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Insomnia

Insomnia is the most common sleep disorder, affecting one in four people (Kessler 2011; Shatzmiller 2012; American Academy of Sleep Medicine 2001).

It is well-known that sleep problems can significantly diminish quality of life. However, many people may not realize that insomnia and short sleep duration correlate with various health problems including cardiovascular disease, anxiety, and potentially cancer (Terauchi 2012; Ohayon 1998; Kakizaki 2008; Verkasalo 2005; Philips 2007). Insomnia also increases mortality in adults (Chien 2010; Hublin 2011).

Despite the dramatic toll insomnia takes on individuals and populations, conventional treatment options remain far from ideal. In fact, in 2012, a well-controlled study revealed an association between popular hypnotic sleep aids, such as zolpidem (Ambien®), eszopiclone (Lunesta®), and temazepam (Restoril®), and a more than three-fold increased risk of death (Kripke 2012).

These alarming findings highlight the need for safe and effective strategies to improve sleep quality, especially since up to 10% of adults in the U.S. use hypnotic sleep aids (Kripke 2012). We should note, however, that those using hypnotic sleep aid drugs often have poor overall sleep quality, which could be the factor causing the sharply increased risk of death. Hypnotic sleep aids are by no means a cure for chronic insomnia.

In this protocol, you will learn about the causes of sleep problems and simple lifestyle changes that can improve your sleep quality (Yang 2010; Lande 2010). You will also discover that some emerging therapies have achieved prolonged sleep quality improvements in studies, with potentially fewer side effects than some popular sleep drugs (Xu 2011). In addition, you will read about several natural compounds that can modulate the biology of sleep and may be safer than some pharmaceutical options.