NOW SLEEPLESS/INSOMNIA IS BECOMING AN INCREASING EPIDEMIC.... & omen of DEPRESSION which is forecast to be the leading human illness in near future...
Posted by Vishva News Reporter on November 26, 2008


or you could be in tuARy state of daily human life existence as per vED...
in which you are awake, sleeping/dreaming, in deep sleep but also
your aatmaa (soul) is becoming one with Creator bRH'm

jaagRUti (AWKENESS), s'vp`n (SLEEP/DREAM) ,






1.    There is an entire generation of people with sleep disorders due to industrial lifestyle including  normal 7-9 hours daily  sleep deprivation  with daily sleep debt of 2 to 4 hours....and about 10 per cent of the population suffers from insomnia, but its causes are not well known;

2.  Sleeplessness or Insomnia is an omen of major depression which is forecast to rank as the number one human health problem in near future;

3.   For others, it is situational, brought on by life anxiety and life stresses thereof such as caused by parenting, divorce, jobs, or sudden stress  such as the recent global financial meltdown, terrorism threat, political, economical and religious conflicts and wars;

5.   Even the hormonal changes men and women undergo in puberty, middle age, retirement, menopause can make sleep more difficult;

6.   There also may be a family connection- family behavioral practices causing sleeplessness is "contagious and infectious".....


1.   Most sleeping medication pills is tested, and approved, for up to four months' use;

But even in the short term, the pills can impair memory and co-ordination...  taking them long terms means taking them without knowing just how much damage that may do to health;  

3.  General patient complaint: "After my doctor put me on pills, there was no real follow-up. I had to spend years searching for the causes of my own insomnia.";

4.    Family doctors rarely have time to take a patient's "sleep history," or explore underlying psychological or physical issues, but some steer insomniacs toward cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) instead of the drugstore;

5.  CBT and sleep therapy has proved to works well for about 80 per cent of people but doctors prefer pills;

6.  Despite trying therapy, psychiatric sessions and sleep clinics and pills to no avail....there is no biologically holistic approach to find cause and cure for sleeplessness including adequate research funding...;

7.  there is a social stigma of having sleeplessness which could be the biggest block to finding cause and cure....

8.  Ms. Greene, who teaches English at Scripps College near Los Angeles and is also the author of Insomniac, a book published last spring and recently praised by the New England Journal of Medicine says it all:  science has overlooked the role of neurobiology and genetics in insomnia and the problem is "so psychologized and neuroticized" because doctors don't understand the condition and are looking for "a way of passing the buck back to the patient." Dr. Morin director of the Sleep Research Centre at Laval University in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada says  "We don't know the biological mechanisms behind the inability to sleep,"

Also visit PVAF AASHARM NEWS ARCHIVE and vED pages to learn about various stages of human life existences including "sleep" and sleep deprivation topics.... and be inspired to not to be one of the sufferers...through daily living vEDik lifestyle by learning about Life and Creation Sciences called vED in sNskRUt language.....If you need help in increasing your vEDik understanding of daily sleep then please click here to contact Champak Mistry at PVAF by email.....who has shared his vEDik library with vEDik knowledge inserts in this news story...... 

The above summary of today's health news story should excite you enough to continue reading the full text of the news....please click on the next line to continue reading....


Canada is becoming a nation of insomniacs.....
Demand for sleeping medication has leaped in the past five years,

and those most in need of serious shut-eye seem to be women......
Unfortunately, popping pills is one solution
that can turn into itself into a problem...

The Canadian Globe and Mail: November 15, 2008: Marina Jimenez is a senior feature writer.

For years, Stacie Fox feared the night. From the moment she went to bed, sleeplessness taunted her. Just as she began to drift off, it would jerk her awake again. As a result, she waded through her days with aching joints, swollen glands and a leaden heart.

"I felt like I was 80," says the 32-year-old actor from Burlington, Ont. "I felt like the whole world was going to end. My brain was in a fog."

