sleeping pills

  1. Mood meds can cause car crashes

    Don't get behind the wheel when you take these drugs

    You don't have to wait for the apocalypse to see an army of zombies take to the streets.

    Just look outside your window right now.

    The "zombies" are the millions of people who amble and stagger around on the psychotropic meds given for mood and sleep problems. And while they're not out to eat your brains -- not yet, anyway -- they're every bit as dangerous as real zombies.

    Especially when they get behind the wheel.

    We already know that brain-scrambling drugs can turn even a cautious driver into an accident waiting to happen. Now, new research confirms that patients who take antidepressants, benzodiazepines, or sleeping pills have a much higher risk of being in a major auto accident than those who don't.

    Don't take your eyes off the road if you're not on these meds yourself. Most accidents involve two cars -- and you can only control what goes on in yours. That means you could be the best driver in the world, but still get creamed by a benzo-popping zombie.

    Like booze, many meds can alter response and reaction times. But that's only part of the problem when it comes to psychotropic drugs like the ones in the new study.

    Ever try talking to someone who's taking these things? It's an adventure. One minute, they're speaking to you. The next... the lights are on, but nobody's home -- and if one of these mental road trips takes place while the zombie is on an actual road, you don't want to be the guy in the crosswalk (or on the sidewalk, for that matter).

    The researchers behind the new study say docs should warn the patients who take these meds not to drive, but let's get real here. Docs can issue warnings all day, but they're not going to keep people from taking these meds and going to school, work, or the supermarket.

    They're out there, right now, and that's not going to change -- so it's up to you to avoid them.

    And if you're on these drugs yourself, don't wait for your doctor to talk to you about getting off the road. Talk to him about getting off the meds instead.

  2. Why sleeping pills don't work

    You just can't drug yourself to sleep

    The only thing worse than tossing and turning in bed all night is tossing and turning in bed all night even after you've popped a sleeping pill.

    For all the risks these drugs come with, you'd think they'd at least work.

    Nope -- and it's not just you, either. Take a peek out your window, and you'll find that your light isn't the only one still on. One new survey out of the UK even finds that 42 percent of sleeping pill users have been battling insomnia for 11 years or more.

    In other words... they're taking the pills, but they're still not getting the sleep they need.

    You'd think that after 11 years they'd figure out that the pills aren't helping. But let's be sympathetic here -- these people are so tired they can't think straight anymore, and that's not the only risk they're facing.

    Long-term insomniacs also have double the risk of everything from obvious stuff, like daytime fatigue and difficulty concentrating, to the less obvious -- like relationship troubles, according to the survey.

    That survey was sponsored by Sleepio, a company that sells an online psychotherapy program for insomniacs, so take it with a grain of salt -- but it's not out of whack with everything else we know about sleep drugs.

    The ugly truth is that, for many people, they either don't work or don't work well -- and they come with some awful side effects, ranging from bizarre sleepwalking behavior to a 5.3 times increase in the risk of an early death.

    But I get it. I know how bad it is to watch the clock all night -- and I know how tempting it is to take on all that risk and more in exchange for even one good night of sleep.

    The good news is, you can get that sleep without facing any of those risks at all -- and I had everything you need to know in the June 2012 issue of my Douglass Report newsletter.

    If you're not a subscriber, it's not too late. Sign up today, and you can read that issue -- and all my other issues -- in my online archives.

    I'm not done with sleep yet. Keep reading for the one thing you shouldn't do in bed.

  3. It's not dementia -- it's drugs

    Millions of people who've been told they have dementia have been told wrong. There are more than 100 drugs and dozens of conditions that can mimic the disease.
  4. New over-the-counter sleeping pill is a bad idea

    ZzzQuil, the new OTC sleeping pill from the makers of NyQuil, is really an old med -- and not a very good one at that. It's just Benadryl in a new package.
  5. Good night & drop dead

    If Russian roulette isn't risky enough for you, grab a few friends and break out a pack of sleeping pills. You'll all fall asleep, of course. And one of you might not wake up again.
  6. Common meds raise death risk

    It's the study every senior on the planet needs to see right now: Some of the world's most common drugs can dramatically boost your risk of an early death when taken together.
  7. Don't worry: You're not the next Heath Ledger

    Heath Ledger, like many other substance abusers, imbibed a frightening combination of powerful narcotics in an attempt to get high, and it killed him.

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