Prescription sleep aids are everywhere now. People pop them like candy. Why?
The mere fact that they are prescription sleeping pills clearly indicates they should not be taken lightly.
But the demand is huge - almost 9 million Americans per month – and doctors are only too happy to prescribe them.
The many types of sleeping pills on the market are heavily promoted by the pharmaceutical industry.
That means people of all ages are constantly encouraged to deal with their lack of sleep through drugs.
The real problem, however, lies somewhere else.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) estimates that sleep disorders affect up to 60 million Americans.
I've said it many times, and I'll say it here again…
Most of our illnesses, dysfunctions and chronic conditions are diet- and lifestyle-related.
For example, overweight and obesity cause snoring and sleep apnea.
The resultant chronic fatigue and daytime sleepiness lead to a chain-reaction of bad side effects, such as traffic accidents and injuries.
Instead of alleviating this problem, the use of prescription sleep aids worsens it.
Even the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) shows concern over this.
Sleep disorders cause poor performance at work, in school, in the bedroom.
Want to know the No. 1 medical cause of divorce and breakups?
It's the combination of snoring, sleep apnea and whatever doesn't happen in the bedroom.
Depression and other psychological disorders are causing insomnia. It is estimated that 1 in 10 Americans suffers from depression.
Now guess what?
These same conditions can also be caused by insomnia.
The vicious circle is complete.
Since sleep disorders can be caused by, or be the cause of, diet-related chronic diseases, the answer is simple.
Eating a whole foods plant-based diet has been shown – again and again – to be highly beneficial in preventing, halting or reversing the conditions that destroy Americans' health.
A varied plant-strong diet is by its very "nature" rich in calcium, magnesium and B vitamins – cornerstones of insomnia prevention.
Let me offer you a couple of additional hints.
A plant protein snack before bedtime is recommended to help with sleep.
My mother was always a strong proponent of chamomile tea for relaxation, calm and a good night's sleep. I totally agree with mom.
The benefits of exercise are self-evident -- as are rest, recreation and stress management.
Prescription sleep aids are no cure for anything. They make things worse.
As seniors, you and I deserve the best health life has to offer.
A good night's rest, assured by an optimal diet and lifestyle instead of prescription sleep aids, is a great way to extend your health span and your life.
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