Sleeping pills 'don't work' for four out of ten adults

Sleeping pills are failing to give British insomniacs the rest they so desperately need, a new survey has revealed.

sleeping pills don't work, survey finds

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The poll, by online sleep improvement programme Sleepio, found that the often-prescribed medication is doing little to help the 42 per cent of adults who have had trouble sleeping for 11 years or more.

A further 22 per cent suffered with insomnia for between two and five years, and one in six had been sleeping badly for between six and ten years.

Yet the 10 million sleeping pill NHS prescriptions dished out each year are failing insomniacs up and down the country.

And since The Great British Sleep Survey found that the average sleep quality score for more than 20,000 UK adults was just five out of ten, experts have suggested that alternative therapies are desperately needed.

Sleepio, for example, uses cognitive behavioural techniques that have been proven to help poor sleepers to retrain their mind and body to get a good night's rest within six weeks - and without the need for prescription pills.

Dr Andrew McCulloch, chief executive of the Mental Health Foundation, told the Daily Mail: "Alternatives to sleeping pills such as Sleepio are urgently needed in primary care settings to provide more adequate treatment to the public."

What do you think? Should the NHS offer alternative therapies for the treatment of insomnia? Leave your comments below...