What Are The Potential Risks Of Sleep Aids For Insomnia
Potential side effects can vary based on the specific sleep aid and whether the person taking it has any other health problems or medications that they take. In general, there are potential negative effects that can occur with almost all sleep medications, although the likelihood of these effects may be higher with some sleep aids.
- Lingering next-day effects:As many as 80% of people taking sleep aids say that the sedative effect may persist after they have woken up, creating excess drowsiness or slowed thinking when a person should be alert. This issue is most worrisome for people who drive in the morning and may be at a higher risk of auto accidents.
- Confusion or loss of coordination: A strong sedative effect can make a person feel confused, dizzy, or unable to concentrate. As a result, they may be at risk for falls or other accidents right before bed or during the night.
- Abnormal behavior: After taking sleep aids, some people engage in strange behavior while remaining partially asleep and unaware of their actions. This behavior can range from simple things like talking, to more complex actions like sleepwalking or trying to drive.
- Allergic reaction: These responses are quite rare, but some people have allergic reactions to sleep aids.
- Drug interaction: A sleep aid may interact with other medications and potentially change their potency or how they affect the body.
End Sleepless Nights With These Natural Insomnia Remedies
Michele Roberge, RPSGT, R.T.
Michele Roberge is a Registered Polysomnographic Technologist and a Registered Radiologic Technologist. Michele currently leads a 4-bed, hospital-based sleep disorder center in Florida, which is also home to one of the largest sleep apnea support groups in the nation.
Were all familiar with that silly image of the person who resorts to counting sheep when they just cant seem to fall asleep. But when youre the one whos been
Were all familiar with that silly image of the person who resorts to counting sheep when they just cant seem to fall asleep. But when youre the one whos been tossing and turning all night, insomnia is no laughing matter.
As many as one in four adults report suffering from mild insomnia, founda recent Harvard study.Verified SourceHarvard HealthBlog run by Harvard Medical School offering in-depth guides to better health and articles on medical breakthroughs.View sourceThat inability to fall and stay asleep could stem from a short-term issue, or be the result of a lifetime of poor sleep habits. Either way, it cant be fixed with something like sleeping pills.
Heres why insomnia happens, why you cant rely on prescription meds to solve the problem, and how to develop healthier sleep habits for a lifetime of quality snoozing.
The Sleep Well Live Better Course
Below is a short video from the Sleep Well, Live Better Course which will help you to understand how you can learn to sleep well without the use of medication, even if you havent been able to for many years. The course is a step by step programme, recommended by the NHS to help you to wean off sleeping medication once and for all. In the course you will learn how to:
Understand how we develop insomnia and break the cycle for good
Fall asleep faster, wake less and achieve better quality sleep
Manage your sleep anxiety and racing mind
Feel more refreshed with more energy and motivation due to better quality sleep.
For more information please register for my FREE Sleep webinar- no catch it is free and will give you the opportunity to ask anything you need to know about how to improve your sleep.
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Techniques For Relieving Insomnia Without Medication
Meds can be good for some things. And certainly some natural or herbal sleep products may help you get some rest. But prescription pills for sleeping arent always the best solution.
Unfortunately, some sleep medications can actually make the problem worse. Sleep aids frequently disrupt sleep cycles, causing less restorative sleep. Even if they help you sleep through the night, the sleep is not necessarily deep or restful. People can become dependent on these meds, requiring them to sleep, and many develop a tolerance to sleep meds over time, requiring more medication to get the same effect. These meds can also cause rebound insomnia, meaning it becomes even harder to fall asleep without the medication. So before you pop that pill for your sleep problems, try these methods instead:
1. Sleep Hygiene 2. Brief Cognitive Behavioral Treatment Intervention for Insomnia , which will be covered in part two of this series on insomnia.
Nix The Screens Before Bed
You might think scrolling through Instagram is a totally relaxing pre-snooze activity but its actually the complete opposite. The light from these devices and the emotions that can result from checking email or social media sites can make it harder to unwind and fall asleep, says Richard Blackburn, PhD, sleep psychologist at Regions Hospital in St. Paul, Minnesota. The blue light actually blocks the release of melatonin , explains Blackburn. He suggests putting your iPhone into night shift mode when youre ready for bed, as this removes the blue light on your screen. But an even better option is to skip the electronics altogether.
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Behavioral Therapy Beats Sleeping Pills
Fortunately, there are lots of other ways to improve sleep without the side effects seen with medications such as Ambien . For example, studies have found a type of counseling called cognitive behavioral therapy to be the best treatment approach for insomnia.
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CBT is the gold standard treatment for insomnia, in which patients meet with a sleep behavioral psychologist to complete an individualized plan involving behavioral changes to improve sleep, explains Rachel Marie E. Salas, MD, MEHP, FAAN, an associate professor of neurology and nursing at Johns Hopkins Medicine. CBT helps people improve sleep-related behaviors and addresses negative ways of thinking that can make matters worse like If I dont fall asleep soon, theres no way Ill make it through the day tomorrow.
