Sleep deprivation causes over 100,000 car accidents and over 1,500 deaths per year, but that’s not to say sleeping aids are the answer to getting a good night’s sleep. Getting enough hours of sleep can save lives, but taking sleeping pills to prevent fewer car accidents is still risking a life… your own.
Sleeping aids have become a reliant part of everyday society. With the long works days, hours spent studying in the library and stimulated brain waves through the blue light on phone and laptop screens, the population of “night owls” has increased to a concerning level. According to the American Sleep Association, 35.1 percent of Americans get less than seven hours of sleep in a 24-hour period. Mixed with the lifestyle that we live today, where instant gratification is a universal theme, people don’t have time to lay in bed with their eyes closed and wait to fall into deep REM. This is where sales in sleep aids have exponentially grown to an all time high.
We are taught that sleep is the most natural way for your body to heal itself. When we are sick, the doctors orders are bed rest and lots of fluids. A good night’s sleep and a healthy breakfast is the best way to start your day. But how can one get a good night’s sleep if they are stressing about their exam? Suffering from insomnia or another sleep disorder? Binge watching their favorite show on Netflix during the late hours because they’ve devoted their entire day to their career or academic responsibilities? Sleeping aids have become a normal part of society, they have turned into the answers to our problems. The problem is, because it is a norm, we don’t see any consequences until we are faced with an epidemic. Up until now, we casually took sleeping pills like we take our daily multi-vitamins.
PSA From The FDA: FDA Strengthening Warnings For Some Popular Sleep Aids
On April 30, 2019, the United States Food & Drug Administration (FDA) posted a news release alerting the public of the dangers of sleeping medications. It states, “…serious injuries and deaths resulting from various complex sleep behaviors after taking these medicines. These complex sleep behaviors may include sleepwalking, sleep driving and engaging in other activities while not fully awake, such as unsafely using a stove. The new warnings will be required for eszopiclone (Lunesta), zaleplon (Sonata) and zolpidem (Ambien, Ambien CR, Edluar, Intermezzo, and Zolpimist).” The new ruling requires that labels must note that side effects include risky behaviors, such as sleepwalking and sleep driving, that can lead to injury and even death. Accidental overdoses, falls, burns, near-drowning, extreme temperature exposures leading to loss of limb, self-inflicted gunshot wounds and suicide attempts were among the 46 non-fatal injuries reported. 20 deaths occurred due to carbon monoxide poisoning, drowning, falls, hypothermia, car crashes and suicide. The FDA identified 66 reports of patients over the past 26 years who had taken either eszopiclone, zaleplon, or zolpidem, and the experienced injuries or death while not fully awake.
Extra! Extra! Research All About It!
Between 2006 and 2011, approximately 38 million prescriptions for Ambien, a common sleeping pill, were written. According the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 4 percent of adults have used prescription sleep aids in the past month. Additionally, 35 percent of people who regularly take sleeping medication are more likely to be diagnosed with cancer (The Good Boy). With more internet research, you will find alarming facts about sleeping pills. Educate yourself on the side effects, both short and long term, of any medication you are taking. Don’t turn a blind eye and trust it’s good for you because the rest of society has done so. Think of how far we have come with smoking. Pregnant women used to smoke cigarettes throughout all trimesters without a second thought, until we were faced with an epidemic on birth defects and Sudden Unexpected Infant Death (SUID).
Have You Been Harmed After Taking a Sleeping Aid? Call Us!
If you or a loved one was injured after taking a dangerous sleeping medication, you may be entitled to compensation. You should immediately consult with an experienced team of drug injury lawyers to learn about your legal rights. For more information about injuries caused by dangerous sleeping medication, call the Law Offices of Samer Habbas & Associates at 949-727-9300.