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Sleeping Pills and Related Dangers on the Rise

March 7, 2014

USA Today - HMS DSM researcher Suzanne Bertisch, MD, MPH discussed the rising use of sleeping pills and risks of mixing them with other medications.

In February HMS researchers reported in the journal Sleep that sleeping pill use is on the rise in American adults, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently found that more than half of users in the latest study were also taking other sedating drugs with their sleeping pills. This creates a dangerous situation in which patients can potentially fall asleep while driving.

The dangers could be reduced by using other treatments for insomnia in patients taking other sedative medications. Cognitive behavioral therapy has proven effective in patients with decades long insomnia, and involves having doctors work with patients to encourage habits that result in healthy sleep. 

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