|Credit: Sleep problems photo via Shutterstock|
The stress of searching for a job is keeping unemployed Americans up at night, a new study shows.
Conducted by Consumer Reports, the survey revealed that those looking for work were more likely to have trouble falling, and staying, asleep than those with jobs.
Among all problem sleepers, the study found that work-related stress was the most common reason for keeping them awake, followed by health problems and financial woes.
The survey of Consumer Reports' readers also revealed that women and obese people were more likely to report sleep problems than others.
While nearly 60 percent of those surveyed were considered insomniacs, the research shows most problem sleepers have found at least one treatment that helped.
"Some readers found great success with medication and others said that changes in their lifestyle helped them to sleep through the night," said Jamie Hirsh, senior associate editor for Consumer Reports.
The research found that 40 percent of those with trouble sleeping at least three nights per week have tried over-the-counter sleep aids, with 30 percent taking prescription medications.
Newer prescription sleeping pills, such as Ambien and Lunesta, and older sleep drugs like Restoril received some of the highest ratings for helpfulness by those surveyed.
Sleeping pills don't come without their own problems, however. Almost half of those who have used sleep medication, including the over-the-counter variety like Tylenol PM, reported side effects, including next-day drowsiness.
Given those side effects, Consumer Reports recommends trying behavioral steps, such as waking up at the same time every day, taking time to unwind before bedtime and getting exercise during the day, particularly in the morning, for those looking to improve their sleep cycles.
Another option is getting a new mattress, which 75 percent of those surveyed said helped their sleeping problems.
The study was based on surveys of 26,451 Consumer Reports' subscribers.