Every year the National Sleep Foundation commissions a study on some aspect of sleep. This year the study examined market data on sleep products and services. The total industry was estimated to be $23.7 billion a year. There are obviously a lot of people looking for better sleep and they are looking at many different avenues for a fix. This includes everything from pillows and mattresses to medications and alternative therapies.
There is no one magic fix, however. The only way to know what will help you sleep better is to know what is causing your sleep problem. As logical as this may seem, most people never look beyond the symptoms of poor sleep – not being able to fall asleep or stay asleep and not feeling rested. Many people do not view sleep problems as health problems and so they never raise the issue with their physicians. As a result, they are perpetually looking for a fix for a problem they do not fully understand.
Those people who do talk to their physicians will often be prescribed a medication. For many of them, the medication will work. For many others, it won’t, and others do not wish to be dependent on medication if there are other alternatives. Unfortunately, these people are on their own, searching the internet and talking to friends, about other products or alternative health practitioners.
Those who do talk to their physicians about their sleep problem may be referred to a sleep clinic. This is useful to determine if one has a sleep disorder like sleep apnea or restless legs syndrome. Knowing this is the root of the sleep problem can then lead to an appropriate strategy for improving sleep and well-being. Unfortunately, many sleep clinics are not equipped to address insomnia and circadian rhythm disorders. These people are therefore often the most likely to be seeking ‘fixes’ for their poor sleep.
Strategies for Health and Well-Being
Before you spend money on something you think will fix your sleep problems, talk to your physician. If you are snoring, a referral to a sleep clinic may be necessary. If you are not snoring, a referral to a Behavioral Sleep Medicine specialist may be advisable.