Over-the-Counter Sleep Meds are Not Effective
May 29, 2010
Consistently sleeping for fewer than six hours each night may cause an early death. However, too much sleep can also cause problems.
New research analyzed data from 16 separate studies. People who habitually slept for less than six hours a night were 12 percent more likely to experience premature death.
While people who consistently sleep more than nine hours a night can also be more likely to die early, the oversleeping may be an indicator of underlying ailments rather than a cause.
According to The Guardian:
“The study noted that previous research into lack of sleep had shown it was associated with ailments including heart disease, high blood pressure, obesity, and diabetes.”
However, reaching for a sleeping pill in order to get a good night's sleep is pointless.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has had data for 15 years which shows that over-the-counter sleep products such as Tylenol PM and Excedrin PM don't offer any significant benefit to patients.
It is currently unclear why the FDA took 15 years to evaluate the data.
According to CBC News:
“An analysis of the data suggests the combination products are statistically better than a placebo but not by much.”