Why drugs won't help you sleep

Lights go out, head hits the pillow and see you in the morning -- and if that's how your nights go, then you don't have much to worry about when it comes to sleep.

But for millions of people, the head hits the pillow... but sleep never seems to come.

And when it does, it never seems to last.

Sleep disorders are a huge and growing problem, which is why sleep drugs have become a multibillion-dollar market. But despite all those meds -- and all that money -- the drugs don't even work for many people.

In a new survey out of the UK, a full 42 percent of people who take sleep medication say they've been battling insomnia for 11 years or more -- and another 39 percent haven't been sleeping right for between three and 10 years.

That just begs the question: If the drugs work, then why do the people who take them still have sleep problems year after year?

Clearly, the drugs don't work -- and even when they do lead to sleep, they don't provide the quality sleep you need to feel rested and ready for the day.

That's why people who take sleeping pills are seven times more likely to feel helpless and five times more likely to feel alone than people who don't take the drugs. They're also three times more likely to have difficulty concentrating during the day and twice as likely to have problems with relationships, mood, and productivity, according to the survey.

It's hard to say whether those problems are caused by the meds or the poor sleep. But the meds themselves come with risks all their own, including memory loss, hallucinations, and bizarre behavior.

Some people on sleep medication have been known to get out of bed and do things -- eat, make phone calls, even go out and drive and engage in other risky behavior -- all while theoretically asleep.

And to top it all off, people who take sleep drugs have a higher risk of cancer and even death.

So obviously, it's important to get your sleep -- but it's just as important that you get it the right way, and that's without dangerous meds that either don't work well or don't work at all.

Sleep problems can be caused by any number of issues, including hormonal imbalances and nutritional problems. Work with a holistic doctor to find and correct the cause of yours.