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Study: sleep aid ingredient has big effect on women, older drivers

Though on the surface the following revelation may not seem all that revolutionary, it is still a stark warning to people out there who use sleep aids -- and then, at some point afterwards, consider getting behind the wheel of a car.

A study was performed to look at the effect sleep aids have on drivers. In particular, the study looked at one key ingredient in many sleep aids: zolpidem. This ingredient is in the recognizable sleep aid brand Ambien, as well as many others. The study found that sleep aids with this ingredient presented a huge risk to older drivers and women, making older drivers up to 124 percent more likely to be involved in a car accident and women up to 65 percent more likely to be in a wreck.

Overall, people who took sleep aids with zolpidem were 46 percent more likely to be in a car accident, but women and older drivers were much more dramatically impacted by the sleep aid ingredient. Again, this isn't exactly revolutionary because logic would dictate that people who take sleep aids -- may they be male or female, old or young -- are going to be worse off behind the steering wheel of a motor vehicle than someone who doesn't take a sleep aid.

Still, many people out there truly need sleep aids to help them get a good night's sleep. When using these sleep aids, it is important to remember that you are under the affect of a powerful substance, and that your reaction time and driving ability are reduced.

Source: Newsmax Health, "Some Sleep Aids May Hike Car Accident Risk," Charlotte Libov, Feb. 18, 2016

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