It’s midnight, and you’re gazing at the ceiling, thinking about work, your bills, or other commitments. You just can’t seem to quiet your thoughts when you suddenly recall there’s a bottle of sleeping pills in your cupboard. Not wanting to delay your sleep any further, you get up, walk to the cupboard, and down a few pills to help you catch some snooze.
This is absolutely fine if it happens infrequently, but the warning lights should be flashing if you regularly use sleeping pills for falling asleep. What you should do instead is to find out what the root causes are before turning to medication.
These could be something like consuming too much caffeine or excessive blue light exposure from your gadgets. It could also be a side effect of a fundamental clinical or psychological issue. Whatever the case, relying on sleeping pills is likely not an intelligent long-term solution.
You should instead treat sleeping pills as transitory/temporary sleeping aids of the last resort. The reason is that frequent usage can exacerbate your sleeping problems over the long haul.
You can read up more about sleeping pills here.
Possible Adverse Effects of Regular Sleeping Pills Use
#1. The Pills Can Slowly Lose Their Effectiveness
The human body is very adaptable to its environment internally and externally. Frequent intake of sleeping pills will, therefore, make them less effective, just like how caffeine loses its potency over time.
#2. The ‘Hangover’ Effect
Regular use of sleeping pills can lead to a hangover effect similar to how one would feel after binge drinking. This, in turn, can lead to you feeling heavy when you’re awake and even cause sudden mood swings.
#3. Insomnia Will Likely Return
Sleeping pills are not a long-term solution for insomnia, which is why chronic insomniacs who abandon sleeping pills will once again find themselves having trouble sleeping naturally.
What you should do instead is to consult your physician and look for ways to fall asleep naturally.
#4. Potential Side Effects
You should always view sleeping pills as medicines since that is what they fundamentally are. They can interact, and interfere with other medications that you take, so please inform your physician if you have been relying on these pills.
Overuse of sleeping medicines can also lead to memory loss issues, attention deficit disorder, and various other consequences resulting from a lack of natural sleep.
#5. You Are More Drug-Dependent to Fall Sleep
Over-dependence on anything can cause addiction problems, and this is true with sleeping pills. This addiction is similar to being addicted to alcohol or – to a certain extent – caffeine. It’s not only unhealthy but can also create the feeling that you are weak, which can be mentally and physically debilitating.
Tips and Tricks for Falling Asleep Naturally
When all is said and done, sleeping pills are best used sparingly and only when required, such as traversing time zones or recuperating from a surgery.
Here are some articles that we have written on how to improve your sleep quality naturally as a start.
- The Seven Commandments of a Good Night’s Sleep
- How to Create Your Perfect Sleeping Environment
- 7 Reasons Why You’re Not Falling Asleep Quickly & 6 Solutions to Combat It
We wish you good sleep in the days, weeks, months, and years ahead.