sleep drugs

  1. Sleep drugs increase fall risk

    Sleep aids mess you up even when you're awake

    Blood shot eyes... slow, shuffling walk... slurred speech.

    No, these aren't Halloween zombies out creeping around today on the hunt for brains (or at least some candy).

    They're what you'll see out there every day, as millions of Americans struggle with sleep problems.

    Losing sleep just once can make you miserable. Missing out night after night is like living in a nightmare -- so, I can certainly understand the appeal of sleep meds.

    They're some of the best-selling drugs in the nation.

    Don't give into that temptation, because new research reveals a potentially life-altering risk.

    And this one is especially dangerous for older folks.

    These meds can lead directly to a fall.

    That's already a major risk that comes with the turf as you get older. The new study finds that even without meds or sleep problems, your odds of falling are at about 28 percent.

    Once you throw lost sleep into the mix, that risk jumps. It leaps all the way to 40 percent if you have the four major warning signs:

    1. trouble falling asleep
    2. trouble staying asleep
    3. waking up too early, and
    4. waking up feeling crummy.

    You'd think that getting more sleep would cut the risk of a fall -- and I'm sure it would, if you got more sleep naturally.

    But when that extra sleep comes from a drug, the new study finds your risk of a fall actually RISES!

    The reasons are pretty simple: Even if the drugs knock you out, you could still wake up in the night, maybe to use the bathroom, and when you do, you're even groggier because of the effects of meds.

    These drugs are also so powerful that you could still be off-kilter the next morning, even after a full night of rest.

    And for what? Studies show many sleep drugs on average provide an extra 8 to 20 minutes of rest.

    That's it.

    There's a better way to get more sleep, one that will help you get a full night of rest without increasing your risk of falls or causing the notorious side effects of sleep drugs.

    For short-term aid, try natural herbal therapies such as chamomile, passionflower, and valerian. You can often find all three together in one tea blend.

    Homeopathic sleep aids and melatonin can also help.

    More serious sleep problems, especially long-term battles with insomnia, are often a warning sign of something else going on your body. If you're a little older, it's often a hormonal issue.

    If you're in the San Diego area, I can test for and treat all the possible causes of sleep loss here at the Stengler Center for Integrative Medicine.

    Not in the area? I'm also available for advice by phone. Call 855-DOC-MARK to schedule a consultation.

    And don't forget to connect with me on Facebook!

  2. Common sleep drugs can kill heart patients

    Sleep meds can worsen heart failure

    Heart disease and sleep disorders are found together so frequently you might think they were sharing a pillow.

    Lack of sleep can cause damage in the body such as chronic inflammation, which in turn contributes to heart disease. And heart disease, of course, can make it difficult to sleep.

    As a result, heart patients often turn to sleep meds for help.

    All I can say is, don't.

    Not only are these drugs dangerous even for perfectly healthy patients, as I just mentioned, but they can be especially risky for heart patients.

    And if you happen to have heart failure, these drugs can hurt or kill you, as new research finds the meds can up the risk of cardiovascular events and even death by as much as 800 percent.

    I don't know about you, but that would certainly keep me up at night.

    Of course, the mainstream is acting stunned by the research, but I don't see what the fuss is all about here. Sleep meds -- especially benzodiazepines -- are known to slow heart function and disrupt normal breathing patterns.

    That's bad news for healthy patients. But for heart patients, as the new study shows, those side effects can be downright catastrophic.

    So while mainstream docs say we need more research and claim that heart patients should keep taking their sleep meds until then, I say it's time for a new approach to sleep disorders.

    There are safe, natural and proven drug-free solutions for sleep that won't put your life on the line -- and they can work for heart patients and healthy patients alike.

    You can read about some of the best options in this free report from my House Calls archives. But if you're a heart patient, of course don't trying anything new without speaking to a doctor first.

    I recommend working with an experienced holistic physician. If you're in Southern California, you can make an appointment to see me at my clinic in the San Diego area.

    Not in the area? I'm also available over the phone. Call 855-DOC-MARK for more information or to schedule a consultation.

  3. Common drugs linked to dementia

    Some of the drugs seniors use most often, including sleep and anxiety medications, can increase the risk of dementia by up to 60 percent.
  4. Sleeping pills just don't work for many

    The sleeping pills millions of people take each night may not do much for many sleep problems -- and they come with big risks.

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