Poor quality sleep is devastating, especially if it is chronic. There are a lot of prescription meds to deal with sleep issues. The last ones are a.o. Z-drugs which include zolpidem, zaleplon and eszopiclone, as well as other components mostly aimed at other conditions, such as reducing anxiety and depression. The good news is that many of these drugs work pretty well in the short term (up to 6 months). But what about a long period of time? Can they also help with chronic insomnia?
A recent study was looking for an answer to this question. The researchers focused on an ethnically diverse group of women aged 49.5 on average, who suffered for a long time from sleep disorders, such as difficulty falling asleep, frequent awakening, and waking up early. The conclusion was unexpected. It turned out that there was no difference in sleep quality or sleep duration between those who did and didn’t take meds for 1 to 2 years.
The researchers highlight that their study is based on the subjective measures of sleep quality and didn’t take into account the lifestyle aspects of the participants (such as smoking and alcohol drinking).
Nevertheless, the researchers believe that women in the middle age with sleep disturbances should think twice before taking meds to tacle the problem. First of all, because it doesn’t seem to work in the long run. The second reason is that insomnia might be a symptom of other health issues that have to be treated first.
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