking them for years, while manufacturers and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration say such drugs are only for short-term use.

"Although sleep problems can happen at any age and for many reasons, they can't be cured by taking a pill, either prescription, over-the-counter or herbal, no matter what the ads on TV say," said poll director Preeti Malani, a University of Michigan physician trained in geriatric medicine in the press release.

"Some of these medications can create big concerns for older adults, from falls and memory issues to confusion and constipation, even if they're sold without a prescription," Malani said.