Lots of interest in sleeping better

On my weekend bit for Global TV here in BC on Jan 5, I mentioned in my item that the US FDA had approved the release of a new sleeping pill called lemborexant (generic name).

And I commented that if the data on which the US FDA relied to approve this new med is to be believed, this new drug would lead to a substantial improvement in a very common, nagging but clearly under-appreciated sleep problem, namely interrupted sleep, in which a person usually can fall asleep OK, but they wake up several times a night – some people every hour or so.

And although most people suffering from sleep interruption can fall back asleep after waking most of the time, this type of sleep problem is clearly linked to a much higher rate of downstream risks, such as falling, of course, daytime fatigue (ditto, of course), and most worrisome, perhaps even dementia since uninterrupted sleep seems to be necessary to clear the kind of “junk” (yes, that’s a medical term) out of the brain that is linked to a higher risk of dementia.

But even though I expected a few emails about this issue to “know more”, I am still quite surprised at the number of messages from people who clearly aren’t sleeping well.

So Canadians clearly need a better sleep aid than what is currently available (all of the e-mailers mentioned they were taking some type of sleeping pill).

But the sad thing is that if you want to know what Health Canada is planning to do, it’s good luck to you.

The HC web site does say this drug went through the mandatory phase 3 trial, meaning that the Canadian feds have exactly the same information that the Americans have.

But your guess is as good as mine as to how quickly Health Canada will act on what they have.