So, why would some want to use sleeping pills and what are the dangers of using sleeping pills?
Sleep is an essential part of life and well-being, just like food and water. The Sleep Foundation recommends that adults should sleep for 7 to 9 hours every day. Failure to get this may affect your performance and reasoning capability. Unfortunately, some people find it challenging to fall asleep at night. Many reasons can be responsible for this. Among them are stress, daytime sleepiness, depressed mood, and anxiety. Yet, some people couldn’t explain the cause of their sleeplessness. In a severe case, lack of sleep is called insomnia.
If you suffer sleeplessness, insomnia, or your sleep quality is deteriorating, your doctor may recommend some prescription sleeping pills. Many people also turn to over-the-counter (OTC) medicines to solve their sleeplessness. Indeed, sleeping pills can help you fall asleep and probably increase the quality of your sleep, but are they safe to use? This article will discuss the dangers of using sleeping pills and better alternatives to them.
How Safe Are Sleeping Pills?
Unfortunately, sleeping pills come with several risks which you must consider before using them. If used for a short time, the effects may not be significant. But long-time use of many sleeping pills has been found to do more harm than good.
1. You Can Become Dependent
Some sleep pills can be addictive, and you will always want to use them before you sleep. This means you may not be able to sleep again without the use of the drug. This may be physical or emotional. People suffering from emotional dependence on sleep drugs became anxious and afraid to sleep if they had not used the drug. After a long time of use, withdrawal may also pose challenges. It might be risky to stop suddenly as this may lead to withdrawal symptoms. If there are other dangers of using sleeping pills apart from their addictive nature, isn’t it even more dangerous when you become dependent on them?
2. It May Lead to Drowsiness
Many OTC sleep pills usually cause drowsiness even after you have woken up. This is a lead cause of falls in older adults. But not only the seniors are at the risk of drowsiness after sleeping pills. Even younger people can be in danger. Driving under the influence of sleeping pills has been identified to be among the major causes of road accidents.
3. It Can Affect Memory
Research has shown that sleeping pills can impair memory. Prolonged use of sleeping pills might be dangerous to students. But even if you are a worker, or retiree, who doesn’t want his memory to be in the best shape.
4. It Increases the Risk of Pneumonia
Another danger of using sleeping pills is that they are dangerous for people with lungs or respiratory problems. Studies show that such people have four times the risk of developing pneumonia if they also use sleeping pills. More alarming is the fact that they have 20 times the risk of dying from pneumonia complications.
5. It Can Cause Death if Taken with Alcohol
While sleeping pills are sedative, so is alcohol. Taking both together can affect the heart and breathing. In some cases, it can cause breathing to stop, and that may lead to death.
6. It May Lead to somnambulism and other parasomnias
Somnambulism is the act of sleepwalking. A sleepwalker may walk and perform some activities while still under the influence of sleep. In that case, he will not be aware of his actions. Other parasomnias that sleep pills may cause include having sex unconsciously while still under the influence of sleep, making a phone call, or eating.
Other Side Effects of Sleeping Pills
Other possible effects of using sleeping pills include the following:
- Stomach pain
- Body weakness
- Tingling in the hands and feet
So What Alternative Do You Have?
Certainly, if it is not absolutely essential, sleeping pills are not to be used. Here are other things you can do to increase the duration and quality of your sleep:
- Avoid Day-Time Naps
If night sleep is the problem, but you’ve been sleeping briefly in the afternoons, then you can avoid the daytime nap to give room for quality sleep at night.
- Schedule Your Sleep
According to the Centre for Disease Control and prevention (CDC), sleeping becomes easier if you go to bed and wake up around the same time every day. Hence you can have a schedule for your sleep to improve its quality.
- Reduce the Temperature
It is easier to fall asleep under a lower room temperature than at a higher one. Therefore, if you notice that your room temperature is too high, you may set your thermostat to a lower temperature. You can also take a shower to lower your body temperature.
Exercise is another way to increase the duration of sleep as well as its quality. Exercise reduces stress and increases the production of serotonin. This can lead to a night of better sleep.
- Turn Off the Light
It has been discovered that darkness usually triggers sleep, and many people can sleep better when the lights are off than when having the lights on.
We Can Help You
Certainly, sleep hygiene is the best therapy for sleeplessness. This includes using scientifically backed products and practices to induce sleep. Aside from the practices listed above, there are scientifically formulated materials that can help increase the duration and quality of your sleep. These include a weighted blanket and weighted pillow that enhances quality sleep. At DORMU, we specialise in science-based materials that can aid your sleep. Our weighted blankets, such as the DORMU Snuggler Weighted Blanket, are made from the most comfortable, high-quality materials designed to provide gentle and even pressure on your body.
Our blanket has the same effect as being hugged. They are soft, breathable, and made from ethical and sustainable materials. The blanket will increase the production of serotonin and melatonin. It will reduce stress and anxiety, keep you cool all night, and make your sleep deep and sweet. Indeed, the dangers of using sleeping pills are real. But there’s no point in going through all those challenges since there are better alternatives.