Insomnia, the inability to fall or stay asleep, can make the days feel fuzzy and the nights never-ending.
The disorder can increase the risk for depression and suicidal thoughts, lower work productivity and even raise blood pressure, studies have shown.
About 40 million Americans have chronic sleep disorders that prevent them from getting good rest. Singer Michael Jackson struggled with insomnia, a nutritionist who worked for him told CNN. Sources close to Jackson told CNN that during a world tour in the mid-'90s, the pop star traveled with an anesthesiologist who would "take him down" at night, then "bring him back up."
Stress or traumatic events can trigger the sleeping disorder. Insomnia drugs help the patient sleep, but they do not treat the underlying cause, which could be a result of another illness, life changes or shifting work schedules. And patients who seek relief for insomnia may not receive the most effective prescription.
Over the last two decades, doctors treating sleep disorders have prescribed more antidepressants than insomnia drugs, according to several published analyses. And there is insufficient evidence that most antidepressants are effective in treating insomnia, concluded a National Institutes of Health panel that convened on the topic in 2005.
Doctors may be factoring in cost considerations and their own familiarity with prescribing antidepressants relative to newer sleep medications, experts said.
READ MORE @ CNN