Using makeup and her acting skills to hide her exhaustion, she tried everything she could think of escape her insomnia including the following:
-   A dairy-free diet.
-  Acupuncture.
-  Massage therapy.
-  Tai chi.
-   Good sleep hygiene (no caffeine or alcohol, no TV in the bedroom).
-   She even went to the Matrix Repatterning Centre in Aurora, Ont., where naturopathic doctors claimed to help "correct the imbalance in soft tissue, organs and bones.

Her family doctor tested her thyroid, liver and kidneys, her levels of blood sugar and cortisol, the "stress hormone." The results all came back normal.

Then her doctor prescribed sleeping pills.

Imovane, a tiny, bitter blue piece of magic, sent her into a sweet, sustained slumber. Comfort, at last. She slept like a baby.

Many are loath to admit it, but more and more people both in Canada and the United States are fed up with punching the pillow until dawn.

Consumption of sleeping pills has increased dramatically in the past five years. Prescriptions for zopiclone, the generic name for Imovane, rose 49 per cent from 2003 to last year, according to industry tracker IMS Health Canada, while those for all sedatives went up 15 per cent.

Canada's pharmacists filled 5.6 million prescriptions for sleep medication last year, representing $128-million in sales. IMS says 60 per cent of users are women, more than half of them between 40 and 60.

In the U.S., the phenomenon is even more remarkable:
Sleeping-pill use increased 60 per cent from 2000 to 2005,
-  prompting Forbes magazine to dub the business a $20-billion (U.S.) "sleep racket."

"It's a virtual epidemic," says Jeffrey Lipsitz, medical director of the Sleep Disorders Centre of Metropolitan Toronto.

Sleep experts pin the increase on several factors:

-    newer drugs (Imovane here and Lunesta and Ambien in the U.S.),
-   aggressive advertising south of the border and a poor grasp of the mysteries of sleep itself.
-   About 10 per cent of the population suffers from insomnia, but its causes are not well known.
-   For some, such as Ms. Fox, it is chronic. For others, it is situational, brought on by divorce, or sudden stress, such as the recent global financial meltdown.
-   Even the hormonal changes women undergo in middle age can make sleep more difficult.

Today's medications are much safer than those of the past - less addictive and less likely to cause a hangover - but doctors still prefer to prescribe them on a short-term basis only.

Even so, many end up taking them for months, even years, without knowing just how much damage that may do to their health.

Most sleeping medication is tested, and approved, for up to four months' use (the U.S. decision to allow Lunesta prescriptions to run longer has sparked controversy). But even in the short term, the pills can impair memory and co-ordination.

Stacie Fox never imagined that five years later, she would still be taking Imovane. "Insomnia has defined my life," she says. "It's embarrassing. People are so quick to judge, and say, 'This is your problem,' implying it is all in my head.

"After my doctor put me on pills, there was no real follow-up. I had to spend years searching for the causes of my own insomnia."


Taken properly, Dr. Lipsitz says, "sleeping pills don't cause long-term medical problems, but neither do they solve insomnia."

Julia and Amanda, two old friends living in Toronto, know that, and yet they still turn to Imovane when they crave a good night's rest. Both are in their mid-40s and overwhelmed by the demands of juggling children and their careers (afraid of repercussions, neither wants her real name used). They look forward to the pills the way they enjoyed smoking a joint in high school.

"On a recent girls' weekend," says Julia, a civil servant, "I brought along magazines, jelly beans and a stash. I stopped drinking wine at a certain time so I could take a sleeping pill."

Amanda, who works in publishing, nods. "We called it our 'sleep-cation.' Some people feel it is a sign of weakness. But it's something you know everyone is doing but no one ever talks about."

Julia adds: "No one ever says Imo-what? But at the same time it's a personal issue, like discussing your salary or what deodorant you use."

People have long relied on chemicals to wind down. Barbiturates such as Seconal depress the nervous system, and were made famous in Jacqueline Susann's 1966 novel Valley of the Dolls (the three main characters all take "dolls" to get to sleep). By the 1970s, a new drug family - the benzodiazepines, known as Valium and Halcion - came into widespread use. Although still addictive, they were considered less dangerous than Seconal.

Now, the zoplicones rule, and at least some of the current sales spike can be attributed to aggressive promotion south of the border for Lunesta. In 2005, the year it was introduced, its manufacturer spent $270-million (U.S.) on advertising that featured a green moth that lands on a teacher as she sleeps. In the morning, the moth flies out the window, and the teacher has a fabulous day.

