Last year, the FDA ordered black box warnings for sleep aids (a.k.a sleeping pill) including, among others, Ambien, Sonata and Lunesta. The black box warnings resulted from an FDA review of 66 cases where the drugs created serious side-effects or death. There were cases where users exhibited unconscious behavior that resulted in falls, drownings, and car accidents to name a few. In about one third of cases, this unconscious behavior led to death. This latest warning is on top of earlier FDA warnings about cognitive impairment, next day fogginess and even elevated blood levels from taking a sleeping pill. [Source: Advisory Board]
The anxiety, stress and economic worry caused by the pandemic has had a profound effect on sleep. It is a “perfect storm of sleep problems,” according to Donn Posner, member of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and a founding member of the Society of Behavioral Sleep Medicine. [Source: Harvard Gazette 4.16.20]
The consequences of sleep deprivation go way beyond constant fatigue, impaired memory and inability to focus. The unfortunate side-effects of too little sleep include an increased risk for diabetes, cardiovascular disease, hypertension and Alzheimer’s. Insomnia also makes losing weight harder which is certainly not good news for any of us dealing with the Covid 15.