It is estimated that c.10 million prescriptions for sleeping pills are issued every year in England alone.
That's a heck of a lot of pills.
But then again, as many as one in four people in the UK are thought to suffer from insomnia at some point in their lives.
Sleeping pills typically hail from 2 "families" - the Benzodiazepine family (Temazepam being the most well known) and the newer (and allegedly less addictive) Z-drugs family (with variants such as Zolpidem and Zopiclone).
The various side-effects and downsides of sleeping pills are well documented (and pretty scary once you get into the detail), so before you even consider heading down to your GP and asking for a prescription, why not consider doing the following:
- Make sure your bedroom is cool without being cold - read more here
- Cut out your weekend lie-in - sounds stupid, but it could really help - read more here
- Keep a pad and pen by your bed to put to rest those pesky thoughts that are keeping you awake - read more here
- Stay off the booze - read more here - and caffeine - read more here
- Take some exercise - read more here
- Make your sleeping environment as isolated and secure as possible - read more here
- Do everything you can to block out noise - read more here
- Have a hot bath about an hour before bed - read more here