Sleeping GirlThe FDA has issued  notice to doctors: an ingredient in roughly two-thirds of prescribed sleeping pills in the US is causing people to remain drowsy the next morning—increasing the risk for driving accidents and similar problems.

Women are more adversely affected, as their bodies process the drug even slower than men’s do.

Doctors are now supposed to cut sleeping pill doses in half for women, and are advised to do the same for men.

Ideally, of course, patients would not need sleeping pills. Many sleeping pills don’t let the brain cycle through it’s nightly rest and sort functions, resulting in side-effects that can manifest in an array of odd sleep-walking behavior.

Natural sleep alternatives include exercising during the morning (and not after lunch), reducing caffeine intake and limiting caffeine in the afternoon, sticking to a strict sleep schedule, creating a good atmosphere for sleep (no light—including cell phones!, smells like lavender, white noise, and a cool temperature), meditation, and supporting brain function with a natural sleep aid rather than one than one that causes artificial sleep.

Since sleeping pills aren’t seen as a particular dangerous, side-effect laden prescription as things go, it bears repeating that prescription sleeping pills can still be in your system the morning after you take them, and you should take them as directed by a doctor, and possibly even half your prescription until you can talk to your doctor about the new advisory. Or, of course, you could try one of the natural alternatives listed above!

What steps do you take to ensure a good night’s rest?


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