Within the past decade, sleep supplements have become a booming market in the United States. In fact, it was estimated that in the year 2020, the market share for Melatonin, one of the most popular sleep aids, accounted for at least $825 million in sales. Think about that for just a moment. That is approaching a billion dollars in sales in the United States alone. That is a hefty amount to rake in for just one sleep aid supplement. However, that people feel the need to take sleep supplements should be the real concern. The following four reasons for sleep deprivation in people of all ages should be our primary focus. Here is some of what you should know.
First a Word on the Benefits of Supplement-Free Sleep Aids
For just a moment, let’s look at some of the unwanted side effects that you may experience when taking any kind of sleep supplements – whether they are prescription pharmaceuticals or OTC blends of herbs and melatonin, a hormone already produced by the body in the pineal gland. Are you aware of research that shows people taking diphenhydramine hydrochloride, the active ingredient in Benadryl and pain remedies like Tylenol PM, over a course of ten years can lead to dementia in older adults?
Sadly, another study found that at least 35.4% of seniors in the age group of 65 to 80 use sleep aids regularly. This information on sleep supplements led to the creation of a simple Rise Science app for your phone that negates the need to take any sleep aids whatsoever. Founded in 2014, and as an industry leader in the remote workforce, Rise Science has developed an easy-to-use sleep tracker app in an effort to work with science rather than being negatively affected by sleep aids. In their experience, there are ways to correct unhealthy sleep patterns naturally, without sleep supplements and it all starts by tracking sleep patterns and getting to the root cause.
1. Sleeping Disorders
These are much harder to determine because you may need an accurate diagnosis from a physician or sleep institute. Even so, some of them, like restless leg syndrome and sleep apnea, are fairly self-evident. You’ll know if your legs start suddenly cramping and shaking as you will also know that there are times when you snore so loudly you wake the entire household. That may be a bit of an exaggeration, but it highlights the underlying health issue – an inability to breathe naturally through the nasal passage during deep sleep. Other forms of sleep disorders as listed by Cedars Sinai include narcolepsy and insomnia.
2. Lifestyle Factors
There are numerous reasons how factors in your life might trigger sleep deprivation. One of the leading causes is stress. How many nights have you turned off the lights, tucked yourself in and then tossed and turned for hours worrying about that project left undone at work or how you’ll make the mortgage payment this month? Other times there are environmental causes underlying the inability to sleep and these could include such things as city noise, bright lights, and extreme hot or cold temperatures. Another cause for being deprived of that much needed sleep might be the introduction of a newborn baby to the household. In most, if not all, of these cases, taking sleep supplements might help you doze off but you will certainly be drowsy the entire next day. Instead of completing that project, you’ll be nodding off at your desk and that will just fuel the cycle. Being unable to finish that project you were so worried about will give rise to exactly the same stress-related factors that prevented you from sleeping the night before.
In terms of illnesses, this is something only a physician is qualified to diagnose. While you may suffer from an acute infection such as a cold or seasonal influenza, other illnesses such as arthritis and bursitis may lead to enough pain to prevent you from reaching a comfort level conducive to sleep. With acute illnesses, one or two nights of PM cold remedies may not cause lasting harm but, if your sleep patterns are changed in the long run, you will need to find ongoing solutions without those cold/sleep supplements.
Perhaps the most annoying factor in aging is the inability to get a good night’s sleep. As noted above, as many as 35.4% of older adults between the ages of 65 and 80 have found the need to take sleep supplements of some kind. If there are more than 35% of seniors who feel the need to take a sleep aid to fall and stay asleep, how many more do you think have the same problems but aren’t taking supplements for it? Yes, aging is definitely one of the most common causes of sleep deprivation in the United States and abroad.
A Key Takeaway
After all that has been said, the one thing you may be wondering about is how an app can help you track your sleep patterns. Some people are unable to sleep with a watch or other wearable, but apps using just your mobile phone are a good alternative. They do interface with some of the leading wearables and watches, but they aren’t necessary if you can’t wear them comfortably at night. What you should walk away with today is that sleep supplements might work in the short term but over a long period of time they may do more harm than good. It is always advisable to talk with your doctor before taking any supplements anyway and so most physicians would probably enjoy recommending a supplement-free sleep therapy.
Whether you are an older adult, a stressed out professional or the parent of a new bundle of love, it helps to be able to track your sleep patterns with certainty before seeking any remedy whatsoever. A sleep tracker app will do much of what a sleep center would do when diagnosing sleeping disorders and if you can find the answers you seek from the comfort of your home, all the better. Are you longing for a good night’s rest? Then, start tracking!