Canada prohibits the advertising of prescription drugs, and Lunesta isn't available here, but viewers can see commercials for it and Ambien, a similar product from Sanofi-Aventis, on American channels and crave the relief they bring.

But the limitation of sleep aids is that they address the symptom, insomnia, not what's causing the problem. Dr. Lipsitz believes the inability to sleep is almost always a symptom of another problem - ranging from stress, depression and anxiety to migraines and high blood pressure.

But a minority of patients have insomnia as a primary diagnosis and can't overcome it, no matter how much they meditate, or how many massages they get. And nobody really knows why some people sleep so soundly, while others wake up at the slightest sound.

Most sleep clinics concentrate on sleep apnea, a disorder that obstructs the upper airway and is easier to diagnose. Insomnia affects many more people but has no magic diagnostic test - and no cure.

Family doctors rarely have time to take a patient's "sleep history," or explore underlying psychological or physical issues, but some steer insomniacs toward cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) instead of the drugstore.

Such therapy focuses on a patient's approach to sleep and, according to psychologists, works well for about 80 per cent of people. It takes much more time and effort than just popping a pill, but Jaan Reitav, a Toronto clinical psychologist accredited by the American Academy in Sleep Medicine, says a clinical trial conducted in Norway compared the effect of CBT and Imovane on 46 adults and found the pills lost their effectiveness after six months, while CBT did not.

Despite her early success with medication, Stacie Fox soon had to increase her dosage, and then change to another product. At one point, she went to a sleep lab, which said she was suffering from apnea and fitted her with a special mask to keep her air passage open. However, she couldn't get comfortable and would fling it off a night.

"It didn't solve my sleep problems," she says, whereas the medication gave her some rest, and let her carry on with her life and career. She appeared in a recent TV commercial for WestJet and plays a naughty, biscuit-snatcher in a Peek Freans ad.


These days, she is trying a more holistic approach. She sees a counsellor to address the root causes of the anxiety that she now suspects is the real cause of her insomnia.

As well, she attends a workshop at Eli Bay's Relaxation Response Institute in Toronto that she credits with teaching her to relax. "I am a type-A personality. The on switch is always on and I don't know how to turn it off."

There also may be a family connection. Her father suffered from insomnia, as has her sister, Jennifer Fair, for the past eight years.

Medication has provided relief to Ms. Fair, a 34-year-old hairstylist with a six-year-old daughter.

"There is a comfort certainly in finally being able to take a pill, to have the luxury of falling asleep," she says. "People take it for granted, but when you cannot sleep, it is very debilitating and really affects every facet of your life."

Ms. Fair says there is a social stigma to resorting to medication, but people are beginning to open up about their sleeping difficulties. "If you're a diabetic, people don't slam you for taking insulin."

But for some, such as Toronto civil servant Amana Karim, nothing seems to work. The self-described "hard-core, lifelong insomniac" has tried therapy, psychiatric sessions and sleep clinics, to no avail. Her doctor has prescribed various sleeping aids, and they worked only for a time.

"I would love to have my brain scanned to see what is going on there," says the 59-year-old native of Guyana. "Something is off. It's like a computer chip that won't let me fall asleep."

Her insomnia is so crippling, she says, it put strain on her common-law marriage, which has since ended. She often turns down invitations to the theatre or concerts because she is so exhausted she has to turn in by 9 p.m.

Gayle Greene has heard hundreds of stories like Ms. Karim's since she started her website, "They are just desperate for help. It is an amazingly awful thing," says Ms. Greene, who teaches English at Scripps College near Los Angeles.

She is also the author of Insomniac, a book published last spring and recently praised by the New England Journal of Medicine for its critique of specialists who have overlooked the role of neurobiology and genetics in insomnia. She feels the problem is "so psychologized and neuroticized" because doctors don't understand the condition and are looking for "a way of passing the buck back to the patient."

Ms. Greene takes medication to sleep, and bemoans the lack of funding for insomnia research. The National Institutes of Health spent just $20-million in 2005 - a mere fraction of the $270-million spent to advertise Lunesta that year.

