Taking sleeping pills regularly rises the risk for early death over four times greater
According to this new study from Scripps Clinic Viterbi Family Sleep Center in San Diego and Jackson Hole Center for Preventive Medicine, Jackson, have a 4.6 greater risk to die early on in life and that risk was not just for those that largely depend on them for a night of sleep but even those who use them minimally around eighteen pills a year carried a 3.6 times more likely risk of early death and hold the likely possibility to receive a cancer diagnosis.
For this study researchers had examined electronic medical records of roughly 33,500 persons and had followed 10,000 people who had used sleeping pills and 23,500 who did not use the pills for a period of two and half years. The sleeping pills used are FDA approved such as Ambien and Lunesta. Also noted the electronic medical records do not list cause of death.
Research findings had shown even those who take fewer than 18 sleeping pills a year had a 3.6 greater risk for death in comparison to those who did not use pills. Participants in the study were matched between control group non pill users by gender, alike age, health, race, lifestyle and body mass index. Also reported had been tobacco and alcohol usage in order to establish any other conditions which could have contributed to death rate.
During the study period six percent of sleeping pill users had died in comparison to only percent of the control group (non pill).
Researchers have estimated that sleeping pills just may be association with 320,000 and 507,00 American deaths.
Dr. Robert Langer, M.D,MPH, Principal Scientist, Medical Director at Jackson Hole and one of the study’s author stated researchers believed that maybe the sleeping pills were prescribed for sicker people and when they tried to take it out of the mix in several different ways. Dr. Langer stated “The risk was the same whichever way we looked at it.”
Dr. Langer notes the short acting sleeping pills such as Ambien leave the body within a few hours leaving people to believe they are safer but he notes that they are not that risks are still associated with occasional usage.
It has been noted by the researchers as reported by BBC News “The meager benefits of hypnotics, as critically reviewed by groups without financial interest, would not justify substantial risks.” They also note even short term usage may not be justified.
Professor Lader is Emeritus Professor of Clinical Psychopharmacology at the Institute of Psychiatry, Kings College London, University of London, acts as an adviser to the WHO on drugs in psychiatry had commented that people should not panic due to the findings or stop their medications. Professor Lader notes that the research was a careful study but notes more studies are needed. In closing he notes
“People should discuss this with their GP but should not under any circumstances stop taking their medication.”
This study was published in BMJ.
There are risks related to sleeping pills such as they can mask an underlying disorder, side effects that includes confusion, drug intolerance, drug dependence, rebound insomnia and drug interactions.
Many people today are opting for alternative therapies to help manage their sleep problems. Some of these therapies include:
People with sleep problems have been known to visit their chiropractor who can effectively diagnose and treat sleep disorders. Chiropractic treatments have been shown to aide those with sleep issues especially in children with severe sleep problems.
Chiropractic therapies used include spinal adjustments have been noted to offer immediate relief to those suffering sleep disturbances.
A study which had appeared in Acupuncture in Medicine, a BMJ journal had shown that acupuncture has immediate effects in reducing nocturnal respiratory events, sleep disruptions, and desaturations (low oxygen levels in the blood). For those who do not care for needles acupressure is also available.
In Detroit and surrounding areas:
A & L Chiropractic Center
24281 Middlebelt Road
Health First Chiropractic Clinic
333 East Jefferson Avenue Suite M298
Detroit Community Acupuncture
4100 Woodward Avenue
Acupuncture & Herbs Miracle
23700 Orchard Lake Road Suite K