Before you pop a sleeping pill to help you get to dreamland, consider whether it’s really worth it. Newly released research findings report that the use of sleeping pills can actually increase your risk of death 4.6 times.
A new study by Scripps Clinic reported in Science Daily found that using sleeping pills increased patients’ risk for disease and mortality – regular pill users were found to be at 4.6 times the mortality risk of a control group, and significantly more likely to suffer various forms of cancer.
Even Newer Sleeping Pills Can Be Hazardous to Your Health
This study is the first to show that eight of the most commonly used sleep aids, including Ambien and Restoril, pose significant health risks. The class of drugs including Ambien and Restoril, being more short-lived than older generations of sleep aids, was previously thought to be safer than those older ‘hypnotic’ drugs.
Regular use of sleeping pills is more dangerous, but even occasional use could be fatal.
In patients who regularly used sleeping pills, new cancer rates were 35 percent higher than among patients who were prescribed at least 132 doses of a hypnotic drug over the course of a year, compared to individuals who took no sleeping pills.
But regular users were not the only ones to suffer increased mortality risk. In fact, even patients prescribed between one and 18 sleeping pills over the course of a year suffered a risk of death 3.6 times higher than controls.
Try Non-Prescription Sleep Aids First
Before you resort to sleeping pills, try building a regular sleep routine, practicing good “sleep hygiene,” and meditating or relaxing before bedtime. If you can find healthy, natural ways to get to sleep, you can reap the rewards of healthy sleep patterns without the dangers of pharmaceutical aids.
Do you take sleeping pills? Are they worth it?