1 in 3 Seniors Take Sleep Aids Despite Warnings

Despite warnings to the contrary, about 1 in 3 seniors takes a sleeping aid, according to a new survey from the University of Michigan Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation.

The survey, sponsored by U-M’s medical center and AARP, found that while one-third of older adults takes sleeping medications, many fail to consult with their doctors about their sleeping problems.

Over 1,000 people aged 65 to 80 participated in the survey. Results showed that 14% of respondents took prescription sleep medication, prescription pain medication, an over-the-counter (OTC) sleep aid or an herbal supplement on a regular basis, while another 23% used a sleep aid occasionally. The occasional users tended to choose OTC medications rather than prescription. And some users used a combination of these medications.

The American Geriatrics Society’s Guidelines for Potentially Inappropriate Medication Use in Older Adults strongly recommend that people over 65 avoid sleeping drugs because they carry health risks such as falls, memory issues, confusion and constipation. Posted September 27, 2017. Via National Poll on Healthy Aging.

Alanna M.

Alanna M. is a graduate of Pace University.

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