026 – Dangers Of Sleep Medication with Dr Nishi Bhopal, MD.
Dr. Bhopal is triple board certified in Psychiatry, Sleep Medicine, and Integrative Holistic Medicine. She graduated from the University College Cork School of Medicine, completed her Psychiatric residency at Henry Ford Health System, and a fellowship in Sleep Medicine at Harvard Medical School. She has also received training through the Maharishi Ayurveda Association of America and the Integrative Psychiatry Institute. Having grown up in an Indian family in Canada and lived in several different countries, Dr. Bhopal understands what it means to be multicultural and is attuned to the unique challenges faced by immigrants and expats.
She’s also a meditator and brings her experiences with yoga and meditation into clinical practice, blending the best of ancient wisdom and modern medicine. Dr. Bhopal is the founder of IntraBalance Integrative Psychiatry & Sleep in San Francisco and is a founding member of the SameHere Psych Alliance, a global initiative to reduce the stigma around mental health. She’s on a mission to make mental wellness and the science of sleep easy to understand and accessible to all.
In this episode, we dive into:
“Weaning Off Sleep Medication”
- Why did Nishi choose the path of psychiatry and eventually focus on sleep? How is a clinical psychiatrist different from a psychologist?
- Millions of people worldwide take prescription drugs to fall asleep and have the potential danger of getting addicted to them. Frequent use of sleep medication has been linked to greater mortality rates. This is a very concerning issue. What are sleeping pills (specifically benzodiazepines and Z-drugs)?
- What do people begin to take them? Are they prescribed short term? Are they self prescribed?
- Typically this class of medication is potentially addictive. What are the side effects of these drugs? Are there physiological ramifications as well? What are short term side effects? What are long term side effects? Can some of them be frightening?
- Why don’t they work long term? Is it because they lose effect? Is it also that they are potentially dangerous and impact you beyond just sleep?
- Often, people end up scared of even attempting to let go of sleeping medication. There are several instances where people have been on them for years and close their eyes to impact because they are so fearful of stopping them. Can they wean off? How can they get off them?
- What are four categories of root causes of poor sleep?
- What about supplements or over the counter medications for sleep?
- How can you improve sleep instead of taking sleeping pills?
For more on Nishi, you can follow her:
Sleep Guide: https://bit.ly/optimize-sleep
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