But that's only part of the picture. Experts believe there are millions more who try options like over-the-counter medicines or chamomile tea, or simply don't get enough shuteye.
Russell Rosenberg, an Atlanta-based sleep researcher, says "not everyone is running out to get a prescription drug."
The CDC study was the first of its kind. It was based on interviews with about 17,000 adults from 2005 through 2010. Study participants were even asked to bring in any medicines they were taking.
The study says that overall, 4 percent of adults said they'd taken a prescription sleeping pill or sedative in the previous month.
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