In 2016, the American College of Physicians issued a guideline that CBT was better than sleeping pills for treating insomnia. The professional group noted that CBT was more likely to lead to longer-lasting effects compared to sleeping pills, which are only meant to be taken for 4 to 5 weeks at most.
Its also important to deal with ongoing stress or anxiety, says Eddie Reece, MS, LPC, DCC, a psychotherapist in private practice near Atlanta. I think most people with insomnia, including me, are fairly anxious people.
How To Avoid Sleeping Pills
Sleeping pills are not right for everyone. They can interact with other drugs. If you are pregnant, they may harm your unborn baby.
You may also be concerned about the potential for addiction. Or, you may dislike the side effects.
Fortunately, there are other ways to manage insomnia. You may find it helpful to simply change your sleep habits.
Start by keeping a regular bedtime and wake time. This will help reinforce your natural circadian rhythm.
Avoid naps during the day. Naps can reduce your bodys natural desire for sleep.
It can also help to reduce the time you spend awake in bed. This is called stimulus control. Use your bed only for sex and sleep. If you can’t sleep, get out of bed and do something else until you feel sleepy.
Other alternatives for treating insomnia include:
- Biofeedback, a therapy that uses sensors to measure your body’s functions
- Aromatherapy, a form of sleep therapy that uses scents
- Guided imagery, a relaxation technique
- Progressive muscle relaxation
A psychologist may also be able to help. Therapy can help you learn to manage any stress and negative feelings associated with insomnia.
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Sip On Tart Cherry Juice
Craving a drink? Pour yourself a glass of tart cherry juice instead of wine. Tart cherry juice increases your melatonin levels, says Samantha Cassetty, RD, a New York City-based nutritionist. A 2010 study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food found that older insomniacs who drank two eight-ounce glasses of tart cherry juice a day slept for 85 minutes more than those who downed a placebo drink.
Where Should I Get Treatment For A Sleeping Pill Addiction
Experts with Addiction Center recommend seeking treatment with an inpatient or outpatient center, as these have the highest rate of success. Most importantly, though, do not be afraid to get help if you or someone you know is struggling with addiction.
- Sleeping Pills, Cleveland Clinic, April 27, 2021
- How Long Does Ambien Stay in Your System?, American Addiction Centers, June 18, 2019
- What Is Sleeping Pill Withdrawal?, Addiction Center, June 15, 2021
- Insomnia Treatment: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Instead of Sleeping Pills, Mayo Clinic, September 28, 2016
- Michael D. Stein MD, Peter D. Friedmann MD MPH, Disturbed Sleep and Its Relationship to Alcohol Use, National Institutes of Health, 2005
- The Link Between Sleep And Nicotine, Henry Ford Health System, March 28, 2018
- Blue Light Has a Dark Side, Harvard Health Publishing, July 7, 2020
- Sleeping Pill Addiction and Abuse, Addiction Center, June 15, 2021
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When And How Should I Seek Sleep Treatment From A Sleep Specialist
Almost everyone has sleep problems at some point in their lives. If its a temporary sleep problem, you can find the reason behind it an argument with your spouse, problem at work, jet lag. Such problems are temporary and typically end in a couple days.
If you have been unable to sleep well for a month or more, its advisable to see a doctor. See if you match the common symptoms of insomnia mentioned above. If you do, its time to consult a sleep specialist.
Tips On How To Stop Insomnia Anxiety Without Pills
You may have seen many articles on how to get rid of insomnia, but eventually living with it is the only option you can make. At night, when thoughts, worries and even creative ideas are rounded in your mind, you may find it hard to sleep and feel lonely. It is estimated that 95% of Americans experience insomnia at some point in their lives. This makes them feel tired all the time. Fortunately, there are many tips on how to stop insomnia naturally without pills and fortunately, they will be presented in this article. But before learning about them, you should accurately determine your condition with the following information.
Negative Effects Of Insomnia
You may hear some people bragging about needing less than six hours of sleep. But we really all need between seven and nine hours. Getting less than what we need can be bad for our health. If you are not getting enough sleep you might find yourself suffering from the following:
A weakened immune system so you get sick more often
Elevated blood pressure
Increased risk of heart disease and diabetes
Relieving Anxiety That Keeps You From Falling Or Staying Asleep
If sleep worries are getting in the way of your ability to unwind at night, the following strategies may help. The goal is to train your body to associate the bed with sleep and nothing elseespecially not frustration and anxiety.
Use the bedroom only for sleeping and sex. With many of us working from home now, it can be difficult to avoid, but if possible dont work, use your computer, or watch TV in your bedroom. The goal is to associate the bedroom with sleep alone, so that your brain and body get a strong signal that its time to nod off when you get into bed.
