Rising Sleeping Pill Prescriptions

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According to one sleep expert, "Sleep is the new Sex. People want it, need it, and can't get enough of it." The same could be said for the pills Americans are popping in huge numbers in their search for that illusive night of sleep. Americans filled some 42-million sleeping pill prescriptions last year — up nearly 60 percent in five years.

As drug companies spend millions to push a new generation of so called Z-Drugs, more and more Americans are giving up counting sheep and counting on pills to get the rest they need. But some doctors worry that all this pill-popping may not be safe in the long run. They say sleep disorders might be a sign of other problems — like anxiety and depression — that require treatment but not pills.

Hear about the reasons for and the dangers behind the dramatic increase in sleeping pills intake by Americans.


Melanie Wells, Senior Editor Forbes Magazine

Dr. Gregg Jacobs, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School

Dr. Daniel Buysse, Professor of Psychiatry at University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine

Juliet Schor, Professor of Sociology at Boston College.

This program aired on February 21, 2006.


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