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Long Sleep Duration, But Not Short Sleep Duration, Predicts Mortality Risk

Recently, a meta-analysis involving 35 published studies and over 1.5 million adults found that the increased risk of death associated with sleeping more than 7 hours was significantly greater than the risk of sleeping less than 7 hours. Regarding short sleep and mortality risk, previous studies using extreme definitions of short sleep duration of less…

Influential Report Advises Against Sleeping Pill Use By The Elderly

The Beers list uses specific criteria to identify and list inappropriate, high risk drugs in the elderly that should be avoided in favor of a non-drug approach or safer medications because the high risk of toxicity and adverse side effects clearly outweigh the benefits. The Beers list was originally developed in 1991 and subsequently expanded…

Sleep Medications Are Not Clinically Effective In A Large Number Of Patients

A new study on the real-world effectiveness of sleeping pills found they do not alleviate insomnia in most cases. The study assessed the effects of benzodiazepine-type sleep medications (including Ambien, Lunesta, Dalmane, Restoril, and Sonata) on insomnia remission rates in a clinical sample of almost 200 patients with real-world comorbidities such as pain, anxiety, or…

The Human Brain May Be Designed for Seven Hours of Sleep

New research suggests that seven hours of sleep is associated with: 1. the lowest mortality risk while longer sleep is associated with greater mortality risk than shorter sleep; and, 2. peak cognitive performance for individuals between the ages of 15-75. In a study published in a February, 2016 issue of Nature, the world’s most cited…

The Eight Hour Sleep Myth

The eight hour sleep myth has been perpetuated by some sleep scientists, pharmaceutical companies that fund those scientists, and organizations such as the National Sleep Foundation that are heavily funded by pharmaceutical companies. Fortunately, this myth was recently exposed in a historic symposium at the annual national sleep meetings in Denver (the Associated Professional Sleep…

FDA petitioned to revise warnings about sleeping pills and add “black box” warning

A Citizens Petition was submitted to the Food and Drug Administration on 10/26/15 to revise warnings about hypnotics (sleeping pills), including possible black box warning for evidence of a serious hazard associated with their use. The petition was submitted by Dr. Daniel Kripke, professor emeritus at the University of California at San Diego and an…

Sleeping Pills are Only Marginally Effective

There is little evidence that the newer generation sleeping pills such as Ambien or Lunesta are more effective than older sleeping pills such as Dalmane or Restoril. There is, however, plenty of research to suggest that they are only mildly effective just like their predecessors. A meta analysis of sleeping pill studies published in 2006…

CBT-I and Depression

CBT-I has consistently been shown to be the most effective treatment for chronic insomnia. It improves sleep in 75-80% of insomnia patients, is proven more effective than sleeping pill in all studies that have directly compared the two treatments, and reduces or eliminates sleeping pill use in 85-90% of patients. CBT-I achieves these dramatic outcomes…

Sleeping Pills and Reward Pathways

Drug dependency implies tolerance, in which increasing doses of the drug are required to produce an effect, or withdrawal symptoms such as anxiety, agitation, or physical stress reactions when the individual attempts to stop using the drug. Drug addiction involves drug use that adversely affects occupational, personal, or social functioning because the individual cannot stop…