Experts agree with her. Charles Morin, director of the Sleep Research Centre at Laval University in Quebec City, says more is known about anxiety, depression and stress. "We don't know the biological mechanisms behind the inability to sleep," he says.

In fact, says Antonio Culebras, a neurologist at Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, N.Y., "to try to understand insomnia through psychological means is tantamount to investigating the structure of a house by looking at the roof. We need to start researching the foundations."

For example, are women really worse sleepers than men, or are they just more likely to seek help?

Some progress is being made. Recently, researchers studied images of an insomniac's brain and discovered something Dr. Culebras calls "hyper-arousal" - a persistent alertness despite the need for sleep.

In patients suffering from fatal familial insomnia, an incurable condition that can kill within a year of its onset, there are degenerative lesions in the thalamus, situated in the front of the brain.

"Sleep is a function of the brain," he explains, "and sleeplessness is the consequence of brain dysfunction."


Julia and Amanda aren't hard-core insomniacs. But they believe that a good night's rest is their due - and that it gives them a competitive advantage over young up-and-comers in the workplace.

And, in a life where there is so much they cannot control, sleeping medication guarantees when and how long they will sleep.

Julia knows it is not natural to have to work as hard as she did in her 30s, but there is often no choice. On nights when she lies awake watching the clock, anxiety about missing sleep only fuels her insomnia. She cannot chair a meeting, or present complex research results on two hours' rest. "I think there is an entire generation of people with sleep disorders," she says.

Amanda, who has a one-year-old at home and works full-time, says she feels she needs "seven hours of rest to enhance my performance."

But is it possible that such expectations are too much - that there never was such thing as a great night's sleep?

In pre-industrial Europe, for example, sleeping for eight consecutive hours wasn't normal, American historian Roger Ekirch says. While in Britain to research his 2005 book, At Day's Close: Night in Times Past, he discovered what he calls "segmented sleep."

Instead, people slept for two to three hours, surrounded by braying animals, people emitting terrible smells, and other environmental disturbances.

They awoke at midnight for one or two hours, and then settled back down for a second "dawn" slumber.

In the interval, people stoked the fire, made love, prepared the next day's meal, stole apples from the neighbours, prayed, meditated or reflected upon their dreams. "Basically, they did anything and everything imaginable," Prof. Ekrich says with a chuckle.

"The consolidated, seamless sleep we enjoy today was not the norm in the 19th century," he says on the phone from Virginia Tech, where he teaches. "There is no idyllic past in terms of sleep."

His findings resonate with those of scientists at the National Institute of Mental Health in Washington D.C., who have conducted clinical research into segmented sleep and found that, without the interference of artificial light, many people naturally slept in two phases.

"Insomniacs may simply be experiencing this pre-industrial, once-dominant pattern of sleep," Prof. Ekrich says. "Many insomniacs find this a relief to know it's not a mental-health issue, and they are not abnormal."

But insomniacs who cannot spare a 10-hour block of time for "segmented" sleep may still reach for the bitter blue pills to get what they need.

"When you don't sleep, you look at the world through a dark storm cloud and feel so hopeless," Stacie Fox says.

"I feel ripped off of five years of my life."

Not long ago, people used to brag about how little they slept. It was the sign of hard-nosed ambition, Herculean strength. British prime minister Margaret Thatcher and U.S. president Bill Clinton claimed they could get by on five hours.

But most people want to get to sleep, and today insomnia affects 10, and perhaps as much as 15, per cent of the population.

Among the ailments treated by Canadian doctors last year, sleep disorders ranked No. 27, but two of their key components, depression and anxiety, came third and fourth. In fact, insomnia is an omen of major depression.

And sleep patterns can change. In January, the man who once boasted he could run the White House on next to no shut-eye found himself dozing off repeatedly during a tribute to Martin Luther King Jr. in a Harlem church.

Unfortunately for the former president, his nap hardly went unnoticed - after all, he was seated right behind the keynote speaker.

The end result: a field day for headline writers (Clinton Has A Dream!) and some incredibly funny videos for YouTube.

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