Be it work, finances, relationships, or health issues, most of us experience stressful events at some point in our lives. But today, researchers are witnessing levels of stress that are virtually unprecedented. A startling 80% of Americans now report experiencing intense, chronic stress over personal finances and the economy. And 30 million Americans take medication to treat depression, but for most people, antidepressants serve mostly as a placebo, scientists now say.
Did You Know Sleeping pill sales increased by 23% from 2006-2010 and generated about $2 billion in annual sales. Sleeping pills (including Ambien and Restoril) are linked to a 4.6 times higher risk of death and a significant increase in cancer. Among patients who were prescribed just 1-18 sleeping pills per year, the risk of death was 3.6 times higher. Rates of new cancers were 35% higher among patients who were prescribed at least 132 doses a year, compared with those who did not receive prescriptions.
The American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry recently published that older adults with poor sleep habits have an altered immune system response to stress that may increase their risk for mental and physical health problems. Stress leads to significantly larger increases in a marker of inflammation in poor sleepers compared to good sleepers; a marker associated with poor health outcomes and death.
The more you stay positive and happy in life, the better chance you have of avoiding a stroke. Optimistic people have a healthier immune system, faster wound healing, and a lower risk of heart disease. So don’t worry, be happy.
Poor sleep continues to plague millions of Americans each and every night. The effects are beyond frustrating – lack of quality sleep affects your cognitive function, your immune health, and your mood (just ask those closest to you).