Sleep medications and driving
We’ve all seen the warning on many of the medications we purchase and I usually think to myself, I’m not working with a dump truck or road grader but they mean your car. I ran across a New York Times article talking about the effects of popular medications for sleep disorders and their effect on driving performance. 60 million prescriptions were written last year for sleep aids and a government study found that nearly 5% of daytime drivers tested positive for over the counter medications. These medications will certainly help get you to sleep but what effect do they have on your ability to wake up? Impaired brain function as you drive to work or drive the kids to school could have disastrous consequences.
Smaller doses for women
The FDA has become very active recently in trying to gauge to impact of these medications on driving ability by demanding more rigorous testing of performance by using data from simulators to establish guidelines for their proper use. The results can be startling, for instance one recommendation was to reduce the dosage of medicines containing zolpidem — the active ingredient in Intermezzo, as well as Ambien and related generic sleep drugs — be halved for women.
Not just insomnia drugs
Many medications can have an effect on brain function. The drug Horizant, for restless leg syndrome, also carries a warning about the side effect of drowsiness. The FDA is seeking to identify what other pharmaceuticals could impair driving ability.
Neurofeedback is a drug free option
If you are suffering from a sleep disorder, as a product of anxiety or any other condition, try neurofeedback brain regulation training. It is a safe, non invasive way to get yourself to sleep, have a restful sleep, and wake up refreshed and ready to meet the day. You won’t need that cup of coffee just to get going! Call me for a free consultation!