Between his multiple companies, and growing concerns about his electric car company Tesla, he reported at times working 120 hours per week. That’s about 17 hours a day leaving the rest of that time (7 hours) to do everything else necessary in his life, including sleep whenever possible. If I had to guess he would probably go stretches until almost collapse, as opposed to giving himself some much needed rest (but I do not know for sure).

By his own admission in the interview, his relationship with friends, family, and co-workers have suffered tremendously. This sounds a lot like last week’s blog about how sleep deprivation can not only make you personally feel lonely, but can alienate people from you as well. In addition I have written extensively about how sleep can affect our emotions.

Now people are questioning his recent set of tweets talking about his stock price, sending the stock market reeling.

The journalist also reported:

“To help sleep when he is not working, Mr. Musk said he sometimes takes Ambien. “It is often a choice of no sleep or Ambien,” he said.”

I would like to challenge that thought.

I know exactly where it comes from. I have seen the desperation in people who cannot get good or any sleep, watching it for over 20 years. It is pure fear in their eyes, and the tragic aspect of it all is that when they are in it, people cannot see a way out. This is where Behavioral Sleep Specialists and Sleep Medicine Physicians can step in.

There is no question that, prescription medication has its place in sleep medicine. In most cases it can be safely used to “Break the Cycle” of insomnia, while teaching the patient why they are not sleeping, and how to use well researched techniques, known as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia (CBT-I), Sleep Restriction therapy, Sleep Hygiene and even nutraceutical supplementation, to get back into a healthy sleep cycle. Next, the protocol is to slowly taper prescription medications so patients can sleep prescription-free. This makes sense and would be an excellent protocol if followed, regularly.

Not all patients will be able to accomplish this task. Some have extenuating circumstances which may require extended use of medications (severe mental and physical health issues, divorce, death of a loved one, etc), that is a decision between the patient and their doctor, but be sure that it does happen. But for the most part, if those prescribing these medications would also include therapy for patients maybe we would see less of these problems.

Mr. Musk, is a highly intelligent, driven person, who is undoubtly changing the world for the better, in many ways. I am fearful however, that he could be destroying himself.

As you all know I have dedicated my career to helping people with sleep issues and have done so with my educational writings, services and products. If you find yourself in “desperation mode” when it comes to sleep, go to www.sleepcenters.org and put in your zip code to find an accredited sleep center near you, where you should find both Medical and Psychological Sleep Specialists there to help.

If you are looking for a “Sleep Coach” plz read my blog post describing what you need to look for in a coach. If you want to start by simply tracking your sleep check out my favorite sleep tracker www.SleepScore.com .

If you are looking for more educational information searching through my blog will give you a ton of great info. Please get the help you need, it is available.

Sweet Dreams,

Dr. Breus

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