Tag sleep

Sleeping Pills Can Kill


Eszopiclone (Lunesta), zaleplon (Sonata), and zolpidem (Ambien) can cause automatic sleep behaviors leading to injuries from falls, car accidents, and accidental overdose. Talk to us (574-534-9911) and your family about preventing such accidents.

“Most people have talked or walked during sleep at some time in our lives. However, some people exhibit more unusual complex behaviors while asleep, including eating and driving. These types of behaviors, called parasomnias, come about when parts of our brain are asleep and other parts awake at the same time. Parasomnias, while generally considered normal in a healthy child, can be a cause for concern when they develop in adults. Earlier this year the FDA issued a “black box” warning for the sleep medications eszopiclone, zaleplon, and zolpidem, given reports of sleep behaviors that resulted in injuries from falls, car accidents, and accidental overdoses related to their use. The FDA also notes that all medications used to promote sleep reduce alertness and may cause drowsiness the following day, which may impair your ability to drive.” – Suzanne Bertisch, MD, MPH – Harvard Health.

What Can You Do?

1. Call us for an appointment at 574-534-9911 to discuss options.

2. Always take the lowest effective dose for the shortest possible time.

3. Get obstructive sleep apnea diagnosed and treated as it can cause insomnia. If you do suffer from sleep apnea, it can be dangerous to take sleeping pills or pain meds without using  CPAP.

4. Keep the door double locked.

5. Do not keep furniture in the middle of the room.

6. Have the bedroom on the ground floor.

7. Have heavy drapes in front of the windows.

8. Keep the door keys and car keys locked in a safe place.

9. Put the sharp objects away.

Consider Cognitive Behavior Therapy for Insomnia. CBT-I is the most effective long-term therapy for insomnia.

Thank you. Sleep Well. Be Safe.

Are You Awake? I Don’t Think So!

Photo Credit: Alex Bramwell

Photo Credit: Alex Bramwell

Several years ago, a patient surprised me, and the staff, “Doc, this is the first time I came to your clinic. I wasn’t here last week.” He, in fact, was seen at the clinic the prior week (he had filled out all the necessary paperwork, and had a progress note to prove his visit) and was sent to the sleep center for a sleep study! But, he was so sleep-deprived that he was living in a truncated level of wakefulness that he did not remember to coming to the clinic at all. For people like this, a quote shared by another patient comes true, “It feels like when I went to bed I was 18, and when I woke up I was 81!”

If you take care of your sleep, only then you can reach the highest wakefulness, a state full of lasting energy, enthusiasm, vigor, and vitality. At that highest level of wakefulness, you can squeeze out one magical moment after another from this greatest gift called life. If not, then your whole life will feel like a fleeting moment.

Here is how you can get started.

  1. Make sure your bedroom is dark, cool, and quiet.
  2. Reserve your bedroom for sleep and sex only. Keep work-related items out of the bedroom.
  3. Always maintain a consistent time to rise, even when circumstances prevent you from going to bed at your normal time. And, yes, that includes weekends.
  4. Avoid consuming alcohol three hours before bedtime.
  5. Avoid eating a heavy meal before bedtime because the process of digestion will interfere with falling asleep and may reduce the amount of deep sleep.
  6. Sweat for sound sleep.  
  7. Stay away from caffeine, certainly after one o’clock.
  8. Do not nap after two o’clock, and do not nap for longer than twenty minutes.
  9. Develop a relaxing bedtime routine. Listen to the music. Read a nice book. Take a warm shower because the cooling off promotes sleep. 
  10. Pray on the pillow.

If you follow these tips consistently and religiously, only then you can be at the highest level of wakefulness and only then you can proclaim, “I am awake.”

So, Are you awake yet?