May 03, 2006

The SLEEP trend - my battle, our profit?


To quote Gordon Gekko (wih a few subtle changes):

"The point is, ladies and gentleman, that SLEEP -- for lack of a better word -- is good.
SLEEP is right.
SLEEP works.
SLEEP clarifies, cuts through, and captures the essence of the evolutionary spirit.
SLEEP, in all of its forms -- SLEEP for life, for money, for love, knowledge -- has marked the upward surge of mankind."

And SLEEP -- you mark my words -- will not only save PFIZER, but that other malfunctioning corporation called the Pharmaceutical industry.

Here is the real speech - one of my all time faves .

Sleep is good no doubt, but American's are not sleeping . Rest assured (no pun intended) this is not just an American problem although we are likely well ahead of other countries in the acceptance of the problem as a solvable and profitable one .

We are supposed to sleep 8 hours a day, one-third of your life.

When I was in college and had my waterbed, I slept 20 hours a day. It was glorious.

When I hit 35 years of age, something stopped working. I have since been plagued with a sleep problem.

I have tried everything from multiple drugs, to sleep machines and settled on Ambien the last 4 years. I have never been at peace with that choice. Last week I decided to quit "cold turkey", to hopefully get some personal control back on the situation and look at other alternatives.

My kids have a blankie and I have Ambien. At $1,500 plus a year for the drug, I would prefer a blankie and accept the ridicule - if it would work. I hope to make a small dent in the $1.4 billion in yearly Ambien sales.

It has been an awful week. I have not slept. I am not sure if I will make it and I want to document it because it is such a change. I have never had to quit anything like this before and it has not gone well.

Funny, but my wife says my writing has been the best so far. Great - one more month without sleep and I will have a novel?

There has been huge money made off sleep, but I don't think the surface has been tapped. It is just reaching the public consciousness - ie. Sleep is for sale on Ebay Take a look at the long-term stock charts of some of the major players:

Sanofi-Aventis (Ambien)
Sepracor (Lunesta)
Resmed (sleep machines)
Respironics (sleep machines)

The effects from lost sleep are well documented and easily searched on the net. It is dangerous and shortens lives. It is a problem that afflicts both sexes .

I plan on beating this problem and am commited to a safe, long-term solution. I have much more research to share over the next few weeks and will hopefully receive some input from readers and share some interviews I do with doctors in the area that specialize in the problem.

No matter of my personal quest - the fact remains that the sleep industry is a juggernaut for the next decade and there are giant returns to be had.

Some personal notes on my case:

1. 40 years old
2. 5 years of sleep problems
3. 195 pounds (in the morning)
4. tonsils removed last december - note to self - what the f@#ch was I thinking
5. diagnosed with mild sleep apnea

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