While they may be the quick solution to your insomnia problem, there are many side effects of sleeping meds that you should consider before taking them.
If you are struggling with insomnia or a sleep disorder, you have most-likely used or considered using sleeping meds to help you get some rest. While they can be really helpful at that, and provide you with a much needed relieve and resting time, side effects of sleeping meds can be tricky.
Sleeping pills are available both as over-the-counter medication, and as prescribed sedatives or central nervous system depressants, aimed at helping you relax and be able to ease out the symptoms of difficulty sleep.
However, sleeping pills side effects are actually numerous and varied, and in many cases, can affect how you perform and react to daily activities, the very next day after taking them.
Some sleeping meds contain high doses of sedative-hypnotics that have an extended-release characteristic, meaning they stay in your system for a longer period of time. This effect, more often than not, makes you less able to perform normally or react to common stimuli.
This particular side effect can be dangerous when you need to engage in situations where your full attention is required, such as driving or handling heavy machinery, to name a few.
Moreover, sleeping meds that contain sedative-hypnotics, benzodiazepines or barbiturates have a higher risk of being habit-forming; this means that you may become tolerant to the medication, creating a need to take higher doses.
This characteristic alone leads to dependence, which can develop into an addiction, and – if unaddressed – even to a sleeping pills overdose, which can be lethal.
Other sleeping pills side effects that are just as dangerous as the ones mentioned above, and that can be perceived even after taking a couple of doses, include:
- Impairment (particularly the next day)
- Changes in appetite
- Mood swings
- Muscle spasms or tremors
- Tingling sensation in the extremities
Another side effect that could be potentially dangerous, is the possibility of parasomnias, or behaviors and actions that you can’t control because you are asleep (like sleepwalking).
In addition to these sleeping pills side effects, when you become dependent or addicted to them, you are at a higher risk of suffering from serious health conditions – in some cases irreversible – or even dying.
Sleeping pills overdose is a real matter that has affected thousands of people that have become dependent on these drugs to be able to rest. In other cases, sadly, a person tries to commit suicide by ingesting large quantities of sleeping meds.
A sleeping pills overdose can be lethal in a matter of minutes; a person will experience severe lack of oxygen, which will cause the lungs to collapse. Other consequences of an overdose include, suffocation due to vomiting, brain death for the lack of oxygen, cardiac arrest and heart failure.
For these – and many other reasons – it is highly recommended that you take sleeping meds under the strict care of a medical doctor. Someone that will be able to monitor, alter or cancel your prescription when the medication is no longer necessary.
If you or a loved one needs help with abuse and/or treatment, please call the White Sands Tampa at (877) 640-7820. Our addiction specialists can assess your recovery needs and help you get the addiction treatment that provides the best chance for your long-term recovery.