Medicalizing Sleeplessness

September 17, 2011

“The Medicalization of Sleeplessness: A Public Health Concern” is the title of an article in the August, 2011 issue of the American Journal of Public health. The authors address the fact that sleeplessness is being increasingly diagnosed and medicalized as a disease condition called insomnia. I call it “creating the disease and offering the cure.”

To come to this conclusion they examined the trend in sleeplessness complaints, diagnoses, and prescriptions of sedative hypnotics in doctor’s office visits from 1993 to 2007.

They found that complaints and insomnia diagnoses increased over time and were far outpaced by prescriptions for sedative hypnotics. They conclude that “insomnia may be a public health concern, but potential overtreatment with marginally effective, expensive medications with nontrivial side effects raises definite population health concerns.”

What do you do instead of taking sleeping pills? Magnesium? Clay baths?

Actually, it’s more than just taking a pill, even if it is magnesium. And more than just detoxing, even if it is clay. Magnesium and clay will definitely help but what if you’re not sleeping because you have a lot of electrical appliances in your bedroom that irritate your brain. A member of Completement Now! told me she hadn’t slept well for a year until she discovered the electrical box for new house was in her bedroom. She took the advice of Module 4 in my program and shuts off her electricity at night. You can obtain that module as well as Modules 1-3 for free by signing up for this newsletter.

Yes, it’s much more than just taking a pill to knock you out! What if the sugar you eat before bedtime keeps you awake? What if there is too much light coming into your bedroom at night? What if your stress hormones kick in at night and keep you awake? Sure, magnesium can help, and that’s where I start but I’d also advise you to look into your lifestyle.

Carolyn Dean MD ND

The Doctor of the Future®

RESOURCES: Along the borders and in the links of my web site you can find my books, writings, and my call-in radio show. Email your questions to: questions@drcarolyndeanlive.com.

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