Technology may be the safest prescription for sleep disorders - Page 2
"Even though sleeping pills can induce drowsiness, many don’t actually promote deep sleep or REM sleep," Dr. Oz says on his program’s blog. "REM sleep, one of five stages of your sleep cycle, is what many experts call 'restful sleep.' You dream during REM sleep and a reduction in REM sleep leads to a less restorative or less satisfying sleep. That's why one may not feel completely rested after taking a sleeping pill, even after 8 hours of sleep."
At high levels, side effects of any drug can be dangerous.
"Recently the FDA called for a reduction in the recommended dosage for zolpidem for women, most commonly found in Ambien, one of the most popular prescribed sleep aids," Dr. Oz explains. Taken to excess, for example, Ambien could cause amnesia, suppression of REM sleep, or breathing difficulties.
Perhaps just as disturbingly, abrupt cessation of the sleep aids at accelerated dosage levels could facilitate intense rebound insomnia.
Notwithstanding the reality that countless Americans responsibly use occasional sleep aids like Ambien without harm, the potentially negative impact on REM sleep caused by sleep-inducing medications used for prolonged periods is prompting a growing number of doctors, sleep specialists, and other medical experts to recommend taking technology to bed, not a pill bottle.
In recent clinical studies, a dramatic improvement in sleep quality and length was observed in subjects who used a new mobile application for Apple's iPhone that was designed by neuroscientists. This groundbreaking new app, Sleep Genius, was developed following research they did for NASA helping astronauts with insomnia.
Unlike some over-the-counter sleep aids that are largely ineffectual for more than half of all persons taking them, clinical trials of the Sleep Genius app showed the app to be 77% effective in helping subjects get to sleep faster and reach deeper levels of REM sleep.Continued on the next page