Millions taking sleeping pills to rest at night - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Millions taking sleeping pills to rest at night

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COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -

Can't get enough shut-eye? Well, the federal government says you're not alone.  There are many reasons why you may not be getting enough sleep.

According to the first government study of its kind, nearly nine million American adults are taking sleeping pills to get a good night's rest.

"I think some of the issues we're having is increased stress, increased workload, and also family stressors at home," said North Columbus Family Medicine Dr. Julie Roberts. "People have so much happening in their lives."

Dr. Roberts says she's seeing an influx is people complaining about not getting seven to nine hours of sleep a night.

"I've seen a huge increase in the number of people, especially women, who are having sleep issues," Dr. Roberts says. "It's probably a complaint I'll see a day walk through the door."

Roberts explains that trying home remedies like chamomile tea, lavender scents, and warm milk should be a first option.

"Sleep hygiene is when you try to take things out of your bedroom that may be keeping you awake," explains Dr. Roberts. "You don't need a loud T.V. You don't need a lot of noise. If you've got a rowdy pet in your bed you might need to get it out. Children in the bed keep mom and dad up; also a snoring partner, you may want to get help from your partner."

Many viewers say they've tried everything from over-the-counter drugs like Benadryl and Nyquil but sometimes they just don't work. That's when prescription sleep aids may come in handy; however, Dr. Roberts says prescriptions should be for short-term use.

"Some of these can be addictive over time, it's something you don't want to do long-term," says Dr. Roberts.

Playing popular games like Candy Crush before bed or checking your Facebook one last time can also be hindering your sleep pattern. Research shows the beaming light from your cellphone could keep you awake longer.

"I feel technology is a big [issue] especially for the teenage population," says Dr. Roberts. "Teenagers feel they need to have their phone to their hip 24 hours a day. It's very important to have a 10 o'clock shutoff time to put the [phones] on silent."

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