It has been calculated that people who use drugs to aid sleep do sleep longer. About 11 minutes longer, each night!
So - is it worth it?
The Health Services Institute (HSI) in a recent newsletter reminded us that many sleeping drugs cause dangerous adverse reactions - like sleep-walking, sleep-driving, and sleep-cooking. But HSI say they are much worse than this, and quote a psychiatrist, Dr Kripke.
"The use of sleeping pills, including zolpidem [the generic name for Zolfresh and Ambien], is associated with higher mortality, and there are 18 studies that show that."
So is it worth it?
Researchers have shown that powerful sleeping drugs cause death by inhibiting the respiratory and central nervous system, and by impairing alertness, co-ordination and reaction time.
So unless you want to boost the profits of Big Pharma companies, sleeping drugs are best avoided.
"Medications for Insomnia or Anxiety Linked to 36% Increase in Mortality Risk" Laurie Barclay, M.D., Medscape, 10/5/10, medscape.com