Dying for a Good Night’s Sleep?
The phrase “I’m dying for a good night’s sleep” just took on a whole new and frightening meaning.
A study, published in the latest Canadian Journal of Psychiatry found that drugs prescribed for insomnia and anxiety significantly increase your risk of dying.
Drawing on data gleaned from a 12-year survey involving over 14,000 participants, researchers concluded that popping a sleeping pill or downing an antianxiety drug just once in the month preceding the survey was associated with a 36 percent increase in the risk of death!
So, in other words, we’re not even necessarily talking about cases of abuse or overuse here.
You’re probably wondering if there were other factors in play here right? I know I was. Well, it turns out that even after adjusting for other issues that might affect one’s chances of dying…like alcohol and drug use, depression, overall physical health, and physical activity…the researchers found that the jump in mortality risk was still there.
So what’s the link between these drugs and the increase in the risk of death? The truth is there’s likely more than one.
Both sleeping pills and antianxiety drugs affect alertness, coordination, and reaction time. This means that when you take one of them you’re more likely to fall or be in some other kind of accident.
If you have breathing issues…like sleep apnea for example… or heart problems you shouldn’t be touching these drugs with a 10-foot pole. Both groups of drugs can suppress your respiratory system, complicating breathing issues and making sleeping under their influence particularly dangerous for you.
And, of course, let’s not forget that drugs like these also inhibit the central nervous system, altering brain activity and mood and leading to an increased risk of suicide.
The bottom line is that despite the benign and gentle image they’ve been given courtesy of a number of clever ad campaigns (Does Ab Lincoln chatting with a beaver ring any bells?), these are powerful and dangerous drugs. And, as it turns out, they can quite literally kill you.
So the next time you’re feeling a bit anxious, or having trouble sleeping, why not skip the drugs and opt for a natural approach instead? Deep breathing, meditation, and nighttime rituals can all help dial down the anxiety and have you snoozing in no time.
And, if you still feel like you need some extra help, look for an supplement with one or a combination of these proven natural sleep and antianxiety aids: melatonin, hops, valerian, L-theanine, and 5-HTP. Before you know it, you’ll be getting a good night’s sleep without having to die for it.
About the author
An enthusiastic believer in the power of natural healing, Alice has spent virtually her entire 17-year career in the natural-health publishing field helping to spread the word.
She is an advocate of self-education and is passionate about the power of group knowledge sharing, like the kind found right here on HealthierTalk.com. Alice loves to share her views on holistic and natural healing as well as her, sometimes contentious, thoughts on the profit-driven inner workings of traditional medicine.
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