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National Sleep Expert Issues Warning about Popping Pills to Replace Sleep
Date:7/26/2012

CHICAGO, July 26, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Provigil is being touted by some as the "secret to success" in the absence of a full night's sleep, but national sleep expert Dr. Craig Schwimmer warns the quick-fix solution could be detrimental to an already sleep-deprived American population.

"I am very concerned that people have discovered yet another wonder pill they can pop when they get tired instead of figuring out how to change their lives in order to get the rest they need," said Dr. Schwimmer, founder of The Snoring Center. "Not a day goes by in my practice that a patient doesn't ask me for a prescription for sleeping pills or for a drug to increase their alertness during the day. It is a growing problem."

While Provigil is approved only as treatment for narcolepsy, sleep apnea and for people who work irregular hours, it is also being used by healthy Americans as a way to enhance focus and productivity. Users have gone on record saying the drug can make the difference between just making it and having the best day of their lives. There are possible side effects, including sleep deprivation, lethal rashes and worse, but of most concern is the fact that there is currently no data regarding the long-term effects Provigil has on a healthy brain.  

The real answer to society's sleep problem lies not in a pill bottle, but within lifestyle choices, Schwimmer said. While sleep requirements vary slightly from person to person, most healthy adults need between seven-and-a-half and nine hours of sleep per night to function at their best. Children and teens need even more.

"It strikes me as shortsighted and dangerous to think that we can outmaneuver our innate need for sleep by popping pills – particularly pills with no long-term safety data," Schwimmer said. "Is there really any reason to think that this latest pharmacological fad is any different than all those that came before it that are abandoned once the risks are ultimately p
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SOURCE The Snoring Center
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