Sleep quality tends to decline with age. Modern lifestyles are often blamed for poor sleep - but there is definitely some controversy over those ideas. But over recent decades prescriptions for sleeping pills have been rising. One insurance adviser in Auckland says that at least a third of women must declare either anti-depressants or sleeping pills on their application forms. Something is going on, and there are risks:
'Over the longer term, depression and dementia are significant risks, as are worsening anxiety and falls. Dependence brings the problems associated with withdrawal. Associations have also been reported with cancer, pneumonia and other infections.' says Dr Chris Ball in this article.
'For years, the medical community suspected that benzodiazepines and Z drugs were associated with premature mortality. A large UK study confirmed mortality is significantly increased. In 2014, deaths involving benzodiazepines were up 8% from the prior year and totalled 372. This is the highest level since data was collected.'