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The Dangers of Sleeping Pills, What Are The Alternatives?

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sleep deprevation2Getting adequate sleep is probably the single best thing you can do to build and maintain good health. Yet, like so many throughout the world, you may struggle with insomnia – defined as poor or inadequate sleep or the perception of poor or inadequate sleep.   And the ensuing sleep deprivation can wreck your health and negatively impact your life.  Please see figure 1 to review some of these health and life risks.

In desperation, you have or will turn to potentially dangerous prescription drugs or over-the-counter preparations – generally referred to as hypnotics – for relief.  Unfortunately, these medications have significant side effects and financial costs to you   and to society at large.  For example, in the U.S. alone, over $285 million dollars are spent annually on the Z-drugs alone:  These agents generally fall into three categories:

  1. Benzodiazepines such Restoril, Xanax, Valium, and Ativan;
  2. Non-benzodiazepine drugs including  Ambien, Ambien CR, Lunesta, and Sonata; and
  3. Sedating anti-histamines such as Sominex.

Not only do they not address the underlying causes of insomnia, they come with considerable baggage in the form of worrisome side effects – memory loss, daytime sleepiness/fatigue, falls, bone fractures, motor vehicle crashes, plus the potential for tolerance/addiction and increased risk for cancers and death.  And the bad news continues to pile up.


For example, a recent study found that if you take these types of medications, all other things being equal, over only the next 2.5 years – by the middle of 2015 – you are more than 4 times (that’s right, more than 400%) more likely to be dead of any cause than if you don’t use such drugs. 


New research published in November 2012 found that people who had taken hypnotic medications during a three-year period had more than a 2-fold increased risk for dementia, especially those people between the ages of 50 and 65 years; the greater the exposure, the higher the risk for developing dementia.

Adding insult to injury, a recent analysis of data from multiple studies submitted to the FDA shows that about half of the perceived positive response to these drugs is due to the placebo response.

Surely, there are better options.  The first step is to optimize your sleep hygiene:

  • Establish a regular sleep-wake schedule;
  • Develop a relaxing evening routine one hour before going to bed;
  • Reserve the bedroom for sleep and sex only, preferably not at the same time;
  • Maintain a very dark room for sleeping – no electronic gadgets or LED lights;
  • Keep the room temperature 70 degrees or less;
  • Limit afternoon naps to 20-30 minutes;
  • Avoid vigorous exercise and excessive alcohol in the evening;
  • Eliminate caffeine in the afternoon and evening; and
  • Find ways to manage emotional turmoil.

As is so often the case, however, these measures, essential for maintaining high quality sleep over time, are seldom adequate to establish regular restorative sleep once insomnia or sleep deprivation has become entrenched in your life.

If that is the case with you, then consider any one of a number of safe and effective sleeping aids we carry here at Health Remedies.  This installment features one of our many high quality products:  GUNA-SLEEP.  A blend of botanicals, melatonin, and serotonin, GUNA-SLEEP is one of our best-selling sleep aids and was plugged on the Dr. Oz show earlier this week.  And although we have carried it for years, sales of GUNA-SLEEP have risen steeply just in the past few days.

So order yours today and start enjoying the benefits of restful and restorative sleep.  It’s as easy as following this link:


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