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August 18, 2010

     Worst Pills, Best Pills Newsletter Article, September 2010

Insomnia affects about a third of all Americans and an even higher percentage of elderly people.

Many people are prescribed sleep­ing pills to treat insomnia. But sleep­ing pills should be considered a last resort only used when other measures have failed to relieve insomnia.

Among the many ways to com­bat insomnia are limiting caffeine after noon, reducing alcohol intake, avoiding naps, practicing relaxation techniques, sticking to a regular sleep schedule, using sound machines if you sleep in a noisy place, and not using the bed for activities other than sleeping or sex.

Those who are taking sleeping pills should be aware of other medica­tions that can increase the effect of sleeping pills. Excessive sedation at night due to drug interactions could increase the risk of falls, should the person get up in the night for some reason. Moreover, excessive sedation causing respiratory depression could be dangerous for people with certain disorders, such as lung disease.

Read more including:

  • What specific drugs can interact with sleeping medications?