ER Visits Soar for Older Adults Taking Ambien

The number of emergency room visits by people taking the sleep medication zolpidem (the active ingredient in Ambien and other drugs) more than tripled between 2005 and 2010, with nearly three out of four visits from adults age 45 or older, according to a new federal report. Adverse reactions to the sleep drug that required emergency assistance rose from 6,111 ER visits in 2005 to 19,487 in 2010, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) found. In 2010, …

FDA: Sleeping Pill Doses Must Be Cut By Half

Here’s an Ambien alert for those of you who take meds for insomnia: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Thursday ordered the makers of Ambien and similar sleeping pills to slash their recommended dosage by half. For women, in particular, the drugs stay in their bloodstream longer and at higher levels, leaving them dangerously drowsy in the morning. In its announcement, the FDA said new data show that the drugs remain in the bloodstream at high enough levels to …

Memory Foam Mattress: Choosing Sleep Over Sex?

Which is more important to you, sleep or sex? That seems to be the choice if you’re considering (or have bought) one of those cushy, squishy, memory foam mattresses that have become wildly popular in the past eight years. A lengthy story in Barron’s finds that while the mattresses are good at supporting the body during sleep, they’re not so supportive of our sex lives. People commenting on Internet message boards complain about “lack of traction.” One mattress owner wrote, “It’s …

The Takeaway: Insomnia Sabotages Our Productivity, Gut Bacteria Sabotage Our Diets

Counting Sheep (and $$ Lost): Heading into this long weekend, I have one piece of advice for you: Get some sleep. Lost sleep costs the average American worker 11.3 days in lost productivity, a new study from Harvard Medical School reports. Of the 7,428 workers who took part in the study, nearly a quarter had a hard time falling or staying asleep. It’s an underappreciated problem,” said lead author Ronald C. Kessler. Americans are not missing work because of insomnia. …

Counting Sheep Isn’t Helping?

There is an interesting posting on the Los Angeles Times’ “Booster Shots” blog that talks about older patients and sleep problems – and how those sleep problems aren’t just something people have to deal with as they age. The article does say that aging does bring about changes in sleep patterns, but those changes often are related to chronic diseases – like diabetes and high blood pressure – that also happen to be more common as we age. Once those …

The More You Age, the Less You Sleep?

Older Americans be sleep less and less as they age.