Nearly 9 million people use sleeping pills in the U.S. The rise in sleep disorders and disturbances continue to increase but with warnings to the general public by the FDA.
The findings, published in the American Journal of Public Health help justify U.S. Food and Drug Administration warnings about the pills. In 2013, the FDA told makers to cut the recommended doses of sleeping pills because of research showing they can stay in the bloodstream at levels high enough to interfere with morning driving, which increases the risk of car accidents.
In the study, University of Washington's school of pharmacy compared medical records of people who took sleeping pills and auto accidents.
What they found is that people who took any one of the three popular sleeping aids had anywhere between a 25 percent and three times higher risk of being involved in an accident while driving. Even after the effects have worn off, sleeping aids such as Ambien and Restoril may double someone's risk of a car crash.
Sleep disorders maya be caused by obesity, hormones, and stress but the recommended amount of sleep per night is 7 to 9 hours. Inadequate sleep has been tied to the start and worsening of a range of diseases and conditions, including diabetes, heart disease, obesity and depression.