Sanofi-Aventis, NSF launch sleep education program

WASHINGTON Sanofi-Aventis, which manufactures the insomnia drug Ambien, and the National Sleep Foundation are launching a new campaign called Sleeping Smart which is designed to educate the millions of Americans who suffer from sleeping problems about the importance of a good night’s sleep, proper sleeping habits, the consequences of insomnia and the safe and appropriate use of prescription sleep medications.

As part of the campaign, results of a new survey of over 1,000 American adults aged 18 and over released yesterday showed that while nearly 60 percent of those at increased risk for insomnia say that their symptoms affect their daily activities at least a few days a week, only about half of those at increased risk for insomnia have actually initiated a conversation with their healthcare professional about their sleep issues.

One key note of the survey according to Helene A. Emsellem, MD, FAASM, medical director, The Center for Sleep and Wake Disorders, Chevy Chase, Maryland and a volunteer with the National Sleep Foundation was that the, “survey found that 85 percent of all respondents believed that people often or sometimes misuse prescription sleep aids.” And that it is, “It is important for patients to work with their healthcare professional to determine the best course of treatment for their insomnia, including lifestyle changes, adjusting bedtime sleep routines, cognitive behavioral therapy, and/or prescription medications that help people fall and stay asleep,” added Emsellem.

For more information about the program the Web site is www.sleepingsmart.org.

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