Elderly people suffer from sleeping disorders that include falling or staying asleep, falling asleep at inappropriate times, excessive total sleep time or abnormal behaviors associated with sleep. In order to make things easier and get a good night sleep, many of them take sedatives.

This new study shows that this is not such a good idea actually and that the sedatives may cause more harm than benefits.

Two groups of people participated in the study. One group was taking sedatives for five consecutive nights while another was taking placebo. It turned out that although many of them had a better sleep, the side effects they experienced out weighted the benefits. Dizziness and loss of balance were reported and a couple of falls and even one car crash.

The researchers determined that older people should try non-drug therapies like cognitive behaviour therapy.