DYING TO GET TO SLEEP – The drug heart patients should never, ever take

Heart failure patients, you’re up a creek the moment they wheel you into the emergency department. And if you make it out in anything other than a body bag, your battle’s not over.

It’s just beginning.

Surviving the condition is already a challenge and a half. But surviving all the drugs they throw at you is like trying to win a race through a minefield——because the sorry truth is most of those meds are redundant, unnecessary and outright dangerous.

And one of the most commonly used drugs of all could actually KILL you.

It’s a sleeping pill. Heart patients——especially heart failure patients——often have a hard time getting the rest they need.

Tell the doctor, and chances are he’ll treat it as more of a nuisance than the serious issue it is. He’ll write you a prescription and tell you to go get some sleep.

But if that drug happens to be part of a class of meds known as benzodiazepine hypnotics, you might sleep so well that you’ll never wake up again——because these drugs can increase your risk of serious heart problems and death by...


This should come as no surprise at all; benzodiazepine hypnotics depress cardiovascular function, or the very function you DON’T want to depress when your ticker is under assault from heart disease.

Now, some docs are saying the answer is to switch to a different type of sleep med. But let’s face facts here: all of these drugs come with huge risks, especially for heart patients.

So don’t switch drugs. Switch approaches——and you can start by checking your medicine chest, because many sleep problems are actually CAUSED by medication.

If you’re down to the bare minimum of meds——or, better yet, you’ve worked with your doc to get off of them completely——and you’re still suffering from sleep problems, don’t give up and expect to spend the rest of your life with bloodshot eyes.

You need your sleep——your HEART needs sleep. And that’s why you need to take action, starting with my...


MELATONIN: It’s called the sleep hormone because your body is supposed to pump it out like nobody’s business when it gets near bedtime.

But your body uses sunlight as its cue to stop and start production——and if you’re too sick to head outside, you might not have what you need.

Heck, even people who get out under the sun daily sometimes fall short, and that’s why natural melatonin supplementation is often the first thing you should consider for any sleep problem.

In addition, animal studies show melatonin may help reverse the damage caused by heart problems——and it’s also been shown to help fight or prevent cancer. Even if you’re NOT battling sleep disorders, you might want to ask your doc about melatonin.

VALERIAN: This natural herbal relaxant has been used for centuries to help people get to sleep. And as a bonus, there’s emerging evidence that it can help protect the heart, even in heart failure patients.

But there’s a downside to valerian, and it’s a pretty big one. It’s not a side effect——it’s the smell. This stuff stinks to high heaven (and if it doesn’t stink, you should probably doubt the quality of what you’re getting).

If you can handle the stench, give it a shot. If it’s too unpleasant, try something else, like...

BOOZE: Yes, you read that right... booze!

Now, I can hear all the killjoys freaking out over this. “Never drink to get to sleep!” they’ll tell you. “Booze can ruin your sleep!”

And that’s true... if you get sloshed.

But I’m not talking about getting yourself soused before bedtime. Just a little brandy in your milk... a shot of amaretto... a finger or two of scotch... a little taste of wine. You know what I mean here——just something to take the edge off so you can relax, fall asleep and get the rest you need.

And if you start a little earlier in the evening, a drink or two a night can improve your heart health, even if you already suffer from heart disease or heart failure.

Naturally, don’t go crazy starting and stopping these things willy-nilly and on your own. Heart failure is serious business, as are the meds you’re almost certainly being forced to choke back——and even natural remedies can sometimes conflict with them.

Speak to your doctor first.