For decades, the benefits and risks associated with sleeping pills have been a controversial topic. In recent years, however, the appalling increase in drug company advertising has effectively replaced the public’s awareness of the negative side effects of sleeping pills with vast quantities of pro-pill propaganda.
Despite the trend toward an ever-increasing dependence on drugs, Matthew Anfuso has dedicated himself to finding a healthful alternative to treating sleeping disorders. Instead of artificially and temporarily masking the problem, as sleeping pills do, Anfuso’s 7 Day Insomnia Cure audio CD counteracts sleep-debt and restores the user’s natural sleep patterns. By combining a regimen of healthy sleep habits with a breakthrough use of “Binaural Beats” to manipulate the brain’s frequencies, 7 Day Insomnia Cure permanently negates the need for artificial, and ultimately harmful, sleep aids.
What the Drug Companies Don’t Want You to Know
Frequent sleeping pill-poppers make themselves vulnerable to a range of medical risks. In fact, it is concern for the risks associated with sleeping pills that has driven the drug companies to continually develop new and “improved” types of sleeping pills. However, many of the problems still remain, meaning that the new-and-improved sleeping pill is not the magical solution that the drug companies want you to believe it is.
A Brief History of Sleeping Pills
Early sleeping pills were of a type called barbiturates. Barbiturates may have put people to sleep, but they actually prevented patients from going into the Rapid Eye Movement (REM) stage of sleep – a stage that has been proven to be a vital part of healthy, restful sleep. Therefore, although barbiturates could lull patients into a forced sleep, an individual on the drug would be unable to derive sufficient rest from their sleep. Moreover, barbiturates produced highly unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. The body’s natural response to a deprivation of REM sleep is to increase the amount of time spent in REM. Therefore, when a long-time user of barbiturates stopped taking the pills, their REM sleep would be so intense as to produce violent and unpleasant nightmares.
In the 1960s and 1970s, a new type of sleeping pill, called benzodiazepines, began replacing barbiturates. Benzodiazepines was considered superior because it produced fewer withdrawal symptoms. However, benzodiazepines typically have a half-life of several days. This means that the drug is still present in the blood for several days after the pill is taken. For frequent users, this is a problem, as the drug accumulates in the blood with each additional pill that is taken; this buildup results in what is referred to as a “hangover,” a sedated state that continues even during the daytime. Benzodiazepines can also produce personality changes that linger several weeks beyond the cessation of the drug, as well as weakness and memory loss in the elderly.
Currently, the drug companies are marketing several “new-and-improved” sleeping pills. One of these drugs, zolpidem (Ambien), is cited as being the best choice among sleeping pills. Its short half-life results in less long-term effects, but also means that the drug will not suppress early awakening. Although these pills are cited as being “safe,” the truth is there is not enough long-term research to demonstrate the full impact of the pills.
Sleeping Pills are Not the Answer!
There is a growing concern, brought on by the marked increase in sleeping pill prescriptions over the last five or six years, that sleeping pills are being misused and/or masking more serious problems than insomnia. Of particular concern is the presence of sleep apnea, a condition where the sleeper stops breathing for brief intervals during the night; sleep apnea results in less restful sleep, and possibly insomnia. However, a too-hasty prescription for sleeping pills may only serve to hide the problem, rather than offering a solution. Moreover, studies indicate that sleeping pills may actually make sleep apnea worse. Sleep experts suggest that patients with sleep apnea should never be prescribed sleeping pills, yet with the high incidence of sleep apnea – most over 65 have the condition – it has to be assumed that there are many individuals who are currently making their sleep disorder worse by taking sleep aids.
Besides the complications that may arise from misdiagnosed sleep disorders, sleeping pills have been proven to have a serious impact on the lives and health of frequent users. Frequent use of sleeping pills is associated with a higher mortality rate: individuals who frequently rely on sleeping pills to fall asleep also have increased risks of death from heart disease, cancer, stroke, and even suicide.
For all the risks pill-poppers take on, the actual effectiveness of sleeping pills is minimal. Scientific studies have been performed on groups of individuals with proven sleep disorders. In these studies, one group was given a sleeping pill regularly, while the other group was given a “placebo,” or a fake pill; however, both groups were told that they were being given sleeping pills, and both were monitored during sleep to gauge the effectiveness of the pills. In several of these studies, it was found that although all of the participants – whether they actually got a sleeping pill or not – believed that the pills were helping them, there were actually only minimal differences in sleep improvement between those who were actually given sleeping pills, and those who only adopted a more regular schedule and the belief that they were sleeping better.
The Power of a Natural Cure
The natural conclusion to come to is that, despite what the excessive marketing of the drug companies, taking drugs to induce sleep does more harm than good. Yet no one can deny that insomnia is a problem that many people struggle with. If not with drugs, how can sufferers of sleep disorders address their problem?
Matthew Anfuso has answered this question with his 7 Day Insomnia Cure. The program consists of two parts. A 10-step daily guide helps users to adopt the healthy sleep habits that studies have shown to be so effective in treating sleep disorders. The CD, which the user listens listen to at bedtime, uses binaural beats to induce the frequency that brain waves move at during sleep, encouraging the user to quickly fall into a deep, restful sleep.
“Without getting too technical, a binaural beat is an auditory brainstem response resulting from the interaction of different auditory impulses originating in opposite ears,” said Tim O’Neill, Ph.D., an insomnia expert at Sydney University. “In the 7 Day Insomnia Cure's case these beats are specifically targeted at inducing deep sleep.”
Although the 10-step daily guide is an important part of eliminating insomnia, the CD is the truly ingenious part of the program. While maintaining a healthy sleep regimen is paramount to sleeping well, it is the binaural beats that lull the listener to sleep, breaking the self-perpetuating cycle of insomnia. The beauty of the CD is that it does this without any of the dependency or negative side effects that someone taking sleeping pills would experience.
“I can honestly say that I've never heard the entire CD, because so far I always fall asleep before it is over,” said Sarah Maccarelli, author and psychology major. “I don't know how this works, but it is a great program. I would recommend it to anyone who needs a good night sleep and wants to feel refreshed and have more energy during the day.”