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Sleeping Pills – What You Need to Know

Sleeping Pills - What You Need to Know

If you have an ongoing sleep problem, your health care provider might prescribe sleeping pills. But there are a lot of factors to consider before you start taking these medications.

If you’re going to take sleep medicine, use it only as prescribed and for short periods of time. Ideally, treat your sleep problems with only lifestyle changes.

What are they?

Sleeping pills are medicines that you take to help you sleep. They can be prescribed or purchased over the counter, and they work in different ways.

Medications that are sedative or hypnotic drugs, such as benzodiazepines (such as Ambien), can be used to induce sleep and help you stay asleep. These medications also have the potential to be habit forming, so they should only be taken short-term.

If you have a health condition that causes insomnia, such as depression or anxiety, your doctor may prescribe an antidepressant to ease your symptoms. Some antidepressants, like selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs), can also cause you to feel sleepy.

While these sleep aids are commonly prescribed, many people don’t know that they can do more harm than good. They also can make you do strange things, such as sleep walking or eating, which can lead to serious injury. Ultimately, it’s better to try and get to the root of your sleep problems, rather than turn to drugs for temporary relief.

How do they work?

Millions of Americans struggle to get a good night’s sleep. For many, it can be a sign that something is wrong, whether it’s an underlying health condition or a symptom of depression or anxiety.

For many people, treating their sleep problem with lifestyle changes and behavioral therapy can help them get better. For others, medication may be a helpful option.

Doctors prescribe sedative-hypnotics, which are also called “tranquilizers.” They work on brain receptors to slow down the central nervous system and promote sleepiness.

These medications include Ambien, Lunesta, and Sonata.

They are mainly effective in short-term insomnia, which lasts less than 3 months.

Prescription sleeping pills include zolpidem drugs (Ambien, Zolpidem, Zyprexa) and benzodiazepines (Valium, Klonopin). The drugs all activate the GABA receptors in your brain, which promote sleepiness.

What are the side effects?

Most people who struggle with sleep problems turn to sleeping pills and other sedatives for help, but these medications have side effects that can be dangerous or even life-threatening. They also can mask an underlying medical or mental disorder that may be the cause of your insomnia, and if you use them long-term they can become habit-forming and even addictive, Sneak a peek at this site.

Many people find it difficult to stop taking sleeping pills. They may experience rebound insomnia when their insomnia worsens once they stop taking the medication.

In general, withdrawal symptoms from sleeping pills typically begin during the first 24 to 72 hours after you quit taking them. During this time, you will feel anxious and fearful, along with drug cravings.

Symptoms of physical withdrawal will dissipate over the next week, but psychological symptoms, such as depression and cravings, may last up to 18 months. This is why it is recommended to go through a medical detox process.

How can I stop taking them?

A lot of people take sleeping pills to help them sleep, but they can become addictive. They can also make it harder to get a good night’s rest and cause side effects such as unsteadiness, dizziness and forgetfulness.

If you have been taking sleeping pills for a long time, it’s important to stop them gradually, to avoid withdrawal symptoms. This is known as tapering-off, and your doctor, nurse or pharmacist can write a program that works for you.

Benzodiazepines and other sleep medications can cause withdrawal symptoms, which may start within a few hours of quitting and can linger for weeks. These symptoms can include shivering, trouble sleeping, anxiety and circulation problems.


The first step in getting off these medications is to undergo a medical detox program that will help you gradually taper off the drugs. This usually takes a few weeks and is medically monitored. You will also likely receive psychological counseling and support.

Sleeping Pills – What You Need to Know

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