A combination of over-prescription and a high risk of addiction have resulted in an estimated half a million Australians becoming dependent on benzodiazepines, reports The New Daily.

“Most insomnia is due to stress in life or some sort of acute event like a death in the family. So normally it’s relatively short-lived and for most people sleep will just fix itself over time,” Associate Professor Ellen said.

“And you can speed that along by what’s known as ‘sleep hygiene’. Things like sleeping in a place that’s quiet, going to sleep at set times, not having stimulants like cigarettes or alcohol before going to bed.”