Doctors hand out sleeping pills like they’re candy. Heck, maybe you’ve even taken one if you’re desperate enough for sleep. But you may want to think again next time you struggle to get some shut-eye.
A study in the British Medical Journal found that people who take sleeping pills are four times more likely to die than those not taking sleeping pills.1 Worst of all? People didn’t have to take sleeping pills regularly. Even those who took fewer than 18 pills per year were found to have an elevated mortality risk.
Is it really worth it? Before you answer, there’s even more to the story.
Because it gets worse.
Patients who took more than two sleeping pills a week over the course of a year had a 35 percent increased risk of cancer.
The long-term study followed 10,529 people. Researchers followed them for 2.5 years. Then they compared the subjects to 23,676 people not on sleeping pills.
Even after all the controlled factors, the results remained the same… an increased risk of death for those taking sleeping pills such as Ambien, Restoril, Lunesta, and Sonata.
Lead author Dr. Daniel Kripke says that the sleeping drugs could have resulted in 320,000 to 507,000 deaths in 2010 alone.2
Cancer and death aside, the list of side effects for sleeping pills is terrifying. They can cause sleepwalking, hallucinations, violent outbursts, sleep-eating, and driving while asleep.
It’s always the same question. If doctors and the FDA know that these drugs are killing people why do they keep writing the scripts and passing them out? Simple… Why would they want to slow down a billion dollar industry? In 2011, pharmacies filled 60 million prescriptions for sleeping pills.3 And the FDA continues to turn a blind eye.
The clinical trials say they are safe so they must be, right?! Wrong… again. The clinical trials for many prescription pills don’t evaluate the safety and effectiveness of the drug beyond several weeks. This is true for prescription sleeping pills too.
Not getting enough sleep is detrimental to your health. Lack of sleep puts you at a higher risk for chronic diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, depression, and obesity.4 And as we recently reported, people that get less than six hours of sleep have an increased risk of developing congestive heart failure.5 So, we need sleep.
Even if you don’t suffer from insomnia, we all have trouble falling asleep at times. Stress, anxiety, and diet can easily compromise our sleep patterns. And even though popping a pill to drift off seems easy, it may not be worth the end result.
There are plenty of safe and natural alternatives.
- Organic tart cherries and cherry juice
- Valerian root
- Lemon balm or chamomile tea
Forget the deadly sleeping pills. Go all-natural to make sure you get a good night’s rest and actually wake up.
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– Increased risk of death for those taking sleeping pills such as Ambien, Restoril, Lunesta, and Sonata. Click to Tweet
– Patients who took 2+ sleeping pills a week over the course of a year had a 35% increased risk of cancer. Click to Tweet
– Sleeping drugs could have resulted in 320,000 to 507,000 deaths in 2010 alone. Click to Tweet