With over 20 years of experience as a Behavioral Sleep Therapist, I’ve worked with many patients who use sleep medication for some relief from their sleep difficulties, and I’m very familiar with both the benefits and risks of sleep medication.
Before I jump in, it’s important to acknowledge that sleep medication is very useful for some people because it’s far better to sleep with medication than to not sleep. However, while sleep medication can be helpful in a crisis situation, almost all manufacturers’ labels caution against long-term use of sleep medication.
Links to the studies found in this video
- Residual Effects of Sleep Medications Are Commonly Reported and Associated with Impaired Patient-Reported Outcomes among Insomnia Patients in the United States
- Sleeping tablets: How do they affect your sleep?
- Download the Sleep Easy iOS app
- Access the app on your Android device
The Facts About Sleep Medication
A 2015 published study showed that approximately 80% people who use sleep medication experience some level of residual symptoms, including nightmares, difficulty concentrating, headaches, dry mouth and periods of amnesia. As you also may know sleep medications can also lead people to taking actions in their sleep—such as driving, cooking, and online shopping—and having no memory of having done so. I know that might sound outrageous, but it is a well documented phenomenon that has led to devastating outcomes.
Additionally, studies have shown that sleep medication can interfere with the restorative brain processes that occur during important stages of sleep. So while sleep medication seems to put you to sleep, the problem is you don’t get deep, restorative sleep for your body and mind.
One important stage of sleep that is often disrupted by sleep medications is the REM stage. REM stands for Rapid Eye Movement, which is the stage where you dream. The REM stage is part of the sleep cycle which has been identified to improve your mental and emotional health. Because pharmaceutical sleep medications reduce REM sleep it decreases your emotional and mental resilience.
During the course of normal daytime functioning the brain builds up toxins, called beta amyloids. Stage 3 sleep, which comes before the REM phase, is the deepest phase of sleep and is characterized by large, slow brainwaves. These large brainwaves function to flush out brain toxins. However, sleep medication causes a reduction in these large delta brainwaves, and that contributes to the buildup of toxins in the brain. When this happens, the toxins clump together and form plaques which can lead to cell deterioration in the brain, causing memory issues and is also thought to be a cause of Alzheimer’s disease.
Because of the physiological and chemical changes that occur in the brain when taking sleeping pills, most people quickly develop a tolerance that requires them to take higher doses of the drug for it to remain effective. This quickly becomes an addiction.
The Sleep Easy Approach to Sleep Medication
There is a way you can use to reduce and eliminate the need for sleep medication—without withdrawal. I’ve developed a program to do just that and it’s available to everyone in the Sleep Easy mobile app.
The Sleep Easy program gives you a way to calm anxiety and have your mind become quiet without medication or meditation. This is likely easier and more effective than anything you have previously tried.
In this program, you will be guided day-by-day in a progression that makes the medication reduction process gentle and comfortable.
Through this process, the need for medication gradually falls away.
Of course, whenever you are reducing your medications, it is important to do so under the supervision of your physician. The Sleep Easy app gives you information you can share with your physician so you can make the best decisions about your sleep health together.
What is the Sleep Easy Method?
Sleep Easy is a comprehensive sleep solution I developed over 20 years. Used by individuals worldwide who suffer from extreme insomnia & other sleep difficulties.
In 1991, my life and my clinical focus took a turn, as I had two major life crises occur in the same week. This caused extreme anxiety and soon after I developed severe insomnia. Over the next year I slept an average of only three hours a night. This devastated my life. I tried all the treatments, but nothing worked.
At that moment, I began a decades long journey to learn more about how sleep happens. My findings became the Sleep Easy Method. My method has led to features in 100+ medical journals and publications like the International Journal of Sleep Disorders. I’ve worked with large medical groups serving over 300,000 patients and with companies like United Airlines, Hewlett-Packard, and more. But I know there are still millions with sleep disorders.
We offer a personalized program where you work directly with me and my team. We are so committed to solving your sleep challenges, we guarantee having you sleeping better or you receive your money back. To find out more or to schedule a free sleep consultation, select “schedule now” to set a time for a free sleep evaluation from my team.
Our mission is to apply what I’ve learned to help you sleep better – starting tonight.
Are you ready for your FREE sleep consultation?