FEATURED ARTICLE: Why Sleeping Pills Are Risky For Older Adults
Difficulty sleeping is a common problem in old age. Older adults find insomnia to be very distressing, and often seek prescriptions for sleeping pills from their doctors, or use over-the-counter sleep aids. More often than not, they view sleeping pills as harmless. They ought not!
Sleeping pills pose various risks for older adults. These risks include daytime drowsiness, mental sluggishness, forgetfulness, confusion, altered blood pressure, poor coordination, impaired balance, falls, and hip fractures. Any agent that makes someone sleep more deeply at night may leave him or her more prone to wet the bed or to fall if they get up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom.
Sometimes sleeping pills do not cause problems on their own but through interactions with other medications. And some sleeping pills are addicting.
Not all sleeping pills are the same. This month’s featured article reviews the various types of sleeping pills, including over-the-counter sleep aids, and the risks each type poses for older adults. Readers interested in reading the full article will learn why sleeping pills should not be taken lightly.