Calming and sleep inducing
According to the 2013 Health Survey of the Belgian Scientific Institute of Public Health, 13% of the population over the age of 15 took a sedative or sleeping medication in the two weeks prior to the interview. This percentage increases with age. For example, in the age group 75 years and older, this concerns approximately 40% of women and 26% of men.
Most sleeping and calming medications are benzodiazepines. These medications may be necessary in certain cases, in minimal dosages and for a short period. However, many patients who suffer from anxiety, stress or sleep problems use it for a longer period. Benzodiazepines have numerous side effects and constitute risks to health: cognitive problems, risk of falling, drowsiness during the day, habituation and even dependence.