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Better sleeping through chemistry?

Do you know whether heartburn pills are safe for long-term use?

The wellness industry is now synonymous enough with epic fails to make a thesaurus writer blush.

11 in a row at last count, as this article documents. Money lost, risk factors increasing. Even employees getting fatter. And in case you haven’t already seen it, an expose of the wellness industry comprehensive enough that if you intend to read it, you better clear your calendar.

What’s even worse than their sins of commission are their sins of omission. While they can kill millions of electrons on the subject of broccoli, try finding even a few words in any HRA about opioids. Quizzify was first on the scene with an opioids awareness quiz 2 years ago, and even today the wellness industry is pretty much ignoring that particular elephant in the room.

It turns out that they are ignoring not just that elephant, but the entire herd. (In case anybody is keeping score at home — still trying to be the first person to find a mistake in my 500,000 words — a group of elephants can be called a “herd,” though “parade” is the more technical term.)

For example, tens of millions of people — including some of your own employees, statistically speaking, and also including me — rely on medicinal sleep aids nightly. There are so many things employees need to know about those pills that the sleeping-pill entry in Quizzify’s “Six Things Employees Should Know About…” blog series contains seven things.

Here are a few tidbits on the most popular sleep aid:

  1. 115 OTC drugs, typically the ones labeled with a seemingly harmless “PM” on a well-known brand, like “Advil PM” or “Tylenol PM” or “ZZZ-Quil,” contain benadryl;
  2. Nightly use of benadryl is pretty clearly linked to dementia. That doesn’t mean regular users will get it, just that their odds go up;
  3. Nightly use of benadryl also creates a dependence (a “dependence” is like “addiction-light”), just like other sleeping pills, but because these drugs don’t look like sleeping pills, employees aren’t aware of this risk.

There is probably no point in saying this, since I find whenever I offer advice to wellness vendors they tend to double down on the opposite. Nonetheless, here goes:  please urge your wellness vendor to start focusing on useful advice. Yes, we get it about the broccoli.

Here is the link.




In the immortal words of the great philosopher Pat Benatar, hit me with your best shot.

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