Why Are You Using a Sleep Drug?

Sanofi-Aventis' response to increasing reports of patients walking, eating and driving in their sleep after taking their potentially harmful drug Ambien in yesterday's USA Today was typical.

After conducting a review, the company found "no significant change" in the safety of Ambien. And, because 4 percent of patients are prone to sleepwalking anyway, a company spokesperson says there's no conclusive evidence Ambien was the actual cause. And, others blame outright drug abuse, citing "sky-high levels" of Ambien in patients' bloodstreams.

Based on a study conducted last year, however, problems with sleep-eating, sleep walking, sleep apnea and restless leg syndrome are likely tied to the use of antidepressants, drugs that are just as worthless and harmful to your health. In fact, virtually all of the patients participating in that sleep study were taking an antidepressant too.

What's the potential upside for taking a sleep drug? Merely getting to sleep 15-20 minutes faster than not taking one, meaning not much at all.

Getting the right amount of sleep every night is an important tool your body demands to stay healthy and prevent disease. If you're having difficulty doing so, please review my secrets to a good night's sleep -- none of which include a drug -- today.

USA Today April 24, 2006

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