There are certain sleep disorders that no matter how you try to follow the tips to get a good night’s sleep, your body still does not respond. Even if you relax before going to bed, avoid caffeine, live a healthy life and take only nutritious food, sleep can sometimes be elusive. How can this problem be addressed? For some people, drugs are the answer. Not the kind of ‘drugs’ you have in mind, silly. We’re talking about sleeping pills.The concept of prescription sleeping pills dates centuries back when people used to turn to opiate mixes and herbal potions to induce sleep. Those who lived in the olden days brewed certain kinds of teas and boiled particular types of herbs to help knock themselves out for a few hours when sleep refuses to arrive.
Barbiturates soon followed in the 1900s, and were eventually replaced by safer versions called nonbenzodiazepine hypnotics in the 90s.
Because sleep disorders are a common disorder, it is not a surprise that scientists continuously find ways to make the drugs designed to combat it safer and more efficient to use. The sleeping pills we have today are nowhere near as lethal as the herbs they used to drink in the past, but, unfortunately, still, carry their share of side effects and risks. Some of the sleeping pills nowadays have been found to cause problems for the kidney and the liver — those sleeping pills are prescribed only to people with severe sleep problems. Some of the most commonly known prescription drugs these days are Lunesta, Ambien, Sonata, and Rozerem.
The most common sleeping pills consist of diphenhydramine, doxylamine, zolpidem tartrate, triazolam, temazepam, trazodone, and nortriptyline, among a host of other names we’d probably never bother trying to spell. They vary in effects and purpose. Some are used to treat mild sleeplessness, while the latter names are commonly used to treat depression related sleep disorders. Of course, not all of them are available over the counter. If you suspect that you have a sleep problem, it is still best to consult with your doctor first before you attempt any of these sleeping pills.
Prescription sleeping pills are also not usually meant to be taken more than once a day. Some people who have taken multiple doses in a single day have been rushed to the hospital because of seizures or sudden deaths. Sleeping pills are not things to be toyed with and, thus, should be taken according to the doctor’s orders. You should also avoid drinking alcoholic beverages while you’re under treatment as these could only cancel out the sleeping pills’ effects, or, worse, cause complications.
We all deserve to sleep well at night. And while sleep disorders are common to everyone, we should first try to seek safe methods first before taking any kind of medication. Sleeping pills are effective, yes, but they can also be dangerous with improper use.