- Are sleeping pills appropriate for you?
- Symptoms of sleeping pills
- Drug resistance
- Drug dependence
- Withdrawal symptoms
- Drug interactions
- Tips for safer use of sleeping pills
- Never mix sleeping pills with alcohol or other sedatives.
- Avoid taking a second dose in the middle of the night.
- Start with the lowest recommended dose.
- Never drive a vehicle or operate machinery after taking a sleeping pill.
Are sleeping pills appropriate for you?
It’s the middle of the night, and you’re lying in bed, unable to sleep. The temptation to reach for a sleeping pill or tranquilizer for relief may be strong. However, if you regularly struggle with sleep, it’s a sign that something is wrong. It could be as simple as consuming too much caffeine or using electronic devices late at night. Or it could be a symptom of an underlying medical or mental issue. In any case, sleeping pills are not a cure. At best, they provide temporary relief, and at worst, they can worsen insomnia over time.
That doesn’t mean you should never use medication, but it’s important to consider the benefits and risks. Sleeping pills and tranquilizers are most effective when used sparingly for short-term situations like jet lag or post-surgery recovery. If you choose to use sleeping pills long-term, it’s best to use them on an occasional basis to avoid dependence and tolerance.
Symptoms of sleeping pills
All prescription sleeping pills have side effects that vary depending on the specific drug, dosage, and duration of use. Common side effects include prolonged drowsiness the next day, headache, muscle aches, constipation, dry mouth, difficulty concentrating, dizziness, instability, and rebound insomnia.
Over time, you may develop a tolerance to sleeping pills, requiring higher doses for them to be effective. This can lead to more side effects.
You may become dependent on sleeping pills to sleep and find it difficult to sleep or experience worse sleep without them. These medications can be highly addictive, making it challenging to stop using them.
If you suddenly stop taking the medication, you may experience withdrawal symptoms such as nausea, sweating, and shaking.
Sleeping pills can interact with other medications, which can worsen side effects and sometimes be dangerous, especially when combined with prescription pain relievers and other tranquilizers.
Tips for safer use of sleeping pills
If you decide to try sleeping pills or tranquilizers, keep the following safety guidelines in mind:
Never mix sleeping pills with alcohol or other sedatives.
Alcohol disrupts sleep quality and enhances the sedative effects of sleeping pills. The combination can be extremely dangerous, even fatal.
Only take a sleeping pill when you have enough time for at least seven to eight hours of sleep. Otherwise, you may feel excessively drowsy the next day.
Avoid taking a second dose in the middle of the night.
Increasing your dosage can be dangerous, and with less time for the medication to clear your system, it may be difficult to wake up the next morning and shake off drowsiness.
Start with the lowest recommended dose.
Observe how the medication affects you and the types of side effects you experience.
Never drive a vehicle or operate machinery after taking a sleeping pill.
This is especially important when starting a new tranquilizer, as you may not know how it will affect you.