Move bedroom clocks out of view. Anxiously watching the minutes tick by when you cant sleepknowing that youre going to be exhausted when the alarm goes offis a surefire recipe for insomnia. You can use an alarm, but make sure you cant see the time when youre in bed.
Get out of bed when you cant sleep. Dont try to force yourself to sleep. Tossing and turning only amps up your anxiety. Get up, leave the bedroom, and do something relaxing, such as reading, meditating, or taking a bath. When youre sleepy, go back to bed.
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Consider Meeting With Your Doctor
If youve tried natural remedy after natural remedy and are still having difficulty sleeping, its a good idea to talk about your insomnia with your doctor. Together, you can discuss your symptoms, which could point to underlying health issues that might be making it harder for you to fall asleep. She can also review any prescriptions that youre taking to see whether they might be interfering with your ability to nod off.
Have you found a way to manage your insomnia?
About the author
Natural Remedies To Promote Sleep
As for natural remedies, the herb valerian has long been used as a mild sedative that can help with sleep problems. We generally recommend standardized extracts, which are available at health food stores, with 1 to 2 caps taken before bedtime, says Dr. Rothenberg. Valerian is gently relaxing it wont knock someone out like a pharmaceutical sleeping aid, and it should not cause morning grogginess.
Another natural substance that may be helpful is melatonin, a hormone that helps to keep biorhythms including the wake/sleep cycle in good working order. The recommended dosage varies for each person, as some need more while others need less.
In addition, Dr. Salas offers the following tips to improve your chances of sleeping well:
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Cognitive Behavioral Therapy For Insomnia
Up till now, the efficacy of positive thinking was being tapped to turn no-hopers into go-getters. But of late, insomniacs and individuals beset with a range of sleeping disorders are being inculcated to gradually adopt a positive mindset. Nearly 10% of the adult US population has to put with multiple symptoms associated with sleeplessness such as difficulty falling asleep at night, waking up in the night, daytime fatigue and irritability, restlessness, and so on.
Recently, many medical institutions and sleep medicine experts are backing a new kid on the block in the world of insomnia CBT-I or Cognitive Behavior Therapy for insomnia. The treatment process lays stress on sleep hygiene like going to bed and getting up at the same hour daily, refraining from oversleeping or staying in bed etc. However, the key attributes of CBT-I are stimulation control and sleep restrictions.
In other words, you should quit damaging habits like taking excessive coffee or alcohol, watching TV or browsing on the smartphone before going to bed, and cultivate good sleeping habits. Fixing an appointment with a CBT-I clinician could be an issue as there are only about 10,000 of these medics practicing in the U.S. when the demand is for 100,000 professionals. But there are many effective online therapy solutions, so dont fret.
Lying at the core of the CBT-I are five essential aspects:
Does Anxiety Go Away
For those people that are diagnosed with a legitimate anxiety disorder, the condition is unlikely to go away. Some people may be able to better control their anxiety disorder with the help and guidance of a therapist or psychologist, and medications may help further control the condition. There may also be specific coping mechanisms to help manage anxiety disorders, however, a permanent cure for anxiety does not currently exist.
For those that do not suffer from an anxiety disorder, but only have occasional or intermittent anxiety from time-to-time, this is normal and healthy behavior for many people. Temporary anxiety is likely to diminish over time, and if it is related to a specific place or person, removing yourself from those situations may help the anxiety go away after some time.
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How To Cure Insomnia Without Pills
There are various factors that can affect your sleep,developing it in insomnia. Traumas in childhood, stressful job, problems withyour partner are just some of the possible causes of your disturbed sleep.Before reaching for over-the-counter medications, please read this articleand you will discover that there are some other, natural ways to break the chainof sleepless nights.
General about insomnia
As the insomnia occurs in nearly one third of Americanpopulation, it is considered to be a widespread problem. Statistics say thatwomen more often suffer from insomnia than men, but they are less likely toseek for help. In women, the possible consequence of insomnia is depression andthis condition has a major influence on all the aspects of their lives. Thegood night sleep is very important for our body, but what are we supposed to doif we suffer from insomnia? Unintentional deprivation from sleep can confuseour body and lead to obesity. Some of us have the so-called inner sleep clockthat wakes us every morning at the same time. It is an inner mechanism thattells our body that it had rest and it is time to wake up, controlling the depthand durance of our sleep.
How to deal with insomnia?
What Are The Effective Ways On How To Stop Insomnia Naturally Without Using Pills
Besides medicinal methods, most of us can find out some remedies for how to stop insomnia naturally regardless of the causes of the insomnia. The following natural remedies are effective in stopping insomnia quickly and getting a deep sleep as long as you follow them seriously. In addtion, you also should avoid watching TV, using digital devices that can affect on your sleep. Here are some remedies that I want to share with you:
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