Tens of millions of pounds are spent every year on over the counter and prescription sleeping tablets, but these work only in the short term and can lead to addiction and cause accidents and falls. Kevin Morgan, Professor of Gerontology at the University of Loughborough has conducted research in this field for the past 20 years and says “insomnia has never really been on the Department of Health’s radar and there is no central drive to improve access”. Professor Morgan’s latest research examined the effectiveness of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for more than 55 insomniacs with long term physical health problems.
More than 12 million prescriptions for sleeping pills were dispensed by chemists in England, Scotland and Wales last year.
In a time of economic challenge, it would seem to make a lot more sense if the NHS were to invest more in terms of alternative therapies and treatments for patients – magnetic therapy, for instance, can make a considerable, inexpensive difference to widespread problems, such as insomnia.