Everything You Need to Know About Sleeping Pills


The sleeping pills are not new: several centuries ago, infusions of various herbs were already used to induce sleep. At the beginning of the twentieth century, barbiturates, and by the 1960s, benzodiazepines have been released. The newer sleeping pills do not carry the same risks of dependence and that the pills lethal overdose of the past. But the risk exists, especially in people with liver disease or kidney.

In general, sleeping pills can be divided into five main categories: (1) non-prescription-controlled, (2) non-benzodiazepine hypnotics, (3) benzodiazepine hypnotics, (4) sedative antidepressants, and (5 nutritional supplements.


There are several drugs that can induce sleep, from decongestants to remedies for hives, which can be purchased without a prescription.

Most of these medicines can cause dry mouth and dizziness prolonged, and are not considered safe for pregnant or lactating women.

As with any other sedative drug, these medications should be taken by people who drive, operate heavy machinery or cutting equipment.

Non-benzodiazepine hypnotics

These remedies are a newer class of sleeping pills. They work by calming the nervous system, which in turn induces sleep. To be metabolized rapidly, the risk of drowsiness the next day is less.

The main representatives of this class include sleeping pills zolpidem tartrate, zaleplon and eszopiclone. Although effective in producing a quality sleep, strange names for these drugs can cause various side effects such as dry mouth, dizziness, severe allergic reactions, sleepwalking, abdominal cramps, headache, nausea, vomiting and decreased appetite sexual.

The non-benzodiazepine hypnotics are considered safe in pregnant women, lactating women, persons with a history of depression, alcoholism, respiratory or liver problems or kidney.

Hypnotics Benzodiazepines

They are the older class of sleeping pills. Cause more side effects the next day that the most modern and sleeping pills have a higher risk of addiction.

Other relatively common adverse effects include intolerance to light, dizziness, euphoria, episodes of amnesia, diarrhea, nausea, blurred vision and sleepwalking.

Like other sleep medications, benzodiazepine hypnotics should not be used by pregnant women, lactating women, or people with a history of drug addiction, depression or respiratory diseases. The use in older people should be done with caution, and the remedies should never be stopped at once.

Sedative antidepressants

Some drugs used to treat depression (eg: trazodone, amitriptyline, nortriptyline) can relieve insomnia and taken in small doses.

The most common side effects of these medications include sweating, constipation, diarrhea, nausea, headaches, dizziness and blurred vision.

The sedating antidepressants are not considered safe for pregnant women and people with a history of heart problems or high blood pressure.

Dietary supplements

Like most soporific drugs have a number of limitations and undesirable side effects, scientists have sought to develop less harmful supplements can produce the same effects. One of the most popular is a hormone called melatonin.

Melatonin acts regulating the body’s internal clock, causing sleep. Unfortunately, this hormone has not been fully studied and it is believed that some side effects may occur, such as dizziness, headaches and heartburn.

Other natural supplements (eg, valerian, chamomile, hops, etc.) have proved effective in initial studies, but many researchers say it is too early to draw conclusions about its effectiveness, and more tests are needed to determine its role in the treatment of insomnia.

Taking sleeping pills

If, despite all the changes in your habits, you still can not get that good night’s sleep, sleeping pills may be the only way.

To use them safely, you must obey some simple rules:

* Talk to your doctor. Never take sleeping pills on their own. Your doctor is the only person able to select the most appropriate drug and dose for you.
* Advance one day at a time, staring at the sleeping pills only as a temporary solution for insomnia.
Never mix alcohol and sleeping pills. Alcohol enhances the sedative effect of the pills, increasing the risk of loss of consciousness.
* Stop slowly. So you think it’s time to stop the pills, try again your doctor and follow his recommendations. Some sleeping pills should be discontinued gradually to avoid the risk of withdrawal symptoms.
* Beware of side effects. If you are feeling drowsy or dizzy during the day, talk to your doctor about the dosage of the medication or if you can stop it.
* Everyone deserves a good night’s sleep. If the remedy chosen initially not fulfilling their promises, consult your doctor.

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