Healthy living

Over £1M spent treating sleep problems

Zone default image Sleep clinics should be used more

Over £1 million was spent on drugs to treat sleep disorders in Scotland in the last three years, new figures show.

The figures, obtained from parliamentary questions by the Liberal Democrats reveal the extent of sleep disorders in Scotland.

Over 130,000 people in Scotland have consulted their GP for a sleep disorder in the last 3 years.

At the same time nearly 1.1 million drugs have been prescribed to treat the problem, costing more than £1 million.

The party's health spokesman Ross Finnie said more people should be sent to sleep clinics rather than being prescribed drugs to combat the problem:

"These are revealing statistics on a little-known affliction. Many thousands of people across Scotland are silently battling with sleep disorders, which can be physically and mentally debilitating.

"Insomnia ruins lives, while sleep apnoea and narcolepsy can be fatal.

"The vast majority of these GP consultations are for insomnia. Effective treatments are available at Scotland’s sleep clinics but more must be done to improve access. Sleep clinics must be made a priority.

"By sending more people to sleep clinics we can keep them off sleep medicines and slash Scotland’s prescriptions bill.

"I am worried that this could be the tip of the iceberg in terms of Scotland’s sleep problems."

This article was published on Wed 30 December 2009

Image © olly -

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