Sleep medications are drugs that are taken to help people fall asleep or stay asleep.
They are commonly used to treat insomnia, a sleep disorder characterized by difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, or waking up too early.
Sleep medications can be prescribed or purchased over the counter, and they come in different types, such as benzodiazepines, antidepressants, and sedative-hypnotics.
However, recent research suggests that using sleep medications may increase the risk of dementia, especially for white people.
The type and quantity of the medication may also be factors in explaining the higher risk.
A new study found that taking sleep medications may increase the risk of dementia for white people.
The research showed that the type and amount of medication used may be factors affecting the risk.
The study followed over 3,000 older adults without dementia for an average of nine years. During this period, 20% of the participants developed dementia.
The study found that white participants who frequently took sleep medication were 79% more likely to develop dementia compared to those who did not use them.
However, among Black participants, who used sleep aids less often, the risk of dementia did not increase.
Income and access to sleep medication may play a role in the difference in dementia risk.
White participants were more likely to have access to sleep medications, such as benzodiazepines, trazodone, and “Z-drugs” like Ambien.
Researchers suggest that patients with poor sleep should explore other options before considering medication.
A sleep test may be needed to diagnose sleep apnea, and cognitive-behavioral therapy for insomnia is the recommended first-line treatment.
Melatonin may be a safer option than sleep medications, but more research is needed to understand its long-term impact on health.
Overall, future studies may help clarify the risks and benefits of sleep medications and the role of race in dementia risk.
If you care about dementia, please read studies that your walking speed may tell your risk of dementia, and these high blood pressure drugs could prevent dementia.
For more information about brain health, please see recent studies that high-fiber diet could help lower the dementia risk, and these antioxidants could help reduce dementia risk.
The study was conducted by Yue Leng et al and published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease.
Copyright © 2023 Knowridge Science Report. All rights reserved.