We've all had sleepless nights - lying in bed, staring at the ceiling, wondering why our brains keep chugging along even as the clock strikes four in the morning. The answer is probably different for everyone: too much caffeine, an onslaught of anxiety, bodily discomfort. But a fidgety night here and there is normal.
However, over the past few decades, either our insomnia has increased dramatically or our tolerance for it has precipitously dropped - because we're taking more sleeping pills than ever before. Between 2002 and 2008, there was a 70% increase in prescriptions from an industry that brings in over $2 billion a year. So what's going on: Who isn't sleeping well and who is turning to pills? As it turns out, the answer in both cases is more women than men.
Who Uses Them?
According to a nationwide survey administered between 2005 and 2010, five percent of women versus three percent of men reported using pills to assist them in sleeping.
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