There are many mental, physical, and spiritual reasons why people get prescriptions for pills to help them sleep or to cope with anxiety. It isn’t surprising that those who feel they need sleeping pills have higher death rates than healthy people.
But the Canadian Journal of Psychiatry published a recent study finding that pills for sleep and anxiety impart their own independent risk of dying.
In this 13-year study about 14,000 men and women, ages 18-102, were contacted every 2 years for information regarding their health and medication usage. The study ended in 2007. Those who used nerve or sleeping pills in the past month had a 3.22 times higher risk of dying than for those who did not.
After making adjustments for age, lifestyle, and diseases that might explain this higher death rate, the risk was still 36% higher than those who didn’t take pills for anxiety or sleep.
There is a real and significant risk of dying associated with taking pills for sleep and anxiety. People who feel they need help to calm down or sleep should be encouraged to focus on other methods of coping with insomnia and anxiety rather than just taking pills.
Jesus said, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28