As a person who struggles with insomnia, I can honestly say that almost anything is better than drudging through a week of sleepless nights. When you’ve been awake for several days, the idea of popping a pill to help break the insomnia cycle is pretty tempting. But a new study out of Quebec suggests that people who take sleeping pills have an increased risk of dying.
The study, which was published in the most recent issue of the Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, analyzed 12 years of data from Statistics Canada’s National Population Health Survey. Researchers found that taking sleep and anxiety meds was linked to a 36 percent increase in mortality risk.
Why? Perhaps because these drugs slow reaction time and alertness, which could lead to increased accident risk, reports the CBC. As well, these drugs affect judgment, which may increase the risk of suicide.
While I greatly respect the fact that no medication should be taken lightly, I do wonder how the increased risk of death linked to sleeping pills would compare to the increased mortality rate related to not sleeping. Research also suggests that not getting enough sleep affects your health. So which is worse? What do you think?