At some point of time in life, we may complain about insomnia or poor sleep and consider taking a sleeping pill. One needs to understand that sleeping pills may be considered as a quick fix and help you to get a good night sleep but they also come with significant risks and side effects, which most of us do not realize. Sleeping pills are not a long-term solution for sleep problems and can be dangerous if used incorrectly. One important thing is that they hit women much harder than men as women tend to metabolize sleeping pills very slowly. Most of the sleeping pills are categorized as sedative hypnotics which induce or maintain sleep. The most commonly used sleeping pills are benzodiazepines (Lunesta, Sonata, Ambien, Halcion) barbiturates, and various hypnotics (Rozerem, Orexin). Make it a point to consult with the doctor before going for the sleep meds.
Body Develops Resistance
Resistance is a body’s weakened response to a drug when it is used repeatedly. Sleeping pills seem to work well initially but things change later. Your body develops resistance to the pills when you keep using them for a longer time. Slowly you will realize that taking pills is not helping you to fall asleep. This may even force you to take an overdose of sleep meds and might result in a fatal outcome.
One has to know how and when to stop taking the sleep meds. Suddenly stopping the use of sleeping pills can result in rebound insomnia, which means you may experience same or even more severe symptoms of insomnia. Therefore consult a doctor before stopping sleep meds, as the sleep experts may prescribe you lower doses or different medications until you sleep naturally.
One more problem with taking sleeping meds is the after-effect that your body will have the next day. Their effects are supposed to fade off after 8 hours but the drowsiness can last for a longer time when taken in high doses, which results in sluggishness in the next morning and difficulty in driving a car to the workplace – impaired driving, a serious safety threat.
Once you start taking sleeping pills, it’s very hard to stop, particularly if you are taking them for a long time as the user’s body becomes reliant on them to get a proper sleep. Sleep meds are both physically and psychologically addictive. People addicted to sleep meds may experience moderate to severe withdrawal symptoms while quitting. A medical detox is the safest way to detox from sleep meds.
Sexual Side Effects
There is a high possibility that sleep medication may interact with the hormones. Sleep meds generally increase the level melatonin which will help you to induce sleep but could also alter the levels of sex hormones – testosterone and progesterone. You may experience sexual problems such as low libido, diminished orgasms, pain during intercourse and ejaculation problems. So people with mild insomnia may not require sleep meds.
To get better sleep without sleeping pills try out the safer and alternatives remedies to counter the sleep problems. Some alternative remedies include Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, breathing techniques, muscle relaxation techniques, Yoga postures, trying sleep inducing foods and aromatherapy.