For about 70 million Americans poor sleep is a serious concern. Although there are many natural approaches to sleep problems, sleeping pills is the major medical approach. An estimated 60 million prescriptions for sleeping pills—also called hypnotic drugs—were filled in 2011, an increase from 47 million in 2006.
Risks of sleeping pills are well known. These include; addiction, headaches, nausea, drowsiness, and there are surely risks that have not been discovered yet
The study found an alarming risk from taking even a few sleeping pills over the course of a year. Taking just eighteen pills per year was associated with nearly four times the mortality rate of those who don’t take the drugs. For people taking prescription sleeping pills more often, and many do, had a 35 percent higher cancer risk.
It is clear that the FDA needs to take a harder look at the dangers of sleeping pills, and the medical profession should look to other natural alternatives which do not carry the risks of superscription drugs.