The Pros And Cons Of Taking Sleeping Pills.

             Pros and cons of sleeping pills

As for any treatment and medication, there are pros and cons sleeping pills, as with many medications, we overlook some of the cons in order to take advantage of the relief they provide. That may be unfortunate, but the importance of the needed sleep they provide cannot be ignored either.

Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist about pros and cons sleeping pills so together you can weigh the benefits of what the medication will do for you versus the harms that could come from taking it. This can help you to decide if the medication is right for you or whether you should look for other safer and more effective options.

 Pros of sleeping pills

As with most prescription drugs, sleeping pills cannot be classified as entirely “good” or “bad.” There are many factors that can determine whether to use a prescription sleep aid, which one is the best option, and how long to use it. That being said, there are some clear benefits to using sleeping pills.

  • Effective in the short term. For people who are struggling to sleep and need help getting back on track, prescription sleep medication can be just what they need to get some rest. Often, insomnia comes and goes, with long stretches of normal sleep punctuated by bouts of sleeplessness. A prescription sleep aid can help people during those times.
  • Help people fall asleep fast. Perhaps the most obvious benefit of sleeping pills is that they help people get to sleep quickly. When nothing else works, a sleeping pill will usually do the trick.
  • Help people who are severely sleep-deprived. Severe sleep deprivation is dangerous and can have long-term effects on a person’s overall health. When you haven’t had a decent night’s sleep in weeks or even months, sleeping pills can bring much-needed relief. Sleeping pills are also useful for people who work second or third shifts and, therefore, have disrupted sleep cycles.
  • Newer medications are often considered safer and less habit-forming than older drugs. Although some of the older types of sleep medication did have a high risk of dependence, most of the newer options are less likely to be habit-forming.

Cons of Sleeping Pills

For all of the benefits of sleeping pills, there are some drawbacks and concerns to consider before taking them.

    • Addiction/tolerance development. Although most sleeping pills are developed so they aren’t habit-forming, there is still a risk that you can become addicted. Also, when sleeping pills are used for longer than a few weeks at a time, it’s possible to build up a tolerance, and therefore require larger doses to achieve the same effect.
    • Side effects. Some people do experience side effects from sleeping pills, including nausea, headaches, dizziness, daytime drowsiness, weakness, constipation, and more.
    • Allergic reactions. Some people have had severe allergic reactions to sleeping medication, which may be brought on by the active ingredient in the drug or any of the additional ingredients, such as dyes or binders. These reactions can range from itching and hives to vomiting or anaphylaxis.
    • Drug interactions. The active ingredients in sleep medications can have severe interactions with other drugs, causing serious health issues.
  • Often deemed unsafe for pregnant or breastfeeding women. Many medications that are safe for normal adults can cause harm to a developing baby, so if you’re pregnant and having sleep troubles, talk to your doctor about alternative remedies.
  • Increased cancer risk.Studies suggest that the regular use of sleeping pills may increase the chances of developing certain cancers.
  • Erratic behavior. Some people have reported erratic behavior after taking sleep aids, including sleepwalking, shopping, and even driving, without remembering the incident afterward. This behavior can potentially be dangerous.
  • Impaired driving. All sleep medications warn users to avoid driving after use, but some people still have traces of the drug in their system the next day, even after sleeping for several hours. This can cause daytime drowsiness and impaired driving.

Sleeping pills don’t work for everyone

Sleeping pills don’t work for everyone and, in fact, for those who use regularly they may stop working as your body becomes accustomed to the drug. This means you may need higher and higher doses overtime to achieve the same effect. This is known as tolerance. Professor David Gardner, from Dalhousie University (and creator of mysleepwell.ca), writes that sleeping pills may lose their sedating effect with nightly use. When this happens, some people try to stop their sleeping pills which can lead to withdrawal effects. One common withdrawal effect is trouble sleeping, called insomnia. This insomnia gets better for a short while when they restart the sleeping pill. This starts an endless cycle of increasing the dose of sleeping pills, stopping them and then restarting. Meanwhile, you’re still at risk of harms from the sleeping pills.

How to Choose and Safely Use Sleeping Pills

you have trouble sleeping, talk with your doctor. Because different sleep aids are intended for different purposes, your doctor can help you find the right one (one that helps you fall asleep, one that helps you remain asleep, or one that does both).

Before asking for a prescription, ask your doctor important questions about the drug, including how effective it is, the potential side effects, and the risk for dependency. When you begin taking the medication, you should:

  • Be careful to avoid mixing it with alcohol or other drugs.
  • Only take it when you have at least eight hours to devote to sleep. For the first dose, take the medication when you don’t have plans for the following day so you can gauge how it affects you.
  • Follow the exact dosing instructions provided by your doctor.
  • Contact your doctor if you have any concerns or unexpected side effects, especially if the medication spurs erratic behavior.

Keep in mind that some people shouldn’t use sleep medications at all. For instance, they aren’t generally recommended for people with sleep disorders like sleep apnea,or for those with chronic respiratory conditions.

 

 

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