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As Risky as Cigarettes? A New Study on Sleeping Pills

“He gives to his beloved sleep.” Psalm 127:2

At, our focus is mostly on the spiritual realities of being disabled, and yet a believer in Jesus. We honestly need these things as a man needs air. They are  things that we look into, and are crucial to our spiritual survival. Yet sometimes we encounter something on the physical/medical side that is important enough to merit our attention.

The latest off the wire, is a recent study on prescription sleep aids. For many years, our doctors have strongly suggested that if needed, we take a sleeping pill to enable us to “rack out.” A lot of people use them. In 2010, between  6 and 10% of adult Americans used a sleeping aid. Recently, researchers took another look. The drugs tested were Ambien, Restoril, Lunesta and Sonata. These, and a few others were tested. If your really interested, you will find the report on

What they found was that users of these drugs to promote sleep faced a 5.3-fold higher death risk. They also had a 35% higher risk of cancer, the study found.  That made me perk right up.

The study was conducted at California San Diego which commenced in the early seventies. I encourage you to dig this up, and especially if you are taking a sleeping aid prescribed by a doctor. It could help you to decide on taking these meds, or not.

Perhaps, the issues are not substantial or significant to you. I do confess that the results are provocative.  And yet they do guide us into a fuller understanding. I have taken “Lunesta” for almost 4 years, every night.  My psychiatrist has explained to me that in his mind Bipolar Disorder can pretty much be a sleep issue and we need to treat it as such. Hence the Lunesta. But my shrink is not alone on this.

I suppose that I must admit a fear of  not being able to sleep. Sleep has been quite honestly the state that has carried me through many of my issues. I guess when I do sleep, I retract many things, and my “decks” are cleared for new ones.  The fear of losing this ability to really sleep, keeps me from not taking seriously the Lunesta I take every night. Inside, I just can’t see giving it up, in spite of the statistics.

In many ways, I suppose that sleep has become my deliverer. And as a believer, this should scare me. Jesus, after all, has redeemed me. He has done the work, after all. And yet I look at sleep as a sort of deliverance from my difficult issues. I don’t know what you are getting, but right now I’m sleeping 10 or 11 hours a night. And somewhat rarely I’ll take a 1 or 2 hour nap in the late afternoon.

“At this I awoke and looked, and my sleep was pleasant to me.” Jer. 31:26

Something funny: I once saw this posted on a wall in a church nursery, and thought it was very humorous, “Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed” 1 Corinthians 15:51.

The study is reported yesterday on