What do sleeping pills and cigarettes have to do with each other? I new study finds that people who take prescription sleeping pills, even once in a while, have a higher death risk than non-users. Over the years I have been surprised at the casualness I hear from people about their prescription sleeping pills use. I have heard on several occasions from people who were going on a red-eye flight that they went to their MD and got a prescription for sleeping pills. I have never understood why anyone would do that to their body when there are healthy alternatives available. In my Seattle hypnosis and Bainbridge Island hypnosis offices and via Skype, I teach clients clients self-hypnosis and other relaxation techniques and other tools specifically for ease of going to sleep. My Sleep, Sleep, Sleep hypnosis MP3 download has proven its ability to assist with sleep for many people. If you have difficulties with falling asleep, or wake up and cannot go back to sleep, call or email me and lets get you easily sleeping soundly throughout the night awaking in the morning after a night of restorative sleep relaxed, refreshed, energized and ready for the new day.

Sleeping Pills Called ‘as Risky as Cigarettes’

WebMD Health News, February 27, 2012: The top third of sleeping-pill users had a 5.3-fold higher death risk. They also had a 35% higher risk of cancer, the study found. “We are not certain. But it looks like sleeping pills could be as risky as smoking cigarettes. It looks much more dangerous to take these pills than to treat insomnia another way,” study leader Daniel F. Kripke, MD, tells WebMD.

The sleeping pills in question are known as hypnotics. They include newer drugs such as zolpidem (the best known brand name is Ambien) as well as older drugs such as temazepam (the best known brand name is Restoril). Hypnotic sleeping pills actually cause a person to fall asleep. This sets them apart from other sleeping aids, such as the supplement melatonin, which promote sleep through relaxation.

Over an average of 2.5 years, the death rate for those who did not use sleeping pills was 1.2%. It was 6.1% for people with sleeping pill prescriptions. Even those prescribed 18 or fewer sleeping pills a year had a 3.6-fold higher death risk. Based on these findings, Kripke and colleagues estimate that sleeping pills are linked to 320,000 to 507,000 U.S. deaths each year.

“We think these sleeping pills are very dangerous. We think they cause death. We think they cause cancers,” Kripke says. “It is possible but not proven that reducing the use of these pills would lower the U.S. death rate.” Hypnotic sleeping pills affect the quality of sleep. When used too often, he says, “people don’t feel as restored after sleeping with them.” He also points out that many hypnotic sleeping pills are habit forming. “For those at risk of addiction, or with other addictions, they can be dangerous,” he says. “And most of these drugs increase the effects of alcohol.”

It may sound surprising, but sleeping pills are not the best way to treat insomnia. The drugs clearly help people with short-term trouble getting to sleep. But for most insomnia sufferers, they are not the answer.

Read Sleeping Pills Called ‘as Risky as Cigarettes’

Does it really make sense to you as a non-smoker to take sleeping pills when there are other safe alternatives that do not include putting chemicals into your body? I understand that sleep is a major health problem for many people. I remember years ago what it was like to not be able to sleep. Now, thanks to hypnosis and other relaxation techniques, my head hardly hits the pillow and I am out for the night.

Are you one of the many people who can’t sleep? Call or email me and find out how you can learn self-hypnosis for sleep. Get the danger of sleeping pills out of your life and sleep peacefully throughout the night.

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