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Sleep-pain formulas provide relief


For many people, sleep does not always come easily. Pain and a host of other problems can often make it difficult — if not impossible — to fall asleep. Temporary sleeping problems, in turn, can cause a tired mind and lead to headaches and body pains that make it even harder to get a good night’s sleep.

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According to the National Institutes of Health, about 70 million people suffer from a chronic sleep disorder or intermittent sleep problems. Researchers say that a majority of this sleeplessness is the result of headaches, backaches, muscle aches, minor arthritis pain or menstrual cramps.

Sleeplessness and its resulting aches and pains have helped drive sales of nighttime pain relievers that provide short-term relief of the headaches and minor aches and pains that can accompany the inability to fall asleep.

According to IRI data for the 52 weeks ended Aug. 9, four analgesics brands designed to provide nighttime relief rank among the top 20 in the category. Together, the quartet of products — Pfizer’s Advil PM, Bayer Healthcare’s Aleve PM and McNeil Consumer Healthcare’s Tylenol PM and Motrin PM — accounted for $180.4 million, or 5.5%, of the analgesics tablets’ $3.3 billion in sales during the period.

In addition, Bayer has offered Midol PM in the feminine pain reliever category for almost a decade. Bayer said the product is formulated with a maximum-strength pain reliever and a non-habit forming sleep aid to provide relief from occasional sleeplessness associated with menstrual cramps, backache, muscle aches and headache.

While the sales of nighttime analgesics are only about a quarter of the sales of OTC sleep aids, the suppliers of these products said these dual-purpose formulas represent an important niche in the pain relief market.

“For consumers who suffer pain-related sleeplessness, Advil PM combines the No. 1 pain reliever with a soothing sleep aid,” she said. “[It] provides a healing night’s rest by helping you fall asleep fast, stay asleep longer and it’s non-habit forming.”

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