Do Sleeping Pills Really Help You Sleep
This episode of DNews is proudly brought toyou by Subaru. More than six million adults in the UnitedStates take a sleeping pill at least once a month before they go to bed at night, andthat number is increasing. But do we even know what they're doing to our brainsé! Hey there friends, Trace here for DNews. Sleepingpills, or more accurately, sleep aids are growing in popularity, but are they helpingéA study from the CDC called the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey foundsleep aid use increased in the first decade of this century significantly, with more womenthan men using sleep aids.
Sleep aids come in a variety of types, butmost common are quot;sedative hypnoticsquot; which means it's a pill which mimics being knockedout for a surgical procedure. Benzodiazepines and Nonbenzodiazepines are in this type,they are sometimes called Zdrugs, because they all have Z's in them. Other than these,some people are prescribed antidepressants, or powerful antihistamines. Some of these aids succeed in knocking youout by depressing the central nervous system function, others, like the antihistamine increasedrowsiness. There's a newer drug class of quot;Orexin receptor antagonistsquot; which blocka brain chemical which keeps you aware and
wakeful. Each of these drugs are great forknocking a human out, but bing unconscious isn't SLEEP. Professor Matthew Walker from University ofCalifornia Berkeley told Probably Science if you want to quot;lose consciousness,quot; thesedrugs are fine, but it's not natural sleep; it's simulated sleep. Drugs alter the quot;sleepstructurequot; or natural patterns and rhythms of sleep. When you're sleeping, your brainis active, organizing your day, making dreams and cleaning itself. Most of the newest drugswill allow the brain into REM sleep, but they DON'T allow the brain to go through the fullnatural sleep process, which means the brain
doesn't have a chance to clean up and processmemories from the day before; cementing them for future reference. According to the National Institutes of Health,you should never take sleep aids more than three times in a week, and make sure you addressany other mental health issues like anxiety or depression before taking a sleep aid. Theproblem is many sleep aids are habit forming and accidental overdoses are possible thoughthey're usually not lethal. A popular alternative to drugs is melatonin;a natural hormone which resets your circadian clock. Everyone produces melatonin from thepineal (pihkneeuhl) gland in the middle
of the brain. When the sun drops, melatoninproduction ramps up for 12 hours helping you feel less aware and awake usually startingaround 9 PM. The problem with melatonin PILLS is they're not regulated by the FDA sothe amount of the hormone in the pill isn't standardized. If you take too much, your bodymay get used to higher levels than you naturally produce. This isn't a drug to take willynilly,because it won't MAKE you sleep, it only HELPS you sleep. Scientific tests done with placebosand melatonin found no difference between the two. For people who don't like pills, psychologicalor behavioral training can help encourage
sleep, and has the added benefit of encouragingNATURAL sleep rather than sedation. The training starts with things as simple as cutting caffeinesix hours before bed, and turning off screens three hours before, as well as using redshiftsoftware like Flux to simulate evening sun on your computer screen. Have you ever taken a sleeping pillé Do youhave a bedtime routineé I find simply SAYING the word sleepy makes me more sleepy. isthat weirdé Yeah. I guess it kind of is. One place where you DON'T want to sleep isbehind the wheel, so why not make your car even MORE awesome! Check out Tekzilla's PatrickNorton who teamed up with Subaru to customize
OTC Pain Medication What You Need to Know
Overthecounter, or OTC pain medications,can be bought without a prescription and are intended to reduce fever and temporarily relieveminor aches and pains. The two main types of OTC pain medicationsare Acetaminophen and NonSteroidal AntiInflammatory Drugs, or NSAIDs. They work in different ways and have differentrisks and benefits for each person to consider. Acetaminophen is the most common active drugingredient in the U.S. and is found in more than 500 OTC and prescription medications,including pain relievers, fever reducers, sleep aids, and many cough, cold, and allergymedications.
NSAIDs are also very common and found in morethan 900 OTC and prescription medications. The most well known OTC NSAIDs are Aspirin,Ibuprofen, and Naproxen Sodium. There are even some OTC pain medications thatcombine both Acetaminophen and NSAIDs. Having so many options to choose from canmake picking the right medication for you or your loved one seem overwhelming. You want to choose the one that will do thebest job treating your pain, but you also need to understand the medication's risks. OTC pain medications are effective and generallysafe when used as directed.
However, just because you can buy them withouta prescription doesn't mean they're harmless, and they should never be taken casually becausethey can cause serious injury and even death if not taken properly. Be sure to discuss all your OTC medicationswith your healthcare professional. The Drug Facts Label is found on most OTCmedications, and covers the important information you need to take them safely. Each time you take or give the pain medicationbe sure to read the entire label. The Active Ingredients Purpose section, tellsyou the main ingredients that make the medication
work, and what they are designed to do. Always read the Warnings section of the label. It tells you when not to use the medication,when a healthcare professional needs to be consulted first, possible interactions orside effects, and when to stop taking the medication. Acetaminophen is safe when taken as directed. However, taking more than directed is an overdose. Severe liver damage may occur if you takemore than the maximum daily dose of 4,000
milligrams in 24 hours, take it with otheracetaminophen containing drugs at the same time, or drink three or more alcoholic drinksa day while taking the medication. If you take a blood thinning drug like Warfarin,or have liver disease, you should talk with your pharmacist or other healthcare professional,before taking Acetaminophen. People taking NSAIDs should read and followthe label closely, and consider their individual risk factors. NSAIDs can cause severe stomach bleeding,which may occur without any noticeable symptoms. You are at higher risk if you are age 60 orolder, have had a history of stomach ulcers
or bleeding problems, take a blood thinningdrug or a steroid drug, take with other OTC or prescription medications containing NSAIDs,drink three or more alcoholic drinks a day while using the medication, take more thanthe recommended dose or for a longer time than directed. Additionally, you should talk with a healthcareprofessional before taking an NSAID if you have had previous problems with pain medications;have a history of stomach problems; have high blood pressure, heart disease, liver damage,kidney disease, or asthma; are taking a diuretic. And you should not use an NSAID right beforeor after heart surgery.