Sleeping Pill Safety: Know the Risks

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Product Liability Medical MalpracticeFor the huge number of people living in St. Petersburg, and throughout the country who simply cannot get a good night’s rest, despite every possible effort, sleeping pills may seem a blessing.

However, as more and more research is done, medical professionals are beginning to second-guess the worthiness of the medication.

It has been known for some time that sleeping pills can deprive a person of REM (rapid eye movement) sleep. There are five stages of sleep, the last of which improves brain function and prepares the mind for the day ahead.

Without adequate REM, memory and thought can be impaired, especially if an individual goes several nights in a row without falling into the deep sleep. Fatigue and depression are more likely as well, including cases in Saint Petersburg. Sleeping pills, taken continually, can create these problems, yet a person can become dependent upon them for reaching the first four stages of sleep.

Facts and figures are being compiled today as lawsuits are filed. There is some evidence that sleeping pills are a potential cause of lymphoma, lung cancer, colon cancer, prostate cancer, and permanent memory loss. Many of the patients prescribed sleeping pills for various disorders have learned this fact too late.

Even those lucky enough to avoid such a fate often report trouble with sleep walking, sleep eating, and other such behaviors, which are more common on the medication. It may sound humorous at first, but these habits can be very detrimental to one’s health. Precautions must be taken to prevent a sleep walker from wondering into potential hazards and sleep eaters can put on substantial amounts of weight.

Furthermore, normal REM sleep includes limb paralysis, which prevents a person from acting out his dreams and nightmares. However, when a person on sleeping pills does enter REM, limb paralysis doesn’t always occur. Imagine the dangers that come with a person acting out a battle in his sleep.

Sleeping pills can be beneficial when taken correctly, but they should not be used over a prolonged period of time, whether they are in prescription or OTC form. Doctors should be careful when prescribing them. Contact a personal injury attorney if you have had problems with this issue.