Crummy sleeper comme moi? Nab the February issue of Consumer Reports, stat

Examining insomnia from every angle (er...position?)
Examining insomnia from every angle (er…position?)

Merci beaucoup, Texture! You are saving me sooooo much moolah!

So the other day the Wee Lass and I were strolling – slowly and methodically – through our local Target, eyes peeled for goodies in all manner of categories: Books, boots, tennis togs, etc.

Historically, she and I have done intense damage at that fine establishment, returning home triumphant, laden with bags and bags of merch. We learned a long time ago not to go to Target with Hubby. He has many fine qualities, but he’s a total Target buzzkill.

As I was scanning the magazine rack, my heart leaped at the February issue of Consumer Reports.

Faithful Momoverettes know how much I struggle with what I call “situational” insomnia, and how I’ve worked my way through virtually every alleged fix on the market, from Zzzquil and melatonin to good old-fashioned Xanax.

So when I saw that the cover story was on the topic of sh—y sleep, I came thisclose to tossing it in our cart. But then I remembered I had Texture, and that it just might be available digitally.

And lo and behold, it is. Was? Is, I think. It’s still in my “downloaded” queue.

Anywho, whoa. It is soooooo comprehensive, poking and prodding at every conceivable angle of the rawther multi-faceted topic of sleeplessness.

Sidebar: Is every issue of Consumer Reports like this? Taking a single topic and knocking the stuffing out of it? If so, it’s pretty fantastic, in a no-stones-unturned kind of way.

I’m feeling list-y, so I’ve decided to cull…

5 Scary, Depressing Factoids from the Sleep(less) Issue of Consumer Reports

1. Despite those adorbs TV commercials featuring weird fuzzy “sleep pets,” the new Rx drug Belsomra is not only pretty much useless, it can also cause temporary paralysis. Call me crazy, but being paralyzed doesn’t sound even remotely restful.

2. Think you’re going the “safe” route by downing creepy, heroin-y ZzzQuil rather than gobbling prescription meds? Think again, my little insomniac. Because they seem relatively harmless, we tend to take too much of the drugstore stuff – dangerously high doses, in some cases. On the less dramatic end, they can cause cause constipation and confusion. Yay!

3. Next-day drowsiness is a Capital D Disaster when sleep med gobblers get behind the wheel of a car. All the many, many collisions caused by pill-poppers has even caused the FDA to cut the recommended doses for popular drugs Ambien and Lunesta in half.

4. The benefits of taking meds are microscopic. In a study of Belsomra users, participants only fell asleep 6 minutes faster than their placebo-taking counterparts, and slept, on average, a whopping 16 minutes longer. Remember the paralysis bit from Factoid 1? Hardly seems worth it, right?

5. Good ol’ melatonin has an even crummier staying-asleep record than Belsomra, yielding 8 whole extra minutes of shut-eye. Grrrr….

Happily, amid all this gloom and doom are solid suggestions for finding our snooze mojo through healthy bedtime habits, cognitive behavioral therapy, and a few gadgets and gizmos like blue-light eyeglasses for iPhone addicts and the Sleep Shepherd knit beanie.

Plus there’s an exhaustive comparison of mattresses, and a deep dive into the hallmarks of a primo pillow.

It’s definitely worth a read. Especially since you’re up anyway…