CDC releases sleep aid research

Patterns found based on age, race

About one in 25 American adults takes sleeping pills to help them fall asleep and stay asleep at night, according to new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Researchers from the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics examined surveys of adults ages 20 and older who were asked whether they had taken a prescription sleep aid in the previous 30 days. The experts found some distinct patterns among sleeping pill users:

• Women were more likely to use sleeping pills than men (5 percent of women used them, along with 3.1 percent of men).

• People over the age of 50 were more likely to take sleeping pills than younger folks. Six percent of people in their 50s used the pills, along with 5.5 percent of adults in their 60s, 5.7 percent of those in their 70s and 7 percent of those in their 80s. By comparison, only 1.8 percent of people in their 20s or 30s took the pills.

• Whites were more likely to use sleeping pills than blacks or Mexican-Americans (4.7 percent of non-Latino whites took the pills, along with 2.5 percent of non-Latino blacks and 2 percent of Mexican-Americans).

• People with more degrees were more likely to take sleeping pills (4.4 percent of Americans who had schooling beyond high school used them, along with 3.9 percent of those with just a high school diploma and 3 percent of people who didn’t finish high school).

These results were culled from the CDC’s National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Researchers focused on the years 2005 to 2010.

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