sleepingbeauty-1-595x400Let’s face it: we are living in some very busy times. Between work, home, family, social schedules and our love affair with our smartphones and tech devices, it’s no wonder we can’t wind down and get some decent shut-eye.  We’re so desperate for a good night’s sleep that sleep-aid medication use is soaring.  Although these treatments can be effective in putting us out at night, studies are finding that there are some serious risks that accompany the use of sleep aids such as Ambien.

A study published in April in the American Journal of Public Health revealed some alarming information regarding the correlation between sleeping medications and car accidents.  The data indicates that new users of sedatives nearly doubled their risk of vehicle accidents.  What’s more, the risk increases over time and can last up to a year after beginning the medication.

As advocates of optimal health, we do believe in the importance of a proper night’s sleep.  One of our core concepts is helping people achieve and maintain their healthiest selves, and good sleep habits are essential to that.  We recommend alternatives to sleep aids such as staying physically active and making smart, healthy lifestyle choices.  Another way to avoid disruption of sleep is by unplugging and putting our iPads, laptops and smartphones down well before we hit the sack.

All that being said, we certainly do understand that some people may require a little more assistance such as the use of sleep aids.  If that is the case, we recommend taking the lowest dose possible and using them only when absolutely necessary.  If you are someone who falls into this category, make sure you speak with your physician about the risks associated with taking these medications and try to come up with a plan to help you eventually come off them.  If you’d like some assistance from us, Dr. Brady would be happy to help!