Dr. Mel Pohl shares what women should know about the addictive qualities of sleeping medications.
Read the full transcript »
The Addictive Qualities of Sleeping Medications Sleeping medications, if you read the labels, none of them are meant to be used chronically. That is, even if you have an underlying medical condition, sleeping pills are for short-term use. The only medication that has an indication for longer than a month is Lunesta®, and that’s only for six months. What that means is that if you are taking medication night after night, eventually several things will happen. One is, you will find you can’t sleep without medication. Second is, you are doing something that’s really outside of what the drug was invented for or what it was meant for and what it’s prescribing practices of good medicine go against. Third, and probably most importantly is we know that people who have sleep disturbances sleep better when they modify their sleep cycle and don’t take medications. We just had a study that came out in the Journal of the American Medical Association. What I am saying is learning how to think differently about sleep in this case, pain in other cases, learning how to think differently about a symptom and not look to a medication to treat it but rather look to behaviors that might improve sleep is really the way to go.