Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Michael Jackson’s Struggle with Insomnia

The Associated Press reports today that Michael Jackson struggled with severe and chronic insomnia. A nurse told the AP that he wanted to obtain the drug propofol - also known as Diprivan - to help him sleep.

Diprivan is a powerful sedative that is injected into a vein. It is given to patients before an operation or medical test.

Jackson’s insomnia may have had a variety of causes.

The AP reports that the 50-year-old singer was rehearsing hard for his upcoming “This Is It” tour. This may have caused
adjustment insomnia. This type of insomnia results from a source of stress.

His concern about being unable to sleep may have developed into
psychophysiological insomnia. People with this sleep disorder worry too much about insomnia and about being tired the next day. As a result, they learn to become tense and anxious as bedtime approaches.

The AP article notes that Jackson would sleep with a computer on the bed. This is a sign that he may have developed bad habits that prevented him from sleeping well. This is called
inadequate sleep hygiene.

The AP also reports that Jackson often was in pain. Painful medical problems often cause
insomnia due to medical condition.

Jackson may have been taking a variety of
prescription medications. Many medications can suppress or disrupt sleep. Insomnia due to drug or substance may result.

His insomnia also may have been related to a mental health problem. The AASM reports that
insomnia due to mental disorder is the most common disorder in people who seek help from a sleep center for ongoing insomnia. Often it is related to depression or anxiety.

Do you struggle with insomnia? You can get help at an AASM-accredited sleep center near you.

Update - July 28, 2009: The AP reported today that authorities believe the drug propofol caused Jackson's heart to stop.

Update - Aug. 6, 2009: The Wall Street Journal reports that the abuse of propofol is a growing problem among medical professionals.

Update - Aug. 29, 2009: The AP reports that the Los Angeles County coroner's office determined the cause of death was "acute propofol intoxication."

Image by LainerJeanTater


Anonymous said...

His insomnia was more likely a result of having lupus. People with autoimmune diseases ofen have associated insomnia.

Becky said...

Michael had discoid lupus and vitiligo. They are both autoimmune diseases. People with autoimmune diseases can often suffer from insomnia and severe panic attacks (which often occur at night. Other serious health problems are often related to autoimmune disorders. Who knows how much or how long he had suffered. He reported difficulty sleeping in early adulthood and was diagnosed with lupus before his Thriller fame.

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