For many years, we’ve heard experts say that getting 6-8 hours of sleep per night is ideal. However, according to the Sleep Foundation, only about 2/3rds of adults in the US get the recommended amount. Out of this pandemic of insomnia has arisen a sleep aid industry that is now worth over $78 Billion per year globally and projected to nearly double by 2030.
Popular sleep aids include things like prescription antidepressants, antipsychotics and benzodiazepines, as well as over the counter remedies like antihistamines and melatonin. Unfortunately, these sleep aids, although often effective at helping us get a few more “z’s”, are also showing links to dementia in seniors.
A team of researchers followed a large group of seniors for nearly 15 years and found that those that were frequent users of sleeping pills had a 79% higher risk of dementia.
You can read more about that here- Sleeping Pills Linked to a Higher Risk of Dementia
Now, although a high degree of correlation between sleeping pill use and dementia risk doesn’t prove causation, it is cause for some healthy concern. My advice? Seek out a good functional medicine doctor to help you find and address the underlying health reasons for your insomnia and save the pills for only when you absolutely need them.
If you need recommendations, let me know.
Please send to a loved one who would benefit.