Health Nut: Doctors Losing Sleep Over Sleeping Pills

Is falling asleep 10 minutes faster and sleeping 32 minutes longer worth the $3.50 per sleeping pill? Patients may think so. While the actual added sleep is 42 minutes, patients’ perceived increase in sleep time was up to 52 minutes, with certain sleep medications. A New York Times article discussed the controversy on sleep pills’ effectiveness.

Sleeping works work the same way as many anxiety pills; they decrease the anxiety in not being able to fall asleep so that the body relaxes. Sometimes, they also decrease the ability to remember dreams, so that the person feels they had a better sleep with less disruption.

Here are some suggestions from if you have trouble sleeping.

1. Maintain the same sleep schedule, even on the weekends. Go to sleep and wake up around the same time.

2. Create a comfortable environment that encourages you to sleep. Make sure your room is dark, quiet and cool. Make sure you have a quality mattress.

3. Finish eating and exercising three hours before bedtime. Exercising regularly will help you sleep better but avoid doing so too late at night. Also avoid drinking coffee and caffeinated beverages six to eight hours before sleep.

Of course, if you still have problems sleeping, contact your doctor. Something else could be distracting you from a good night’s rest.

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