Pillow Talk with Dr Idzikowski; Dr Chris Idzikowski Is Director of the Edinburgh Sleep Centre
As part of my work I sometimes find myself in court as an expert orinformed witness. My duty is to explain matters that a layperson may not beable to judge. The cases are usually either criminal behaviour conductedapparently while the defendant is asleep, or death by dangerous driving.
Falling asleep while driving has the greater impact on public health and somerecent cases have made me reiterate the important message to patients andclients: If you feel sleepy, DO NOT drive.
Some people may have an undiagnosed sleep disorder that can make them moreprone to falling asleep when they don't expect to - and the only warning signis sleepiness..
Is it safe to take sleeping pills long-term, and do they cause any harm? In themid-Eighties an attempt was made by the Government to reduce the number ofpeople taking sleeping pills. Then the prescribed pills were mainly of thebenzodiazepine group, such as nitrazepam, temazepam and diazepam.
Some 70 to 80 per cent of users were able to rapidly reduce and stop the pills,but the remainder had difficulties. …