The rush to medicalize social conditions is one of my pet peeves as a public health professional. Why did this column, which started with the recognition that sleep deprivation was a recent social phenomenon, end with a clarion call to the pharmaceutical industry to solve the problem?
One morning, still a bit groggy from a sleeping pill-induced six hours of sleep, I was enjoying my first cup of coffee while reading my emails on my iPhone. I was surprised to see that Mike was sleeping in a spare bedroom, and that I had received an email from him, sent the previous evening, at 11:37 PM, about an hour after we had gone to bed.
Have you taken a sleeping pill in the past month? If so, you've got plenty of company. In the past 30 days, approximately nine million adults in the United States -- that's 4 percent of the population -- used prescription medication to help their troubled sleep.
So what do you think? Is taking Ambien worth the risk? Let me know on Twitter, Facebook, or leave your comments right here
HuffPost Senior Science Correspondent discusses the risks and benefits of the popular sleep aid Ambien.
In my experience as a psychiatrist, nearly everything we call a psychiatric symptom or problem, including insomnia, is in reality a signal that we have to face a new challenge in life.