A new study says Americans are popping sleeping pills at an eye-opening rate. That is according to the first ever federal health report to focus on actual use.
At least 8.6 million Americans take prescription sleeping aids, and between 50-70 million suffer from disrupted sleep. So why is a good night's rest getting harder to find? Family physician, Dr. Jennifer Caudle, weighs in on "New Day" and gives some advice on how to tackle the issue:
"The phrase 8.6 million seems like a lot of people, but as a family practitioner, honestly, every single day I see people who are on these medications or who are coming in asking for them. So quite honestly, I actually believe that number. I believe that there are millions of people out there who not only have problems sleeping, but are on these medications as well."
In addition, here are 6 tips for better sleep this summer from Nancy Rothstein, Special to CNN:
Create your sleep sanctuary. The first step in your sleep journey is transforming your bedroom environment into a place for slumber, not an entertainment center or auxiliary office.
Exercise for great sleep. A sunny summer day is the perfect backdrop for an outdoor workout. Exercising during the day supports sleep at night, but if you do not give yourself enough time to decompress (at least three hours), you will stimulate your body at the very time it needs to surrender to sleep.
Keep an eye on the partying. Party invitations will be coming your way this season, and having a good time is necessary. However, you must consider how this will impact your nightly rhythm. If you consume alcohol up to three hours before you hit the bed, you may fall asleep easier, but your sleep cycle will be disrupted. Instead, consider a sleep elixir such as chamomile tea with honey or warm almond milk.
Tune technology out. We're attached to our tech devices from the moment we open our eyes in the morning till we close them at night. For some of us, they're like an extra appendage.
Prepare for sleep. Once you've finally powered down all of the gadgets, what's the next step? Do you have a summer reading list? What are the books you want to read but never have the time?
Bedtime is a great time to practice relaxation techniques, including gentle yoga poses (try child's pose or savasana) and breathing techniques to calm the mind and body. Start by breathing slowly and deeply as you ease into slumber.
Create a sleep schedule. Do you have a sleep disorder or wake up intermittently throughout the night? Create a consistent bedtime and wake time.