Problems with sleeping pills are in the news again. Consumers need to understand why; and what is the best sleep medication they can safely use to get their all-important restorative sleep?
What are the risks of taking some sleeping aids?
The most common types of prescription sleeping pills fall into two main groups; benzodiazepines and so-called ‘z-drugs’ that include eszopiclone, zaleplon, and zolpidem.
The list of potential side effects and risks makes dismal reading, which is why, as sleep medication is a multi-billion dollar, growing industry, consumers need to be aware of the problems they could face by using some of these products.
Typically, the main risks are, variously:
Drug tolerance. Over a period of time users can build up a tolerance to sleep aids, and have to increase their dosage for them to work, which in turn can lead to more side effects.
Drug dependence. Many people come to rely on sleeping pills, and are be unable to get restorative sleep without them. Prescription pills, in particular, can be very addictive.
Withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawal symptoms, such as nausea, sweating, and shaking are common if consumption of sleeping pills is halted.
Drug interactions. Sleeping pills may interact with other medications and can worsen side effects. This can be dangerous.
Rebound insomnia. If there is a need to stop taking sleeping pills, the insomnia can sometimes become even worse than before.
Drowsiness during waking hours. Sleeping pills like benzodiazepines act directly on nerve endings and muscle fiber to induce sleep and reduce anxiety. They can the taker feeling groggy during the day as well. Clearly, this can be especially dangerous when driving, for instance.
Higher risk of mortality. A study published in the BMJ medical journal proved the link between the use of sleeping pills and mortality risk. Sleeping pills are associated with a risk of death over 4 times greater than that of people who do not take them often due to an increase in depression leading to suicide risk.
Increased risk of cancer. The same study also showed evidence linking the use of sleeping pills to cancer, and revealed a 35% higher risk of developing cancer.
Memory loss and risk of Alzheimer’s. Sleeping pills can aggravate the symptoms of Alzheimer’s and speed up its evolution. A study by INSERM showed that using benzodiazepine for 3 months or more is associated with an increased risk (up to 51%) of developing Alzheimer’s, with the risk growing as exposure continued.
Antidepressants, that are often prescribed for help with sleep are known to cause nausea and dizziness. Trazodone has a long list of other potential side effects, including next-day drowsiness, abnormally low blood pressure, heart-rhythm disorders, a persistent erection in men, and suicidal thoughts and behaviors in children and adolescents.
Lastly,even over-the-counter sleep drugs are known to cause next-day drowsiness, constipation, dizziness, difficulty urinating, vision problems, and feeling mentally less sharp. For those over 65, there also risks of confusion, constipation, dry mouth, and cognitive decline.
The real problem with sleeplessness and how to solve it
It is clear that sleeping pills are not the ideal solution
to getting a good night’s sleep.
We need to look at this problem afresh
and find some real solutions.
And real solutions cannot have
any of the detrimental effects listed above!
During the day, our bodies are subjected to a range of internal and environmental stresses. These can include heat stress, cold stress, exercise, oxidative stress, food deprivation, hypoxic or anoxic stress, chemical toxins, heavy metals, mechanical stress, salt, alcohol, osmolality, and emotional and psychological stressors.
Sleeping pills are not ideal for getting a good night’s sleep. We need to look at this afresh and find real solutions.
Without realizing it, we put our bodies through a lot, on a typical day.
The root cause of an inability to sleep is that a combination of these stressors keeps our cortisol levels too high.
Cortisol is our ‘master hormone’, which normally plays a crucial role as an anti-inflammatory, in breaking down of glucose and many other essential functions. However, when there is stress, cortisol production increases and leads to ‘allostatic load’, which leads to physical and mental overload – not ideal conditions for sound sleep! For many, a modern lifestyle makes it almost impossible to avoid this kind of cortisol build-up and that is why the sleeping pill industry is growing so strongly.
By being stressed, we are creating an unnatural imbalance in our body. In order to counter this imbalance, most sleeping aids only consider the symptoms, providing central nervous system depressants in an attempt to force the body into a sleep-inducing state. That’s a bad idea, for all the reasons we have already seen.
The human body is an incredibly sophisticated creation – far more so than any computer that man can devise. It has its own self-regulating mechanisms and naturally occurring neurotransmitters that work ceaselessly to keep us operating optimally. However, when we either knowingly or unwittingly introduce stress and the unnatural imbalances that cause disease or lack of sleep, those systems are sometimes tested beyond their limits.
The good news is that although we may not be able to control our environmental stressors, we can manage our internal ones in healthy, natural ways. Rather than introducing yet more unnatural, foreign suppressants to treat symptoms of sleeplessness, the ideal answer is to help the body restore its natural, healthy balance using naturally-occurring ingredients that either the body normally produces itself or that healthy foods provide.
That’s what ASLEEP does. And because it consists of only naturally-occurring ingredients, there is no limit on the length of time you can take it. Natural transformation back to healthy, restorative sleep patterns, applied gently with ASLEEP, can take time, depending on how far you have drifted from a healthy balance. But there is no problem with that, since, by taking ASLEEP, you are only topping up depleted levels of things the body naturally produces and needs in order to function properly.
7 good reasons for switching to ASLEEP
- ASLEEP is made from high-quality, naturally occurring herbal adaptogens that overcome environmental stressors. This elite class of herb imparts strength, energy, stamina, endurance, and improves mental clarity. It stabilizes physiological processes and promotes homeostasis via several mechanisms which are linked to the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis and the regulation of key mediators of the stress response, including cortisol. These are ‘intelligent herbs’ that grow in inhospitable areas, including high deserts, cold mountains, dry and barren lands where they develop intelligent compounds to overcome environmental stressors.
- ASLEEP is non-addictive. Once you have restored a good sleep habit, you can stop taking it without going through cold turkey – or losing sleep! Pick it up again later, if your lifestyle demands it.
- ASLEEP addresses the root cause of sleep deprivation. It allows you to break the cycle of looking for more and more pharmaceutical products that only address symptoms and have detrimental side effects.
- ASLEEP contains pharmaceutical grade, synthetic melatonin. Two forms of Melatonin exist in general market. Natural melatonin comes from the pineal gland of animals and may pose a risk to humans because it can be contaminated with animal viruses. Synthetic melatonin, on the other hand, is safer to use because it is free from biological contaminants. Melatonin is also now recognized to have potent anti-cancer properties.
- ASLEEP contains ashwagandha. This is an ancient medicinal herb that has been proven to boost brain function, lower blood sugar and cortisol levels, fight symptoms of anxiety and depression and more.
- ASLEEP helps reset the body’s sleep/wake cycle. It’s ideal for those with a restricted or altered sleep schedule such as shift workers and those who stay up late or have jet lag.
- ASLEEP has a natural partner: AWAKE! People who don’t sleep properly end up with severe health issues. Awake has the formulation to regulate the body with adaptogens. It reduces the causes of sleeplessness by giving your body what it needs during the day. AWAKE also contains ingredients that help support cognitive function and mental stamina to make your day happy and productive. And of course, AWAKE also contains naturally-occurring, high-quality ingredients.
AWAKE and ASLEEP together, for optimal balance
You can think of AWAKE and ASLEEP together as the ideal natural multivitimins of the future. As a combined therapy, AWAKE and ASLEEP can help reset circadian rhythm disruption and are ideal for shift workers, travellers and students cramming for exams.
To find out more about AWAKE and ASLEEP and to purchase, click here.