Are sleeping pills safe? The risks of prescription and over-the-counter sleep aids, and how to use them safely

By Erin Heger, 4/20/2020

Insomnia is defined as trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, or waking up too early for at least three nights per week over a period of three months, says Alex Dimitriu, MD, founder of Menlo Park Psychiatry & Sleep Medicine.  Other factors that can affect sleep, such as depression, anxiety, alcohol and substance use, or pain and medical problems, have to be absent to make a clear diagnosis of insomnia, Dimitriu says.

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