Are sleeping pills a health risk

13 Mar 2012

Sleeping pills are the handy, go-to method for those who are unable to go to sleep naturally. They can be easily purchased at the local pharmacy or supermarket and now pills are even available in herbal form, and so people readily take them to cure the odd bout of insomnia.
However, studies have shown that this drug, whilst helpful in the moment, can cause long term effects to your body and can even result in mortality. In the UK alone one third of the population suffer from the problem of insomnia. Whilst this seems to be a relatively small statistic, those who are prescribed sleeping drugs are 4.6 times more likely to die during a two-and-a-half year period. This drug isn’t a slow killer to the system; instead it acts quickly and presumably before those taking the drug are even able to notice it.

Seemingly, the higher the dose, the greater the risk, and greater the percentage of users the greater the threat as a whole. The experts at the Jackson Hole Centre for Preventive Medicine in Wyoming and the Scripps Clinic Viterbi Family Sleep Centre in California, researched the risks of the drug. Their findings hypothesised that those who are ingesting 18 to 132 pills a year have a 4.4 times higher risk of dying, and people who are prescribed more than 132 pills a year have 5.3 times higher threat of death. In addition to this, effects were greatest amongst the 18-55 age groups, which seem to cover a large range of ages. This is the first time that sleeping pills have ever been viewed as a risk, and some are even claiming that it can cause cancer!

If that wasn’t bad enough, people are still resorting to giving their children medical sleeping aids. Parents are now able to go to the doctors and get Phenergan prescribed for their babies. If there are health risks involved for adults receiving sleeping pills, who knows what the risks are for infants? Instead of increasing the threats on the personal wellbeing of yourself or your child, perhaps the focus should be on behavioural practices. Substitute the medication for a sleep consultant and help your child sleep in a positive and effective way, a method that holds no risk on health or mortality.www.babysleepclinic.co.uk

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