1. What about sleeping pills?
People should avoid using most types of ‘sleeping pill’ for any longer than 3-4 weeks. Sleep medications should be temporary.
That’s the standard instruction for best medical practice in most of Europe and North America. Official medical treatment guidelines recommend limited use only.
But, in reality, doctors and patients usually ignore this advice! More than half of patients use their prescribed sleeping pills for longer than 3-4 weeks, and 20% continue beyond a year.
Patients say they …
2. Why Sleeping Pills Fail!
More than 15% of Women 50+ take sleeping pills regularly despite strong evidence they're risking cognitive decline, cancer, infection, and earlier mortality.
You may be wondering: What can possibly be wrong with a pill that helps me get more sleep?
Here’s the surprising answer: Sleeping pills don’t actually help you sleep!
The main problem with sleeping pills?
Probably most people think a sleeping pill is a pill that puts you to sleep.
Unfortunately, this just isn’t true. Pharmaceutical …
3. Feeling dependent?
It can be surprisingly difficult to stop using sleeping pills.
That’s why medical authorities in North America and Europe recommend that sleeping pills should be taken for no longer than 3-4 weeks.
England’s public health agency, Public Health England, classified sleeping pills as “medicines associated with a risk of dependence or withdrawal.”
The agency warned that such “prescribed medicines may cause withdrawal symptoms when stopped abruptly. These symptoms can be distressing for the per…
4. Sleeping Pill Withdrawal - research study
Here's research showing good news! Especially if you're one of the 15% of older women who feels dependent on sleeping pills.
The good news of this research is: It's never too late! A woman can decide to stop her sleeping pills, even if she's been taking them for years. Within 5 months, she will likely have found better sleep without pills, and a happier life too!
That’s the evidence presented in this well-designed study by a research team in Finland, in 2018.
It's a study based on the wo…
5. Your Amazing Brain!
Maiken Nedergaard is a charming Danish neuroscientist who has changed sleep science forever — and she has helped explain why Alzheimer’s disease is connected to poor sleep!
Your brain’s ‘glymphatic system’
In 2013, Dr. Nedergaard revealed her discovery of the ‘glymphatic system’ — your brain’s amazing system to cleanse itself during sleep.
Every night, during deepest sleep, the ‘astroglial’ cells of your brain actively shrink in size and arrange to form special channels that open wide. T…
6. The Problem of Sleeping Pills
The over-use of sleeping pills is a significant medical problem. And it’s a problem that’s especially harmful to women 50+. A survey from the American CDC (Centers for Disease Control & Prevention)  showed that nearly 14% of women over 45 took sleeping pills on most days of the previous month.
For decades, medicine has known about serious risks associated with sleeping pills — even while many trusting women have damaged their health with these drugs.
Since at least 2002, various researc…
7. What is a sedative hypnotic?
Dr. Kripke uses the phrase 'hypnotic prescriptions'. What does that mean?
'Hypnotic' is a technical word that refers to a sleeping pill. The most usually prescribed sleeping pills are classified as 'sedative hypnotics'.
A 'hypnotic prescription' is a prescription for this type of sleeping pill.
Here's Dr. Kripke's quotation again:
Receiving hypnotic prescriptions was associated with greater than threefold increased hazards of death even when prescribed fewer than 18 pills/year. This asso…
8. 2023 research reports risk
Here I'm sharing a most concerning research paper just published in 2023. It gives us still more evidence that sleeping pills carry serious risks with prolonged use.
This research study was very large and well-designed, based on analysis of government data.
More than 480,000 people were followed in a health screening program in Taiwan. Information about their general health data had been collected, including the average length of their nightly sleep, and their use of sleeping pills.
9. Self-Enquiry Questions for Sleeping Pill Users
Self-Enquiry Questions for Sleeping Pill Users
Here's standard questions intended to help people recognize problems of medication dependency and withdrawal.
SUGGESTION: If you’re concerned about your sleeping pill prescription, discuss this with your prescribing doctor. Maybe consider these questions:
> your sleeping pill prescription is extending beyond 3 weeks
> you take a sleeping pill for most of the times when you want to sleep
> when the medication feels less effective, you…