Risk of Death Five Times Higher With Sleep Meds


The New York Times reports on a British Medical Journal study finding that regular users of prescription sleep aids are five times more likely to die over a two and a half year period. Heavy users are also more likely to develop cancer. The article notes the exploding use of sleeping pills, despite evidence of limited effectiveness.

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Mad in America hosts blogs by a diverse group of writers. These posts are designed to serve as a public forum for a discussion—broadly speaking—of psychiatry and its treatments. The opinions expressed are the writers’ own.


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Kermit Cole
Kermit Cole, MFT, founding editor of Mad in America, works in Santa Fe, New Mexico as a couples and family therapist. Inspired by Open Dialogue, he works as part of a team and consults with couples and families that have members identified as patients. His work in residential treatment — largely with severely traumatized and/or "psychotic" clients — led to an appreciation of the power and beauty of systemic philosophy and practice, as the alternative to the prevailing focus on individual pathology. A former film-maker, he has undergraduate and master's degrees in psychology from Harvard University, as well as an MFT degree from the Council for Relationships in Philadelphia. He is a doctoral candidate with the Taos Institute and the Free University of Brussels. You can reach him at [email protected].


  1. Jim Gottstein of psychrights.org may have mentioned madinamerica.com on David Oaks’ blogtalkradio show. So, now I may quote madinamerica.com articles when I give public comment at city council meetings. I’ve quoted Research on The Science of the Heart from heartmath.org there. It shows that people emanate biorhythms which affect each others’ functioning. I’ve noticed it’s easy to sleep around people who are sleeping. When people instead focus on being alert to catch signs of insomnia in a subject, they aren’t emanating sleepy biorhythms to help create a sleepy environment. People’s focus even affects their subjects from across great distances, as research in Entangled Minds by Dean Radin shows. This explains how psychiatrists can damage someone’s sleep by asking people to monitor her, rather than to leave her be, to sleep around other sleeping people, which is more helpful, as research on interactive biorhythms can prove. Psychiatrists are evading their duty to get this evidence on the harmful effects of their misguided monitoring.

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