Sleeping meds dramatically increase your risk of dementia.
People who regularly take the pills are nearly 80 percent more likely to develop dementia compared to someone who rarely or never uses sleep aids.
Drugs that increase the risk include the benzodiazepines, such as Halcion, Dalmane and Restoril, the antidepressant trazodone, marketed as Desyrel, and ‘Z drugs’, sedative-hypnotics such as Ambien.
Researchers from the University of California at San Francisco analysed data from 3000 healthy people with an average age of 74. During the nine years of the study, around 20 percent developed dementia, and the researchers saw a strong connection between sleeping pills and cognitive decline.
People suffering from insomnia should think twice before taking sleeping meds, said Yue Leng, one of the researchers. Instead, they should turn to therapies such as CBT-I (cognitive behavioural therapy for insomnia) or try safer medications such as melatonin.