By Michael A. Smith, MD
The lead researcher, Dr. Daniel F. Kripke, told WebMD, "We are not certain. But it looks like sleeping pills could be as risky as smoking cigarettes. It looks much more dangerous to take these pills than to treat insomnia another way.”
Hypnotic Sleeping Pills are DeadlyThere are two broad categories of sleeping pills. The first are called hypnotic sleeping pills. They work by actually causing a person to fall asleep. The second category of pills promotes sleep through relaxation.
The sleeping pills in question are the hypnotic ones, including Lunesta®, Sonata, Halcion, Dalmane, barbiturates and older antihistamines such as diphenhydramine. Dr. Kripke concluded that hypnotic sleeping pills “…are very dangerous. We think they cause death. We think they cause cancers. It is possible but not proven that reducing the use of these pills would lower the U.S. death rate."
Adverse Effects from Sleeping PillsThe following list of adverse effects comes straight from the National Institutes of Health on a popular hypnotic sleeping pill.2
- Daytime drowsiness & lightheadedness
- Dizziness & loss of coordination
- Nausea & vomiting
- Heartburn & unpleasant taste
- Unusual dreams
- Decreased sexual desire
- Painful menstrual periods
- Breast enlargement in males
We need safer alternatives to help us sleep. So, here’s one of our suggestions.
Milk Peptides Are Safer than Sleeping PillsFirst are bioactive milk peptides. These are a cutting-edge nutrient complex consisting of patented bioactive peptides found naturally in milk. Used widely in Europe to promote sustained and restful sleep patterns, published studies reveal that these bioactive milk peptides also promote relaxation, help with stress, and support daytime cognition.
A group of 60 women reporting a variety of sleep-related difficulties experienced as much as 65.6% improvement in their symptoms with just 150 mg per day of these bioactive milk peptides.3 In another study, the same 150 mg dose induced substantial improvements across 27 markers of sleep quality and stress response in 165 healthy adults.4
Be Careful with Any Use of Sleeping PillsThe bottom line is that hypnotic sleeping pills simply can’t be considered safe. As such, it’s best to avoid them as much as you can.
Here are some of our suggestions for promoting safe, healthy sleep:
- Be consistent. This means going to bed and waking at the same time, even on weekends.
- Move your bedroom clock out of eye view. Looking at the time only creates anxiety and can make sleep nearly impossible.
- Wrap up with a comfy comforter. This almost simulates being back in your mother’s womb, and it’s a great way to relax.
- Avoid TV, e-mail or any electronics for two hours before bedtime. These are all stimulants and should be avoided.
- Some people claim that aromatherapy works too. Try a candle with a lavender scent!
- Finally, consider giving milk peptides a try.
- BMJ Open. 2012 Feb 27;2(1):e000850. Print 2012. PMID:22371848 [PubMed - in process]
- Eur J Clin Nutr. 2007 Apr;61(4):536-41.
- So Ken Study: Effect of Lactium® on sleep disorders. October, 2006.
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