More and more people are having trouble sleeping – and are looking for a solution in medicines. Is that safe? And what is behind the insomnia epidemic?
20 Feb 2020, 12:23 pm
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We never slept so badly – or so little. According to a survey by the Sleep Institute of São Paulo, Brazilians are sleeping 1h30 less, on average, than in the 1990s: it is only 6:30 per night, on average. More than 70 million Brazilians have some degree of insomnia – many sleep only 4 hours a night.
For these reasons, sales of sleeping pills have exploded in recent years. Only one of them, zolpidem, grew 560% in the last decade – and today it sells more than 11 million boxes a year in Brazil. But what could be causing this insomnia epidemic? Is it safe to take sleeping pills? What is the relationship between mental illnesses, such as anxiety and depression, and difficulty falling asleep? And what can you do to sleep better? Find out the answers in this conversation with the psychiatrist Alexandre Valverde.