Sleeping pills fail to work as a long-term cure for insomnia, a study reveals.
Clinical trials have previously indicated the drugs may aid sleep difficulties for up to six months.
But researchers say doctors and patients should reconsider their extended use after finding they make no difference after one or two years.
They assessed data on 685 women suffering from sleep problems, such as difficulty nodding off, frequently waking or rising too early.
Some 238 were given sleeping tablets and 447 were not.
After one and two years, neither group reported any significant improvement in sleep quality nor duration and there was no difference between them.
Participants in the study, led by Brigham and Women's Hospital, in Boston, United States, had an average age of 49.5 years.
All initially reported difficulty falling asleep on one night in every three, waking frequently on two nights out of three, and waking up …