Yes, you did read the subject line correctly. According to research out of Ryerson University in Canada, taking sleeping medication or drinking alcohol in order to sleep could actually disrupt sleep in the long term.
Researchers asked 397 undergraduate students about routines they followed to avoid being awake at night, how often they completed these tasks and how much they believed the routines were necessary in order to sleep.
The study found that 40% of the students were poor sleepers and were following routines that were not helping them.
Apparently, those with a strong belief in their sleep routines were actually causing themselves more sleep problems since (in the words of the researchers) the more you engage in behaviors to try to sleep, the less likely you're going to fall asleep.
In order words, adding sleeping pills to your sleep routine won't actually improve your sleep.
A better alternative? The researchers suggest cognitive behavioral therapy is the best insomnia remedy.
Source: Ryerson University
Last updated: June 26, 2013