Sleeping Pills – FDA Warning!

With all the harmful side effects of sleeping pills such as Zolpidem (Ambien, classed as an anti-psychotic drug), Eszopiclone (Lunesta) and Zaleplon (Sonata and Starnoc) why are people still taking these drugs?  They are all Hypnotic classed medications and can be dangerous.

“March 14, 2007: The FDA announced that all sleeping pills (also known as “sedative-hypnotic products”), including Ambien and Lunesta, can cause the dangerous side effect of “sleep-driving,” which is driving while not fully awake and having no memory of doing so, and may also cause life-threatening allergic reactions. The FDA told manufacturers to write letters to doctors to notify them of the new warnings, and all prescription sleeping pills will now come with special brochures called “Medication Guides” that spell out the risks for patients in easy-to-understand language.”

Warning: Never stop taking these drugs cold turkey.   To avoid severe side effects they must be cut back a tiny bit at a time over several months.  Consult your physician.

Instead of requesting a sleeping pill from a doctor, why not first try some of the following suggestions:

Did you know that melatonin can be found in food?  Melatonin is a natural hormone produced in the pineal gland at the base of the brain. Melatonin influences the sleep process and because it is an antioxidant, It can help the body destroy free radicals, which cause aging and cell death. Oats, sweet corn, rice, ginger, tomatoes, bananas and barley all contain Melatonin. Oats contain the most and barley the least.

The highest quantities of melatonin are found in tart cherries, particularly the Montmorency variety, per a Texas University study. However, other foods such as milk, peanuts, turkey, chicken or almonds contain tryptophan, which raises brain serotonin that in turn can be converted to melatonin. Other foods, such as bananas, also contain melatonin but not in significant levels to be effective.

Many individuals take over the counter melatonin supplements.  It has been found that many individuals produce side effect such as insomnia and nightmares. This is due to too high a dosage.  Most over-the-counter supplements contain 3 mg. of melatonin where tart cherry juice only contains 0.1 to 0.3 mg.

Other helpful hints include:

  • Ear plugs
  • Temperature setting adjustment
  • Electric blanket in the winter
  • White noise, fan, etc.
  • Relaxing 2 hours before bedtime
  • Avoiding caffeine, chocolate, sugar, etc. before bedtime
  • Not drinking liquids before bedtime (avoiding urination in the middle of the night)
  • Addressing noisy neighbors
  • Exercise early in the day for stress reduction (for some exercise is a stimulant)
  • Address any life problems that are keeping you awake at night.  Something can be done about any subject.
  • Do not smoking at least one hour before bedtime
  • Ensure you have a comfortable mattress and pillow
  • Are your covers too tight? Too loose?  Make sure everything is the way you like it.
  • Darken the room.  Is the sunlight awakening you earlier than you would like? Is there a street lamp shining in your bedroom?
  • Do the sprinklers come on in the middle of the night or too early in the morning and awaken you?
  • Does your partner’s alarm wake you up too early?
  • Does your partner snore?  Get them “Breathe Right Nose Strips” or some similar brand
  • Avoid long daytime napping

For a free online book on how to stop taking psychiatric drugs safely go to:

For a free white paper on the side effects of sleeping pills and other psychiatric drugs go to  On the right-hand side of the page you will see “Free White Papers”.  Click on “Drug Side Effects” to get free pdf file.  This is the white paper that documents Ambien as an anti-psychotic drug.

You can also visit one of the other Detox links to obtain more information.

This website may contain some copyrighted material. We reserve the right to reproduce such material under the Copyright Act, Title 17 US Code, Section 107, “Fair Use”, as we believe the public should be informed of such information so they can think for themselves rather than rely on advertisements. We gain no profit from such articles.

2 Responses to “Sleeping Pills – FDA Warning!”

  1. William Says:

    I have been using the tart cherry to help me sleep for years. My doctor recommended Fruit Advantage tart cherry capsules and they help me sleep like a baby.

  2. Your Friend Says:


    Thanks for your sharing!

    Yes. Tart cherries come in many forms: supplements, juice, dried, canned and more.

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