This Week In Sleep - August 30th 2013

A real mixed bag of sleep-related news in this week’s roundup – with some shocking statistics, some expert advice and news of potential cures for 2 very different issues all making the news.

9 Million Insomniacs?

The US currently has 9 million users of prescription sleeping pills, according to this report in the Portland Press Herald. That is one in every 35 people – or approximately 3% of the population. This is people who have sought medical advice about their problems, most of them will be taking sedatives like denzodiazepines, which can have both tolerance and rebound-insomnia effects when stopped.

Add to these 9 million even more people on over the counter medication, those who are managing their insomnia symptoms with alcohol or other drugs and those who are suffering in silence, and it is estimated that 10% of the population of the US could be insomniacs.

When you account for the population of the rest of the developed world, the potential amount of sleep being lost becomes incredible!

Treatments For Jetlag And For Obstructive Sleep Apnea

More and more people are turning to surgery to solve problems with obstructive sleep apnea. While this has traditionally been a ‘last resort’ treatment, it does have the benefit of being successful in the majority of cases.

Now a new technique, known as ‘Transoral Robotic Surgery’ or TORS for short, has been developed by specialists at Wayne State University, MI. This was originally used for neck and throat cancer treatment, and has been found to have the potential to make Apnea airway surgery more effective.

I wonder if easier surgery with less post-op discomfort would persuade more people to choose this option. One important point is that each patient needs to be assessed individually, this might not be suitable for all. More on this in the excellent Medical Xpress

The UK’s Independent reports on some progress in creating a pill to beat Jetlag. A specialist drug that blocks a gene involved in regulating the circadian rhythm is the subject of research by scientists at Oxford University. The good news is that their new drug showed a lot of promise, the not so good news is that this was in mice – which means we are looking at a long wait for testing and government approval before anything comes to the market. I am personally looking forward to this one! Here is the full report.

What The Experts Do To Ensure A Great Night Of Sleep

Finally for this week, a link to the Huffington post, who have produced a great article – in which sleep experts share their bedtime routines. Instead of the ‘agreed treatments’ you will get insights into how these people practice what they preach. I saw many aspects of my own routine mentioned here, particularly the ‘get up and try sleeping again in half and hour’ idea.

Here is the link.

That’s all for this week, don’t forget to bookmark theSleepWellTimes now for news, treatments and insights into the fascinating world of sleep!