Tips for Safer Use of Sleeping Pills

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Sleeping pills are popular amongst the general population due to their ability to improve sleep and help to reduce the prevalence of health issues caused by poor sleep.

The market for over-the-counter sleep aids has grown to almost $50 billion in 2016. By the year 202, this market is expected to reach almost $80 billion.

While these pills are beneficial for promoting better sleep amongst individuals who have insomnia, they also hold risks that people should be aware of.

In this post, we'll share some valuable tips to help you be safe when opting for the use of over-the-counter sleeping pills, prescription sleeping pills and natural sleep aids like herbal tea to help you treat insomnia.

Safety Tips While Using Sleeping Aids

sleep medication

The use of sleeping aids, whether prescription, over-the-counter or herbal in nature, has some potential risks associated. Thus, optimal care needs to be taken to ensure these pills are used under strict control and in the safest way possible.

  • One of the most important factors about using sleeping pills is not to mix these substances with alcohol. Alcohol and sleeping pills both affect the body's central nervous system and causes similar effects in some parts of the body. When combined, this can cause an excessively slow heartbeat, a significant reduction in brain activity, severe impairment of respiratory function, and even loss of consciousness.
  • It is also important to consider the period of time available to sleep before taking one of these pills. If there is not enough time for sleep, then avoid taking a sleeping pill.
  • When waking up in the middle of the night and struggling to get back to sleep, it might be tempting to take another dose. This, however, is not a good choice.
  • Always read the instructions provided within the container of the sleeping pills. It is vital to adhere to the dosage recommendations and never to exceed the maximum recommended daily dosage. Additionally, it is also a good idea to start out with the minimal dosage amount and gradually build up if this does not seem to work.
  • Many over-the-counter and prescription sleeping pills can cause an addictive behavior in a user. To avoid this complication, try not to use sleeping pills continuously for extended periods of time.

Topics To Discuss With A Physician Or Pharmacist

Before taking a sleeping pill, it is also a good idea to discuss specific topics with the pharmacist who is providing you with the pills or the prescribing physician. Particular topics that you should discuss include:

  • Whether the sleeping pills you are planning to take with have any type of interaction with the existing medication you are also taking.
  • Whether you should be concerned about any existing medical conditions, you have been diagnosed with while taking these sleeping pills. It is especially important to discuss the use of sleeping pills with your physician if you have been diagnosed with asthma, depression, liver disease and high blood pressure.

Additionally, it is also essential to discuss increasing your dosage with a doctor before doing so, as well as addressing the best approach to discontinuing the use of sleeping pills with your doctor before you stop taking them. Some of these drugs can cause a dependency, which could interfere with your sleep when you decide to stop taking the drug.

Healthy Habits Are Better Than Sleeping Aids

Even though it can be beneficial to use a sleeping aid to provide improvements in sleep, there are better alternative options. Many of these options are much safer than having to take a sleeping pill every night.

How Relaxation Techniques Can Help You Sleep Better

relaxation

One of the most effective ways to improve your sleep without the use of a sleeping pills with melatonin is through relaxation techniques. There are different types of relaxation techniques such as yoga and meditation that you can use. These techniques will help you stay calm during the day and also help you switch your mind off at night. Progressive muscle relaxation and abdominal breathing are two essential techniques that you should adopt to help you fall asleep easier when you go to bed.

How Exercise Can Help You Improve Your Sleep

workout

Exercise is another useful option for improving your overall sleep quality. While exercise is known to provide a boost in energy, the effects of physical activity can help to reduce anxiety and stress and contribute to better sleep at night. One study explains that the benefits of exercise on sleep is due to the particular effects that exercise has on the endocrine system, metabolic function, the autonomic nervous system, and the body’s somatic functions.

Conclusion

Sleeping aids have become popular due to their ability to help people sleep when insomnia causes them sleeplessness and other health complications. When using sleeping aids, it is essential to take specific safety factors into account, as we have explained in this post. Discussing the use of such a product with your physician can also help you understand if alternative options may be a better option for you.

References:

  • Alcohol and Sleeping Pills—A Strange Combination - Psychology Today
  • Exercise Effects on Sleep Physiology - NCBI

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