You need enough sleep for the body to function effectively –everybody does. However, at times, getting sleep might be the hardest thing that you fight with at the wee hours of the night. Due to longer workdays you get to deal with over-packed schedules and the only remedy –more coffee, a lot of yawning and in the end, you get less sleep.
A majority of the people in this situation look for a solution in almost anything from getting a white-noise machine, new pillows and mattresses, to even sleeping coaches. A great number of them find solace in sleeping pills.
There are increasing concerns over the number of people using sleeping pills all over the world as a remedy to their sleeplessness. The Food and Drug Administration has approved the use of these pills in treatment problems associated with getting enough sleep. While such approvals indicate that the drugs really work, there are a whole lot of people who are misusing them leading to more risks than benefits. This article provides a comprehensive overview of everything that you need to know before you take a sleeping pill.
Sleeping pills: How they work
Misusing sleeping pills is considerably one of the risk factors to numerous and harmful side effects on many users. It is estimated that over half of the people using sleeping pills often use them in the wrong ways. This implies that they might be taking high doses as, using them alongside other supplements or drugs, which could be potentially harmful, or even taking them over a longer period than it is recommendable. Understanding how the pill works can help you take is appropriate.
Sleeping pills will make you sleep, but have you thought about how they work? A majority of the sleeping pills are categorized as sedative-hypnotics. Their functionality is based on their ability to influence the brain’s neurotransmitters. Nerves release these types of chemicals and they contribute to the communication among nerves. When you take sleeping pills, they increase the gamma-aminobutyric acid’s activity producing a drowsiness effect in your body hence, facilitating as well as maintaining sleep.
Are sleeping pills right for you?
When in desperation to sleep, the temptation comes to get relief from the medicine cabinet. While you may get the rest that you are looking for, something could be wrong if you find that you cannot sleep unless you are using sleeping aids. Perhaps you are staying late in the night viewing electronic screens or taking too much caffeine. In other cases, it could be a symptom of a psychological problem, or an underlying medical issue. Whatever the problem is, sleeping pills are not the cure –they are just aids to get you rest whenever you so much need it. In most cases, sleeping pills become addictive especially if you use them regularly, and are likely to worsen your insomnia case in the end.
This is not an implication that you should not use sleeping pills. It implies a lot of care when using the pills to avoid going overboard. Generally, sleeping aids and pills are quite effective if used for a short-term situation, and sparingly. For example, you could use them if you are travelling across time zones, or you are in the recovery process from a certain medical procedure. If you are to use such pills over a long period, it is important to make sure that it is not a frequent case since you make become dependent on them, and in the end, they tend to be intolerant.
Risks associated with sleeping pills
Just like any other medication, taking sleeping pills has significant side effects and risks. Any prescription sleeping pill that you will find in the market has their side effects. However, the intensity of the effects varies with respect to a few factors such as the absorption and excretion rate of the drug, the dosage, as well as the specific type of the drug.
The side effects that most people will experience after taking sleeping pills include:
- Rebound insomnia
- Lack of concentration
- Dry mouth
- Muscle aches
- Next day drowsiness
There are potential risks associated with sleeping pills especially if not taken as required. In older people, sleeping pill might cause hangover effect, which might be an impairment to balance and coordination into the following day. This effect is also felt when these drugs are taken according to the provided directions. A majority of the people who take sleeping pills do not have effective functioning the next day.
Other common risks of taking sleeping pills include:
Using sleeping pills for long may make your body tolerance to them. The implication is that you will need to take more for them to be effective. Taking more sleeping pills can cause many side effects and adverse impacts on your health.
You risk masking a potential medical problem
In some cases, people experience insomnia due to an underlying medical issue. However, if such is the case, and you continue taking sleeping pills, you are masking the problem and in the end, it can have a significant negative impact on your health.
Getting used to taking sleeping aids can make it hard for you to sleep without taking them. If used frequently, they can addict you implying that you will find it impossible to stop taking them.
Interactions with other drugs
Sleeping pills can have a significant impact on the efficiency of other medications. In such a case, the side effects can be worse, especially if you are taking other sedatives or prescription painkillers.
Making the decision to stop taking sleeping pills abruptly can lead to different and severe complications. Some people may experience conditions such as shaking and sweating, while others have constant nausea. In other cases, you can experience rebound insomnia.
How to use sleeping pills safely
Sleeping pills can have adverse impacts on your health especially of taken the wrong way. How then do you avoid the side effects and the associated risks of sleeping pills? Here are several tips for safer use of sleeping pills.
Avoid sedative drugs or alcohol while taking sleeping pills
Most people fancy the idea of mixing sedatives, alcohol, and sleeping pills with the hope that they will get maximum effect. However, it is not advisable to take these substances alongside sleeping pills. First, alcohol interferes with the quality of sleep and secondly, increases the activity of the sedatives making the sleeping pills ineffective. Combining such substances is not only dangerous but also fatal.
Use the lowest dosage
Sleeping pills work differently for different people. It is important to consult a physician before you start using these pills. In addition, stick to the lowest dosage that you have been given unless your physician advises otherwise. It is also important to monitor the effect that the medication has on you, and whether or not there are any side effects coming from it.
Do not use sleeping pills frequently
Sleeping pills are not a medication for everyday use. They are addictive hence, can have adverse impacts on your health especially if you use them on daily basis. Make sure that you only use sleeping pills for emergency cases only to reduce the adverse effects, as well as reduce the probability of being dependent on them.
Take sleeping pills when you want to rest
Sleeping pills have an instantaneous impact on some people. It is recommendable to take these pills when the only thing you want is to sleep. As such, do not engage in any other activity such as operating machinery or driving, after you take the pills.
Do not overdose
It might be tempting to add a dose in the middle of the night especially if you are not getting enough sleep but doing so can be dangerous. In addition, it increases the time that it takes the medication to be cleared from your system implying that you might be drowsy the following day.
What You Need To Know Before You Take A Sleeping Pill
In conclusion, it is evident that sleeplessness is a problem that is affecting a large number of people. Most people who find themselves in this kind of situation opt for sleeping pills. However, the lack of understanding of what sleeping pills are, how they work, the associated risks and side effects, and the bests plug many people into endless problems. It is important, therefore, to research widely before starting to use any sleeping aids. The knowledge from such research should help you determine whether sleeping pills are best for you or not, as well as learn how to take this medication in potentially safe ways.
Based on the information above, combating insomnia requires careful consideration of your sleep habits as well as your lifestyle. If, at all, you are going for the option of using sleeping pills for short causes, it is advisable to work on changing your bedtime behavior and your lifestyle –they are the only suitable options to ensure that the sleeping pills work best to give you the quality of sleep you want. In addition, work towards better environmental and behavioral changes as they are bound to give assure the efficiency of the pills provided you use them as recommended.
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