The Economy Is Down And Sleeplessness Is Up

Tuesday, March 3rd 2009, 5:32 pm
By: News On 6

By Margaret Stokes & Chris Howell

TULSA, OK -- With the economy down, sleeplessness is up. According to the National Sleep Foundation almost a third of all Americans are struggling with this problem, and that number is expected to rise.

Experts say financial worries far outweigh any other problem such as war, global warming, or the threat of a terrorist attack.

Although Green Country has not been hit as hard as many cities across the country, complaints of sleeplessness has increased here too.

Steven Gruenau the Director of the Sleep Disorders Center at St John says he's seeing more patients coming in, complaining they can't sleep. Most blame stress, anxiety, and depression.

Gruenau says many people are taking an active role to cope with their mental health during this economic crisis. In fact the number of people seeking therapy is up by forty percent.

He says most patients are asking for sleep aid medication such as ambien.

Gruenau believes not everyone needs medication and that making simple changes in your routine can make a huge difference.

He says by avoiding caffeine, tobacco, a night cap, and exercise before bedtime you can greatly increase you chance at a restful night.

"The thing to really try is relaxation. Relaxation and sleep go hand and hand with each other. I'm talking about quiet activities such as reading and watching some TV programs that will help induce sleep," said Gruenau.

Gruenau says it has been established that 7 to 8 hours of sleep is recommended. He says if you've been dealing with chronic sleeplessness for 6 months or longer it's time to seek help from an expert.

Think you may have a sleep disorder? This simple test can help you determine if you may have a problem.