3 Prescription Sleep Aids You Should Never Take

By Lee Bellinger / December 26, 2013

Dying to Sleep Better

Twenty-five percent of Americans are tripling their risk of dying in the next two years… and their doctors are helping them do it. You might be one of them and not even realize it. Our researchers pulled together this information for you based on reports from WebMD, Fox News and CBS News. For the sake of your health, we urge you to read every word right now.

The Link Between Sleep and Health

Restful sleep gives your body a chance to restore itself. When you sleep, your body cleans house. It makes repairs and attacks invaders like bacteria and viruses. When you sleep you heal. Every night. Without good sleep, your health will unravel. Study after study shows this. And many of these studies make it to the mainstream media. News stories blare out at you, telling you that if you’re not getting enough sleep, you’re getting fat, weakening your heart, shortening your life, and making yourself depressed.

It’s no wonder that a record number of people are turning to prescription and over-the-counter drugs to help them sleep. But that solution – inspite of carrying the FDA seal of approval – comes with its own set of serious health risks.

Poor Sleep Harms Your Health, but Sleep Aids Are Worse

Sleeping couple Poor quality sleep – whether you’re not getting enough hours of sleep or not sleeping well when you do get to bed—has been linked to:

  • Obesity: Poor sleep reduces the amount of leptin in your system, leading to poor appetite control.
  • Heart disease: Poor sleep leads to an increase in the stress hormones that can damage blood vessels and trigger high blood pressure.
  • Diabetes: Your body can’t process glucose as well when you don’t get enough sleep.
  • Headaches: Doctors don’t know why, but sleep problems can trigger chronic headaches.
  • Depression: Poor sleep throws your brain chemistry off, which can cause mood swings and depression.

This list might seem like a powerful argument for chemical sleep aids. But that’s really not the case…

Emergency Room Visits
Due to Sleep Aids
Have More Than Tripled

Since 2005, the number of people going into the ER because of sleep-aid related scares has risen 220 percent. The medicine in most prescription sleep aids can lead to dizziness, hallucinations, agitation, and sleepwalking incidents. It also causes daytime drowsiness, which can lead to a higher risk of injury due to accidents.

Three common brand name products containing this drug are Ambien CR, Edluar and Zolpimist, according to Science Daily. Aside from increasing your risk of landing in the emergency room, prescription sleep aids also increase your risk of dying. In one study, researchers tracked the sleep aid use of more than ten thousand people for two-and-a-half years. When compared with a control group tracked over the same period, people taking sleep aids – even intermittently – were three and half times more likely to die during the course of the study and 35% more likely to develop cancer. Obviously, a more natural alternative to sleep aids should be used.

Improve Your Sleep Without Compromising Your Health

The first step to getting a better night’s sleep is to develop good sleep habits. Try these steps to improve your sleep:

  • Don’t drink coffee after lunch.
  • Allow yourself some wind down time before bed—time for quiet activities.
  • Establish a going-to-bed routine.
  • Exercise during the day.
  • Get up at the same time every day (even on the weekends if sleeping is really difficult for you).
  • And frankly, though I’m not in a position to tell you to go against medical orders, we would seriously consider properly disposing of those pills and never taking another one.

In addition to good sleep habits, you can try a variety of different supplements that may also help.

Holy Basil: This herbal supplement is for people struggling with sleep because of anxiety and stress. Take 2 capsules in the early evening.

Valerian Root: Another herbal supplement, valerian root works by calming your nervous system. If you suffer from racing thoughts that wake you up after you’ve fallen asleep, valerian root is likely your best choice. Try 2 capsules 30 minutes before you go to bed.

Melatonin: A naturally occurring hormone, melatonin can help you fall asleep faster. It’s especially useful for people who can’t keep to a regular sleep cycle. Try half a milligram of melatonin 30 minutes before going to bed. Sleep quality is important to good health and to a good quality of life. Turning to prescription sleep aids for a better night’s rest can backfire, putting you at higher risk of landing in the emergency room, developing cancer, or even suffering from an early death. Instead, be patient, develop a good sleep routine, and try these natural supplements. You can improve your quality of sleep without risking your health.