Do Sleeping Pills Really Work? - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

12/9/07

Do Sleeping Pills Really Work?

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An estimated 10-percent of Americans take drugs to fall asleep. Many of them may wonder why those pills are not working as well as they expected them to.  A new study from Baylor University says that the biggest problem is that Americans are asking for, and getting, the sleep aid prescriptions that they see on TV.  The Baylor study says that, in reality, if sleep aids work for you, it may just be that you are convinced it will work.  

Recent research at the National Institutes of Health backs up Baylor's claim. In the NIH study, half of the participants took prescription drugs and0 the other half took a placebo.  Those taking the prescriptions fell asleep only about 12 minutes faster and only slept 11 minutes longer.

Family physician Dr. Mathew Moreland says that, "when taking medicines like Ambien, Lunesta, Sonata, Roserem, they might not be as effective as we think they are."  Dr. Moreland adds, "The subjective nature of sleep disorders causes patient to think they work better than they actually do."

Dr. Moreland says that 11 more minutes each night will not make any real difference if your body is sleep deprived. He suggests that you talk to your doctor about lifestyle changes that may be of more help to you than medications in getting you the sleep that you need.

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