Sleeping disorders affect a third to a half of Americans.
Whether you are a victim or not, like me you must be concerned about the rate at which sleep disorders are spreading across Americans.
To get a solution for sleeplessness, people have gone in search of medications that will get them the sleep they are deprived off.
Medications for sleep, commonly known as sleeping pills are used to induce sleep and relieve you of your sleep problems. How a restless person can take a pill and be able to sleep soundly the whole night makes you wonder about the chemistry behind this pill.
However, there is a danger in the use of these pills. If misused, they could do more harm than good to your body.
1What are sleeping pills?
In the 20th century, benzodiazepines were used to treat anxiety and insomnia symptoms. Benzodiazepines are found in the common Valium and Ativan. This drug had a sedation effect on its patients.
Pharmaceutical companies have now come up with safer alternatives to the benzodiazepines. Referred to as the non-benzodiazepines, this product is contained in Ambien and Lunesta.
Benzodiazepines were found to be unsafe because of the fact that they bonded to all the GABA neurotransmitter in your brain, sedating you in the process. As for the non-benzodiazepines, they are selective and do not bind to all GAB receptors reducing your tendency to get dependent on them.
Sleeping pills are classified as sedatives as “sedative hypnotics”. They have the sole purpose of inducing and maintaining sleep.
How do sleeping pills work?
Sleeping pills work by affecting the functioning of your brain to trigger sleepiness. They are classified according to the degree of drowsiness they leave you with.
Mild sleeping pills leave a drowsy feeling on you while the stronger sleeping aids like the benzodiazepines are strong enough to induce heavy sleep
These pills have no strong effect on you but simply induce drowsiness. In actual sense, they introduce drowsiness in your body as a side effect.
Their core function is to treat allergy symptoms. You can find them as over-the-counter drugs in most drug stores. They work as anti-histamines by blocking the movement of the histamine neurotransmitter that moves through your neuron.
If suffering from mild insomnia, mild sleeping pills work best for you. Common examples of mellow sleeping pills include Sominex, Nytol, and Excedrin PM.
The side effects of using sleeping pills.
Yes, you bought a sleeping pill, used it and its now working magic for you. There is no waking up at 3 am again to stare at the walls of your bedroom anymore.
Despite sleeping healthy, have you ever stopped and pondered whether these drugs could have an effect on you? No. If you have been struggling with Insomnia, these are not thoughts you want to entertain as the drugs make you feel better.
Just before you make them your way of life, there are side effects of sleeping you want to watch out.
Builds resistance against sleeping pills
When your body gets accustomed to sleeping pills, it builds resistance making the normal dosage of the drug ineffective. This makes you want to go for higher doses to get the optimum sleep effects, you are looking for.
Assuming you went ahead and decided to use higher doses to induce sleep not only will this unhealthy but could cost your life as well. Higher doses of sleeping pills result in depressed breathing that could choke your life.
The longest you should take a sleeping pill is 10 days. Use it beyond two weeks and you could be hitting the final nail in the coffin.
You risk falling down
This is more likely to occur in older persons. A sleep drug called zolpidem, when taken, increases your likelihood of falling by four times.
Research published in a health journal backed this fact. Your legs have sensors that help to measure your center of gravity. When you take a sleeping pill, it destabilizes your sensors which make you fall down easily.
Dangerous to Asthmatic patients
If having breathing problems, such as asthma, lung problems or different types of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), avoid the use of sleeping pills. You want to make sure you stay safe by first getting a doctor’s prescription on their use.
If a driver, you risk drowsing on the steering wheel
Certain sleep medications such as zolpidem can cause extend their effects on your body into the following day. If you happen to be driving, this puts you at risk of causing an accident.
Drug makers are now required to lower the doses recommended for women and men to avoid the incidences of drowsy driving.
Seek a doctor’s advice before using any sleeping pill. Also, only take a sleeping drug if you have several hours to sleep.
Erratic strange behaviors
Sleeping pills are can make your night wonderful especially when sleeping on the much-hyped Simba mattress. While sleeping at night is not without its fair share of strange behaviors, sleeping pills could extend these behaviors further. Sleepwalking and amnesia have been reported in patients who took the sleeping drug Ambien.
Amnesia caused by a sleep drug makes you wake up forgetful of the place you laid to rest. If experiencing symptoms of this nature, you need to report them to your doctor soon enough.
Insomnia patients need not worry anymore about catching sleep at night. With new sleeping pills being released in the market more often, they can as well say bye to a lack of sleep.
A sleeping pill works by inducing and maintaining a state of sleep in your body making you sleep soundly till morning.
If misused sleeping pills cause your body more harm than good. For instance, using it for more than two weeks makes your body dependent. This means your body won’t respond to the normal dosages of the pill. This makes you use a higher dosage to feel sleepy.
Looking at the side effects of a sleep drug, you are better of exploring other remedies to your sleep disorder other than their use. On the other hand, keep safe by seeking a doctor’s advice before going for a sleeping pill.