FDA Safety Announcement, "FDA Drug Safety Communication: FDA warns of next-day impairment with sleep aid Lunesta (eszopiclone) and lowers recommended dose" May 15, 2014.
The FDA is warning that the sleep aid Lunesta (eszopiclone) can cause next-day impairment of driving and other activities that require alertness. As a result, the FDA has decreased the recommended starting dose of Lunesta from 3 mg at bedtime to 1 mg at bedtime. Lunesta is a sedative-hypnotic sleep medicine used to treat insomnia in adults. A recent study found that the previously recommended starting dose of 3 mg can cause impairment of driving skills, memory and coordination that can last more than 11 hours after receiving an evening dose. The new lower recommended dose will result in less drug in the blood the next day. The FDA recommends that patients continue to take their prescribed dose and contact their doctors to ask about the most appropriate dose for them.
 FDA Safety Announcement, "FDA Drug Safety Communication: FDA warns of next-day impairment with sleep aid Lunesta (eszopiclone) and lowers recommended dose" May 15, 2014.
A new study appearing in Pediatrics reports that some "sleep machines" marketed to soothe babies to sleep may generate enough noise to damage a baby's hearing. "Sleep machines" are intended to lull babies to sleep with white noise, nature sounds, a heartbeat, or other constant sounds. But in tests of 14 sleep machines, researchers found all were capable of breaking the noise limit recommended for hospital nurseries (50 decibels) and some were capable of decibel levels that exceed the limit for recommended workplace levels (85 decibels).
Furthermore, some researchers question whether exposing infants to constant sound all night could have other long-term effects on development. Animal research has found that prolonged exposure to white noise during infancy can alter the brain's processing of sound and the animal's behavior. Because longer-term consequences are unknown, researchers suggest that before buying a sleep machine parents try to soothe babies to sleep in other ways like warm baths and old-fashioned lullabies. And, if using a sleep machine, Dr. Ronald Hoffman of the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai recommends keeping the volume low and placing the machines across the room from baby's crib -- advice which is absent from the products' packaging.
 Pediatrics (online March 3, 2014 and in print April 2014)
 NIH HealthDay, "Baby 'Sleep Machines' Could Damage Hearing, Study Suggests" (March 3, 2014).