Insomnia and other types of sleep disorders affect the way the brain functions. They are often caused by stress, tiredness, lack of sleep, staying up late, and even a bad night’s rest. If left untreated, lack of sleep can affect the brain’s ability to retain information and can lead to an untimely death in some cases.
The good news is that different UK sleep tablets have been developed to combat insomnia, with few side effects and relatively little risk. However, relying on sleeping pills instead of getting more rest may be doing more harm than good. Here’s what you should know about relying on sleeping pills.
How Do Sleeping Pills Work?
Sleeping pills, also known as sleep aids, sedatives, hypnotics, or tranquilizers, are a type of drug that helps you fall asleep faster and stay asleep for longer periods. They do this by affecting the way your brain works so that it can’t keep itself awake when it’s supposed to be sleeping. They also cause drowsiness, which helps you sleep better.
However, sleeping pills are not ideal for sleep disorders like sleep apnea and narcolepsy. They’re also not ideal for children and pregnant women as they may affect the fetus. Therefore, if you’re pregnant, consult your doctor for a safe alternative to treat insomnia.
There are many types of sleeping pills available today, but most are benzodiazepines which include Valium, Ativan, Xanax, Klonopin, and Serax. Nowadays, there are also less-addictive sleeping pills known as Z-drugs. Although sleeping pills are effective means of getting enough sleep, you must ensure you consult a sleep specialist before taking them.
Sleeping Pills Addiction
Depending on how often and for how long you take them, you can become addicted to sleeping pills. Overusing sleeping pills can have some pretty serious side effects, and some people who take sleeping pills for insomnia can experience withdrawal symptoms when they stop taking the medication. Therefore, it’s important to be aware of what you’re taking and how it may affect your body and health. If you’re concerned that you might be addicted to sleeping pills, talk with your doctor.
Symptoms of Sleeping Pills Addiction
The duration of use does not determine sleeping pill addiction. This is because there are people who have used sleeping pills for years and are not addicted. However, if you find yourself manifesting some of the symptoms below, then you may be addicted to sleeping pills:
- You always shop around for new doctors to prescribe sleeping pills.
- Your sleeping pills dosage increases consistently.
- You’re experiencing withdrawal symptoms
- You start avoiding activities and relationships that you once enjoyed.
- You find it hard to quit sleeping pills after a long time.
Alternatives to Sleeping Pills
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a type of psychotherapy that helps to treat emotional concerns and mental conditions. It is designed to help you change your thinking, emotions, and behavior to improve your sleep quality.
You can use CBT to help you identify the thoughts and behaviors that are keeping you up at night, then work through those thoughts and behaviors until they no longer cause trouble for you. The goal of CBT is not just to reduce insomnia symptoms but also to improve overall functioning so that you can get more done in your day and live a more productive life.
In addition to CBT, you can also practice the following lifestyle behaviors:
- Create a calming environment. This means turning off electronics, dimming the lights, and covering up any bright sources of light or noise in your bedroom.
- Exercise regularly. This helps keep your brain in top shape and also reduces stress, which can make it harder for you to fall asleep at night.
- Don’t overeat before bedtime. Particularly, don’t consume foods that contain caffeine, as they can make it harder for you to fall asleep. It would be best if you also avoid smoking.
- Don’t be idle during the day. Ensure you stay physically active.
- Do something soothing, such as reading, meditating, or listening to soft music before you sleep.
- Choose a sleep time and follow it consistently. This will make your body system adapt.
While sleeping pills can help you overcome insomnia, they are addiction drugs; hence they’re not designed for long-term use. Whether you’re having difficulty sleeping or you’re not getting enough sleep, there are other ways to address it without sleeping pills. It’s also important to work with a doctor to find the best solution for you.