The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently updated their web page that describes the many potential side effects of sleeping drugs. On their site, they state that “Complex behaviors are a potential side effect of sedative-hypnotic products – a class of drugs used to help a person fall asleep and stay asleep. These include making phone calls, sleep-eating, having sex, and getting into the car and driving while not fully awake. Most people do not remember these events later.”
Russell Katz, M.D., Director of the FDA’s Division of Neurology Products says, “Complex behaviors, such as sleep-driving, could be potentially dangerous to both the patients and to others.”
Other rare but potential side effects of sedative-hypnotic drugs are a severe allergic reaction and severe facial swelling, both of which can occur as early as the first time the product is taken. Katz says, “Severe allergic reactions can affect a patient’s ability to breathe and can affect other body systems as well, and can even be fatal at times.”
To make the serious risks of these products better known, the FDA requested in early 2007 that all manufacturers of sedative-hypnotic drug products strengthen their product labeling to include warnings about complex sleep-related behaviors. The revised labeling affects the following drug products:
- Ambien, Ambien CR (zolpidem tartrate)
- Butisol sodium
- Carbrital (pentobarbital and carbromal)
- Dalmane (flurazepam hydrochloride)
- Doral (quazepam)
- Halcion (triazolam)
- Lunesta (eszopiclone)
- Placidyl (ethchlorvynol)
- Prosom (estazolam)
- Restoril (temazepam)
- Rozerem (ramelteon)
- Seconal (secobarbital sodium)
- Sonata (zaleplon)
From a nutritional perspective, several research studies have shown certain minerals to be effective alternatives to help people fall asleep and stay asleep through the night. James F. Balch, M.D., author of Prescription for Nutritional Healing, writes: “A lack of the nutrients calcium and magnesium will cause you to wake up after a few hours and not be able to return to sleep.”
The pioneering nutritionist Adelle Davis discusses minerals as an insomnia remedy in her book Let’s Get Well. She says: “A calcium deficiency often shows itself by insomnia, another form of an inability to relax. The harm done by sleeping tablets, to say nothing of the billions of dollars spent on them, could largely be avoided if the calcium intake were adequate.”
Calcium is directly related to our cycles of sleep. In one study, published in the European Neurology Journal, researchers found that calcium levels in the body are higher during some of the deepest levels of sleep, such as the rapid eye movement (REM) phase. The study concluded that disturbances in sleep, especially the absence of REM deep sleep or disturbed REM sleep, are related to a calcium deficiency. Restoration to the normal course of sleep was achieved following the normalization of the blood calcium level.
In magnesium deficiency, chronic insomnia is one of the main, central symptoms. Sleep is usually agitated with frequent nighttime awakenings. On the other hand, a high magnesium diet has been found to be associated with deeper, less interrupted sleep. This was proven in a study done by James Penland at the Human Nutrition Research Center in North Dakota. The study was titled “Effects of trace element nutrition on sleep patterns in adult women.” It’s important to note that a balanced ratio of calcium and magnesium is beneficial to overall health, and that these two minerals should be taken together in a 2 to 1 ratio for best results.
Jobee Knight, a nutritional researcher and founder of www.NutritionBreakthroughs.com in Glendale, CA., is someone who fought her own battle against sleeplessness and insomnia. She decided to put her background to use by searching out effective natural ingredients for relaxation and deeper sleep. The result was Sleep Minerals II, a natural insomnia remedy which contains six forms of calcium, three forms of magnesium, boron, Vitamin D, Vitamin K and horsetail herb – all combined in a softgel with carrier oils. Oils such as evening primrose have been shown to increase mineral absorption, reduce calcium excretion, and increase bone density.
Ali M. of Istanbul Turkey says: “I have been a pharmacist in Istanbul Turkey for almost 40 years, and I also work as a consultant in food supplements. I suffer from insomnia and restless leg syndrome at night. I recently tried your Sleep Minerals II and it had an astonishing beneficial result. My youngest brother, who is also a pharmacist, suffers from restless leg syndrome too. He tried the Sleep Minerals II with the same astonishing result. My mother aged 92 was complaining of sleep problems. She also tried it and the result was again amazing.”
Sleeping drugs can wreak havoc on one’s health and well-being and cause life-threatening side effects. The right blend of natural minerals can be an effective natural insomnia remedy that helps the sleepless get some good rest.
For more information on Sleep Minerals II, visit www.NutritionBreakthroughs.com.
1. FDA web site: “Side Effects of Sleep Drugs”.
2. FDA web site: “FDA Requests Label Change for All Sleep Disorder Drug Products”.