Then the idea of going to sleep without it will make you anxious. For short-term insomnia, your doctor may prescribe sleeping pills for several weeks. Yet after regular use for a longer period, your sleeping pill may stop working as you build a tolerance to the medication. You may also become psychologically dependent on the medicine.
It's important to be aware of possible sleeping pill side effects so you can stop the drug and call your doctor immediay to avoid a more serious health problem.
Mixing alcohol and sleeping pills can have additive sedating effects from both drugs, and the combination can cause someone to stop breathing, which could cause death. Yes. Sleeping pill labels warn against using alcohol while taking the drug.
Parasomnias with sleeping pills are complex sleep behaviors and may include sleep eating, making phone calls, or having sex while in a sleep state. Sleep driving, which is driving while not fully awake, is another serious sleeping pill side effect. Though rare, parasomnias are difficult to detect once the medication takes effect.
Halcion is an older benzodiazepine sedative-hypnotic medicine that has largely been replaced by newer medicines. They are usually not recommended for long-term treatment of sleeping problems. Benzodiazepines such as Xanax, Valium, Ativan, and Librium are anti- anxiety medications. They also increase drowsiness and help people sleep. While these drugs may be useful short-term, all benzodiazepines are potentially addictive and can cause problems with memory and attention.
American Academy of Sleep Medicine: "Preventing Parasomnias.".
Between a third and half of all Americans have insomnia and complain of poor sleep. Perhaps you're one of them. If so, you may be considering taking a sleeping pill.
Medline Plus: "Aging Changes in Sleep." News release, FDA. Pagination.
FDA: "Side Effects of Sleep Drugs.".
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Your doctor may be able to alert you to the possibility of side effects if you have asthma or other health conditions. Sleeping pills can interfere with normal breathing and can be dangerous in people who have certain chronic lung problems such as asthma, emphysema, or forms of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease ( COPD ).
But it's important to make sure you understand everything you need to know about sleeping pills. When you do, you can avoid misusing these sedatives. A sleeping pill may be effective at ending your sleep problems short-term. That includes knowing about sleeping pill side effects.
12 reasons why you're tired -- and how to fight them.
Grapefruit increases the amount of the drug absorbed into your bloodstream and how long it stays in the body. Also, you should not eat grapefruit or drink grapefruit juice while taking some sleeping pills. That can cause over-sedation.
Most sleeping pills are classified as "sedative hypnotics." That's a specific class of drugs used to induce and/or maintain sleep. Sedative hypnotics include benzodiazepines, barbiturates, and various hypnotics.
Product labels for sedative-hypnotic medicines include language about the potential risks of taking a sleeping pill. Because complex sleep behaviors are more likely to occur if you increase the dosage of a sleeping pill, take only what your doctor prescribes -- no more.
It's usually recommended that you take the sleeping pill right before your desired bedtime. In addition, always allow ample time to sleep before you take a sleeping pill. Read your doctor's instructions on the sleeping pill prescription label. The instructions have specific information regarding your medication.
American Academy of Family Physicians: "Insomnia: How to Get A Good Night's Sleep.".
Sleeping pills have side effects like most medications. You won't know, though, whether you will experience side effects with a particular sleeping pill until you try it.
People who have an allergic reaction to a specific sleeping pill should avoid it. Yes -- people can have an allergic reaction to any medicine, which could be related to either the active ingredient of the medicine itself or to any of its inactive ingredients (such as dyes, binders or coatings). It's important to talk to your doctor at the first sign of these serious side effects, including:.
Another possible effect is angioedema, which is severe facial swelling. Again, discuss these possibilities with your doctor if you are at risk of allergic reactions. In addition, a serious -- even deadly -- side effect of any medicine someone is allergic to is anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis is an acute allergic reaction.
Short- or long-acting barbiturates are prescribed as sedatives or sleeping pills. But more commonly, these hypnotic drugs are limited to use as anesthesia.They can be fatal in overdose. Barbiturates, another drug in this sedative-hypnotic class, depress the central nervous system and can cause sedation.
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During a parasomnia, you are asleep and unaware of what is happening. Some sleeping pills have potentially harmful side effects, including parasomnias. Parasomnias are movements, behaviors and actions over which you have no control, like sleepwalking.
WebMD does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. See additional information.
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Some of these sleep-inducing drugs, which bind to the same receptors in the brain as do benzodiazepines, include Lunesta, Sonata, and Ambien. Another sleep aid, called Rozerem, acts differently from other sleep medicines by affecting a brain hormone called melatonin, and is not habit-forming. They can work quickly to increase drowsiness and sleep. Belsomra is another unique sleep aid that affects a brain chemical called orexin, and is not addictive or habit-forming. Newer medications help reduce the time it takes to fall asleep. They are somewhat less likely than benzodiazepines to be habit-forming, but over time can still sometimes cause physical dependence.
Without the sleeping pill, you might find it difficult to sleep. Some studies show that long-term use of sleeping pills actually interferes with sleep. The best way to avoid developing a physical or emotional dependence on sleeping pills is to follow your doctor's instructions and stop taking the drug when recommended. If that happens, it could be a sign of a physical or emotional dependence or both. SOURCES:.
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke: "Brain Basics: Understanding Sleep.".Sleeping pills