If you have been using sleeping pills to help with insomnia, the news from the most recent issue of the Brittish Medical Journal is going to give you some sleepless nights. Using these medications adds little to your amount of sleep, but the use of sleeping pills may have been associated with as many as 500,000 deaths.
The study looked at over 10,000 patients in the USA, sho were using drugs like Ambien, Lunesta, Sonata, and Resterol, and found that even infrequent use was associated with a 3.5 times greater risk of death, and if you used it often, you had a 5 times greater likelihood of dying. It was associated with deaths by cancer, as well, and it was associated more strongly with lung cancer than smoking.
The study only lasted for a two-and-a-half-year follow-up, and did not demonstrate a causal connection, just the association. Each of the 10,000+ patients, all of whom were using the sleeping pills, were matched with 2 control patients of the same age and gender, and similar overall health.
These results point to the need for more use of Cognitive Behavioral and otheranxiety management techniques to manage sleep and improve insomnia treatment. For patients who have trouble sleeping because of anxiety or depression, a psychologist may be more effective not to mentionless risky than these sleeping pills. The study also looked at other medications besides Ambien, Lunesta, Resterol and Sonata, but these pills that are among the 20 most frequently prescribed medications in the USA.
Between 6 and 10% of all adults in the USA have tried one of these sleeping pills.