Side Effects of Sleeping Pills


From dependency risks to a.m. sleepiness, not all sleeping pills work alike. But which is right for you?

All sleeping pills work on the brain to promote drowsiness. Some drugs are specially designed to help you sleep; others are medicines with sedation, as a side effect.

Remember, talk to your doctor before you use a sleeping pill.

What Are Sleeping Pills?

Most sleeping pills are classified as “sedative hypnotics.” That’s a specific class of drugs used to induce and/or maintain sleep.

Side Effects of Sleeping Pills You Must Know

A sleeping pill may be effective at ending your sleep problems short-term. But it’s important to make sure you understand everything you need to know about sleeping pills. That includes also knowing about sleeping pill side effects. When you do, you can avoid misusing these sedatives.

1. Dependence or Addiction

Patients are often nervous about becoming addicted to or dependent upon sleeping pills. But studies show that the risk of sleeping pill misuse is decreasing as new medications are released. However, addiction and dependence are still possible with other drugs.

Taking sleeping pills long-term can mask the real cause of insomnia—such as poor sleep habits or too much stress. Patients often tell their doctors that they’re dependent on sleeping pills, but it’s possible they haven’t addressed underlying issues affecting their sleep, and that they don’t really need the pills.

2. Recover Insomnia

One of the most important things to know about sleeping pills is how and when to stop taking it. Shortly after stopping the use of a sleep pill can cause recover insomnia, meaning, you may experience the same or even worse symptoms of your sleep disorder without medication! Many sleep experts will discourage their patients from sleeping pills by prescribing lower doses or different medications, until they’re ready to sleep on their own.

3. Hangover

Many people worry that, should they decide to take sleeping pills, they feel tired, fuzzy-headed, or dizzy; experience headaches or nausea; or have trouble waking up the morning after. If your doctor has prescribed the correct dosage, and you take the pill according to your doctor’s instructions, the medication should work effectively without any morning hangover. Older drugs are more likely to cause morning drowsiness, because they have longer half-lives, effects take longer to wear off.

4. Sleepwalking, Eating and Driving

Patients taking sleeping pills have reported such behaviors as walking, eating, and even driving in their sleep—and not remembering it in the morning. The most problematic thing is not that they just eat; there are sleeping pill patients that will get up and cook and leave the gas on overnight, in particular has been linked to sleep eating, although this apparent trend may be a function of the large number of people taking zolpidem sleep drugs, rather than a specific quality of the drug.

5. You May Face Trouble to Wean Off Sleeping Pills

Once you start taking sleeping pills, it can be hard to stop, particularly if you’ve been taking them for a long time. Some people experience “rebound insomnia” — when sleeping problems actually worsen once you stop taking the drug. If you want to go off sleeping pills, talk to your doctor about setting up a schedule to gradually reduce your dosage, rather than just quitting immediately.

Avoid Side Effects of Sleeping Pills by Adopting Simple Rules

  • Wise bed time
  • Best night time routine such as a warm bath or a good book
  • Enough appetite before sleep
  • Peaceful sleep
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