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Americans Are Popping Sleeping Pills in Record Numbers

Sleeping Pills

Story at-a-glance -

  • The first-ever federal health study about sleeping pill usage found that nearly nine million Americans take prescription sleeping pills in pursuit of good night’s rest, and rates are highest among the elderly (age 80 and up)
  • Prescription sleep aids are associated with increased risk of cancer, diabetes, obesity, amnesia, depression, disorientation, and an increased risk of death
  • Sleeping pills are also associated with bizarre and risky nighttime behaviors such as sleepwalking, sleepdriving, sleep eating, “sleep-sex,” and sleep-texting messages you have no memory of sending the next day
  • Insomnia comes with its own risks, including increased risk of infection, depression, cancer, and heart disease; sleeping poorly is also associated with junk food cravings and diminished ability to make good food choices
  • Studies are beginning to show a link between vitamin D level and quality of sleep; optimizing your vitamin D level may improve sleep quality, although more studies are needed to establish the exact mechanism

By Dr. Mercola

The first-ever federal health study about sleeping pill usage suggests that sleep is growing ever more elusive for Americans. According to the latest information, between 50 and 70 million Americans suffer from sleep deprivation, with increasing numbers relying on prescription sleep aids.

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