How do sleeping pills work?

Just found a column on Huffington Post about the effect of sleeping pills and how they work.

Here’s the entire article. and below’s a portion of that post:

1) Benzos cut down on your rapid eye movement sleep. That’s when you rehearse your daily activities, like how to tie your shoelaces if you are a toddler, how to drive with a stick shift if you are a teenager, or how to hit the ball out of the park if you are Babe Ruth. Being on benzos means you will most likely strike out.

2) Benzos reduce slow wave sleep which is really deep sleep. Since slow wave sleep is important for the consolidation of facts and events, those of you on benzos are going to be less likely to ace that exam or make the right calls on the trading floor.

3) The good news for drug companies is that the more you use benzos, the more you will use benzos. You will need larger doses of them and more often. You may even get to the point (and many people do) where you cannot sleep without them. Addiction and dependence are good for selling drugs on and off the street.

4) Benzos exacerbate sleep disorders like sleep apnea. Sadly, all the increased snoring will bode poorly for your spouse or partner who may then need to go on benzos themselves.

5) Being on benzos long-term can produce memory loss that mimics dementia. True.

6) Chronic benzo use causes daytime sleepiness, reduced concentration, irritability and anxiety. These symptoms occur regardless of dosage.


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