Sleeping pills are prescribed to people who suffer from insomnia. Sleep deprivation has deleterious side effects on physical as well as mental health. In most cases, insomnia can be treated with lifestyle modifications . But in some cases, sleeping pills are the last resort. People who do not get sleep are often prescribed sleeping pills to help them get the right amount of sleep.
When Should You Get Sleeping Pills?
Before resorting to sleeping pills, it is advised to try out other means of putting your body at ease and induce sleep. When these do not work, then one can contact a doctor for a sleep solution.
Always consult a doctor before taking sleeping pills. They will evaluate your situation and give a prescription that is better suited for your needs. They will also carry out some tests to make sure they understand your condition fully before going ahead.
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What Will Your Doctor Ask?
There are multiple questions a doctor will ask to get an idea of your condition before prescribing sleeping medication. Some of the questions may be about:
- Your sleeping patterns in the past.
- The exercise routine that helps you sleep.
- The duration of the issue.
- Your medication.
- The type of medication you would be comfortable with.
Post the initial questioning, the doctor will order tests to assess your condition and look for any underlying problems.
Are There Any Side Effects of Sleeping Pills?
Yes, , there are side effects of sleeping pills. This should be disclosed by your doctor while taking the prescription. Some common side effects of sleeping pills include:
- Constant headaches
- Lightheadedness or dizziness
- Gastrointestinal issues
- Diarrhea and or nausea
- The constant feeling of drowsiness throughout the day
- An allergic reaction
- Memory issues and forgetfulness
What Are the Different Types of Sleeping Pill Prescriptions?
Different types of sleeping pill prescriptions can be given to you based on what your condition is. Your doctor might prescribe pills that will help you fall asleep faster or help you sleep longer.
Commonly Prescribed Sleep Medications
The most commonly prescribed medications are:
- Antidepressants: In some cases where the patient also suffers from depression, the doctor may prescribe antidepressants. These are not sleeping pills, but they induce sleep. Even on lower doses, they may help in combating insomnia. The antidepressants could also work for patients with insomnia, depression, and anxiety.
- Benzodiazepines: This medicine stays in your system for a long time. They can be very addictive; patients tend to grow a dependency on them. Physical withdrawal symptoms are seen in patients who have been on benzodiazepines.
- Eszopiclone: These sleeping pills are to help patients who cannot get a full night’s sleep fall asleep faster.
- Ramelteon: This medicine works by targeting the sleep-wake cycle in our body. It is one of the few drugs that cause no abuse or dependence .
- Zolpidem: This enables one to fall asleep quicker and also sleep longer. Side effects are rarely seen.
- Lemborexant: This works by suppressing a part of the central nervous system. One common side effect is it may leave you feeling sleepy the next day.
- Suvorexant: This sleeping pill blocks the hormone that promotes wakefulness. It is approved by the FDA to help people who suffer from insomnia.
Things to Keep in Mind If You Are Prescribed Sleeping Pills
You must keep the following points in mind before taking sleeping pills:
- Sleeping pills should only be taken at bedtime: These pills are made for relaxing the body and inducing sleep. Taking it at any other time could be dangerous.
- Ask your doctor everything: When you are prescribed sleeping pills, you must ask your doctor for all the information available. You must also give your doctor information about your allergies or other medical conditions so that no complications arise.
- Do not consume alcohol: If you are using sleeping pills, you must avoid alcohol. Never mix the two as alcohol is known to increase the sedative effects of the sleeping pills. This would lead to you feeling dizzy, confused, or cause fainting. Sometimes it could also lead to a drug overdose.
- Always follow what the doctor prescribes: When your doctor prescribes you a sleeping pill, they will also instruct you on how to take them. Keep these instructions in your mind and always follow them. Do not go against the instructions. Take only the recommended dosage.
- Don’t become dependent on your sleeping pills: Take your sleeping pills only when you are not able to get any sleep. You may get addicted or dependent on them. It is advised to take a break from them after a few days to see if you can go to sleep naturally or still need them.
- Monitor for side effects: When taking sleeping pills, always monitor yourself for side effects. If you begin to notice any side effects, then you should consult the doctor who prescribed them.
- Always talk to your doctor: Be in touch with your doctor and keep them updated about your condition while on sleep medication. Some sleeping pills need to be stopped after some time. If you see any improvement in your sleep cycle, ask your doctor about the next step.
Sleeping pills are taken by many to get a good night’s sleep. Without proper instructions and monitoring, people could become dependent on them or not be able to sleep without them as they are addictive. It is always safe and wise to consult a doctor before taking sleep medication.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- Can sleeping pills be taken while traveling?
No, it is advised not to take sleeping pills while traveling. This is because the person taking them could fall asleep and not be aware of what is happening in their surroundings.
- Do people get addicted to sleeping pills?
Sleeping pills are only a short-term solution. It is best that the body develops a sleep schedule without the help of sleeping pills.
- Is sleeping pill dependency a real thing?
Yes, people often get dependent on sleeping pills. This is more in the case of older generation sleeping pill products and in people who cannot get sleep in any other way. You need to stop the use of sleeping pills gradually.
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