Finland counts the cost of insomnia

tiredSerious sleep disorders have been on the increase in recent years in Finland, with resultant costs associated with specialty care reaching an estimated EUR 20 million annually.

Now a survey into the financial ramifications of insomnia has revealed that additional costs associated with the disorder may be many times higher with sickness and absenteeism resulting in lower productivity and increased treatment expenses, reports Helsingin Sanomat.

Insomnia specialist, Markku Partinen claims that a good night’s sleep can reduce the risks of falling ill as adequately as physical exercise or a healthy diet. Sufficient amounts of good quality sleep can prevent obesity, depression, diabetes and even cardiovascular diseases.

The Finnish tendency towards anti-insomnia medications such as benzodiazepines has also been called into question, with Professor Sirkka-Liisa Kivela claiming that their use alters sleep quality to such an extent that natural and invigorating sleep is often not possible. Prof. Kivela argues that the practice of treating insomnia with benzodiazepines is far too widespread in Finland; and can lead to dependency.

Prof. Kivela advocates the use of non-addictive medication to treat sleep disorders; including using the naturally occurring human hormone melatonin which does not cause addiction or drowsiness, although studies have shown it to be effective only in some cases.

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