Why Sleeping Pills Are More Problematic Than We Think
Sleeping pills are an easy solution for many people that suffer from insomnia or light sleep. The easiest thing to do is pop a pill, lie back and let the chemicals go to work.
It may be easier, but is it the best approach?
Recent reports that sleeping pill takers ate four times more likely to die concern for patients. A simple over-the-counter solution suddenly looks like a dangerous option. Are these pills dangerous and what should users know before starting a prescription?
Side Effects to Deal with when taking Sleeping Pills
Sleeping pills should help users drift off into a more beneficial form of sleep. They are mostly sold to aid insomnia and cure sleep disorders. The first problem here is that this doesn’t always happen.
These pills can put people to sleep more easily. However, it is a form of sleep that goes against natural rhythms. Many users will struggle to wake up the following morning and deal with hangover-like symptoms.
Continued use can lead to issues with well-being and morning productivity. Some may even drive under the influence of the night’s medication. This is a bigger risk in women than men, as women metabolize the drugs at a slower rate.
In addition to this, there are those that suffer from disturbing sleep behaviors. Sleep walking, sleep eating and sleep driving are all possible under the influence of these drugs.
Then there are the physical effects to deal with when using sleeping pills. There is the risk of serious illness and even death.
Many users will complain of headaches and gastrointestinal issues, like nausea and diarrhea. For some, this is worth it for a good night sleep. The problem is that these symptoms may not pass and the ongoing cycle of pill use means current side effects.
Some may experience this because they are not taking the medication correctly. Others do suffer from allergies to the medication.
A bigger concern here is the link between sleeping pill use and cancer. Studies show that those with sleeping pills and heartburn run a higher risk of esophageal cancer. This increases the higher the dose.
There is also a dangerous pattern that emerges with some people that take sleeping pills.
With time, the body can become used to the drugs within these pills, and they no longer have the desired effect. This can happen with some drugs in long term use, as the body adapts to them.
Here the levels of antihistamines mean that the body builds up a tolerance. This is why doctors and critics warn users to be careful with their dosage and only to get medication when all else fails.
Acceptance and adaptation to the drugs mean that some users will look for better options with a higher dosage. Eventually, this cycle can lead to addiction.
Makers are looking into less addictive forms of pills. Still, addition comes from the knowledge that there is something to ease a problem and that life will be more difficult without it. Users may believe this even when it is no longer physiologically correct.
Those that recognize a problem with dependency may decide that enough is enough. Some break the habit and go without the drugs, perhaps to try a natural method. While this is worth encouragement and praise, there are downsides.
Like all drug addictions – which this is – there is a withdrawal period. Those withdrawing from sleeping pills may deal with issues with sleep, strange dreams, gastric issues and even anxiety. It is best not to go cold turkey and to wean off these drugs gradually.
Sleeping pills are not something to take lightly.
The prevalence of over the counter sleeping pills is both a blessing and a curse. It is easy for people with sleep disorders to find the help they need at a low cost.
It is easy to go back time after time without a prescription. This is why issues of acceptance and dependency are such a problem.
It is too easy for people to feed the habit. Then there is the fact that these pills often aren’t curing a problem at all, but merely masking symptoms.
Those that are in need of sleeping aids have two choices. The first is to follow strict doctor’s orders and instructions with reliable medication.
The second is to try other, natural forms of sleeping aids. Otherwise, there is the clear risk of strange behaviors, ill health, and addiction.