Using sleeping pills to get a good night’s sleep may be hazardous to your health. We are learning just how important sleep is for our overall health and well-being and our lifestyles are making getting that sleep harder and harder.
More and more people are relying on sleeping pills to get to sleep or to stay asleep – about $2 billion are sold each year. A new study by Scripps Clinic showed that using sleeping pills can increase the risk of death and seems to cause an increase in cancer cases in regular users. The study looked at patients aged 18 years and up and found increased risk for all age groups.
The risk of death was 3.6 times higher for patients who were prescribed 1-18 sleeping pills per year and the risk of new cancers was 35% higher for those prescribed at least 132 doses per year.
Patients can try to avoid using sleeping medications by practicing good sleep hygiene. Try to go to bed at the same time each night, limit “screen” time before bed, keep the bedroom dark, cool and quiet. Avoid alcohol and caffeine before bedtime and don’t exercise too late at night. If a bed partner’s loud snoring is a problem you can either sleep in another room or, preferably, have that person checked for a sleep breathing disorder. Loud snoring can be a sign of obstructive sleep apnea.
For more information about obstructive sleep apnea diagnosis and treatment please contact Dr. Mark Levy at StoneRidge Dental Care in Gahanna, OH today at 614-476-6696.