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Sleeping pills come in many forms and people can buy many of them over-the-counter pills. However, many people can fall asleep by practicing good sleep hygiene practices and trying alternative techniques and behaviors.
There are a few reasons that you might want to use a sleeping pill. The best sleeping pills can be used to treat insomnia or for the management of sleep disorders, such as obstructive sleep apnea.
Some people use sleeping pills to treat their jet lag or other temporary issues that are interfering with their sleep at night. For some people, sleeping pills are used as a preventative measure against insomnia. Some people use sleeping pills as a short-term treatment for insomnia.
Sleeping pills can be used in conjunction with other medications or therapies, including behavioral therapies, to help treat sleep disorders.
What are Sleeping Pills?
Sleeping pills are any of various medications prescribed for the treatment of insomnia or sleep disorders. Most of these medications fall into one of three categories:
Antidepressants, which are a group of drugs that are often used to treat depression, anxiety, and obsessive-compulsive disorder; benzodiazepines, which act on the brain to help you get to sleep; and barbiturates, which are usually prescribed for short-term sleep problems.
In general, benzodiazepines are much less likely to cause dependence and abuse than antidepressants.
What Are Other Names for Sleeping Pills?
The generic term is sleep medications, and there are different types of sleep medications, each with a specific action. Examples are zolpidem (Ambien), eszopiclone (Lunesta), ramelteon (Rozerem), and zaleplon (Sonata).
Over-the-counter (OTC) sleeping pills are available without a doctor’s prescription. You can buy these products without a prescription at the drugstore, grocery store, and discount store. They may be available in different dosages, and each brand is designed to treat specific conditions. Some common brands include Tylenol, Excedrin, Nytol, Lortab, Midol, and Motrin.
There are several different types of sleeping pills and there are some risks and side effects unique to each. These include: antihistamines, benzodiazepines, and melatonin supplements. The primary purpose of these pills is to provide more effective sleep, but they also can be addictive or habit forming.
In this article, we will describe the risks and side effects of these drugs.
What are The Potential Side Effects of Sleeping Pills?
It’s natural to have occasional sleepless nights when you’re stressed. Many people find sleep aids to be an effective way to fall asleep or manage occasional insomnia. But remember that the best way to treat sleeplessness is to relax. If you’re feeling particularly stressed, talk to a doctor before taking any sleep aids.
Sometime between 15 and 30 days of use, you may develop an addiction to the medication. These drugs affect the brain, causing you to be sleepy, forgetful, less attentive to work, and moody. The result is that the medication is used to try to overcome those problems.
When taken at bedtime, short-acting (single-dose) medications, including those called “sleeping pills,” “hypnotics,” and “benzodiazepines,” work within 60 minutes to reduce sleep onset. In rare cases, these short-acting medications can cause nausea, loss of appetite, and sleepwalking. They may be linked to an increased risk of falls.
In rare cases, certain prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) medications can cause or worsen depression or anxiety. They are often taken by people with major depressive disorder, bipolar disorder, or generalized anxiety disorder.
Some of the side effects are headaches, drowsiness, nausea, dizziness, difficulty breathing, confusion, and dry mouth. However, many people do not know that taking these drugs can also cause death. In fact, the drug that is most responsible for deaths is zolpidem (Ambien). If you are going to take a sleeping pill, make sure you get the lowest dose possible. If you still have problems falling asleep or staying asleep, you may want to ask your doctor for a different drug.
Can I Be Allergic to Sleeping Pills?
There are a variety of different types of medications that can make it hard to fall asleep and stay asleep. These include stimulants, sedatives, and antihistamines. There may also be some interaction among these drugs. For example, certain combinations of some sleeping pills (the stimulant and sedative) can cause jitters, anxiety, trouble sleeping, or even shortness of breath. In some cases, people have had negative reactions after taking a specific combination of sleeping pills.
About 10 million people in the U.S. are allergic to some medications and they include more than 400 prescription and over-the-counter drugs. Some common ones are antibiotics, antihistamines, asthma medications, blood pressure medicine, birth control pills, cold medicines, decongestants, diabetes medicines, heart medicines, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), other pain relievers, sleeping pills, and thyroid medicine.
If you have any severe allergies or are pregnant or breast-feeding, do not take certain types of sleeping pills without first talking to your doctor or pharmacist. Some pills can cause liver damage, a serious illness called jaundice or other conditions. The same is true for people who take other prescription medicines that are dangerous when mixed with the new sleep medications.
Are Sleeping Pills Safe During Pregnancy?
According to the CDC, there is no evidence that sleeping pills are harmful to a fetus. But they are not recommended during pregnancy due to side effects such as sleeplessness and nausea. Talk to your healthcare provider or pharmacist about what is safest for you and your baby.
It is not recommended that pregnant women use sedatives during their first trimester because the sedative might cause their baby to have low oxygen levels. These drugs are often used to help relieve symptoms of anxiety and depression and help manage insomnia. If a pregnant woman is having anxiety or panic attacks, she may want to consider talking with her doctor about other options.
Are Sleeping Pills Safe For Children?
Although they are safer than alcohol for adults, some of these drugs can be fatal to kids.
Some over-the-counter sleeping aids have been linked to side effects like sleepwalking and even death in infants and children. If used by adults and teens, prescription medication has been reported to cause insomnia, heartburn, constipation, drowsiness, dry mouth, dizziness, increased blood pressure, nausea, vomiting, and sweating. Overdoses of sleep medication may also cause hallucinations and coma. To be on the safe side, if your teen complains of sleeping problems, talk with your doctor about other options.
Sleeping pills can also interact with other medications a child takes, so talk to your doctor before giving any medication to a young child.
When Do I Take a Sleeping Pill?
There are many different types of sleeping pill and you can take them at any time. You may be prescribed a specific medication, but many people are able to get by with over-the-counter medications. Be sure to follow the instructions carefully, even if you’re trying to go by memory. You should only take the recommended dose and for the recommended amount of time.
That being said, sleep medications are typically taken before bedtime or around bedtime to prevent sleep problems. They usually won’t have any effect if taken more than 2 hours before bedtime. Sleep aids with active ingredients such as benzodiazepines or Z-drugs work by causing the brain to release less of a chemical called GABA (gamma aminobutyric acid). This action reduces the “fight or flight” response to sleepiness and can help make it easier to fall asleep and stay asleep.
How To Sleep Better Without Sleeping Pills
There are several things you can do to improve the quality of your sleep. Try going to bed and getting up at the same time each day, or try going to bed at the same time on weekends and weekdays. You might want to limit your caffeine intake, especially before bed. Caffeine makes it hard to fall asleep, so avoid coffee and other drinks containing caffeine before bedtime. Avoid naps on weekends, or on the days when you get up early. And try using relaxation techniques before bed.
The most important thing to remember is that getting a good night’s sleep is essential to feeling well throughout the day. This means finding the right bed, mattress, pillow, and sleep aids to get your rest!
If you are looking for ways to sleep better, you might want to consider some of the many different sleep aids on the market. Your doctor may recommend a sleeping pill to help you sleep better. Or you might try some of the natural sleep aids we’ve mentioned.
Remember, there are many ways to improve your sleep, and for most people, a few lifestyle changes here and there can already make a big difference.