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Sleeping Pills Medicine

They refer to a generic term used to indicate both over the counter (OTC) and prescription medications. These types of drugs are commonly used to help people who have difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep. Generally, sleeping pills are hypnotics, also known as sedatives, which means they are sleep-promoting agents.

The most common sleeping pills or hypnotics are in the classes of drugs benzodiazepine receptor agonists or benzodiazepines. They can have some severe side effects if abused or overused.

Individuals who feel they might need sleeping pills, they should first consult their healthcare provider.

Why might someone have trouble sleeping?

Each healthy adult requires an average of 6 hours to 8 hours of sleep every night. Sometimes, someone might have a problem getting this total amount of sleep. This condition could be possible due to several factors, such as:

  • Using a large amount of caffeine, especially late in the day.
  • Underlying health problems
  • Drugs are taken for a pre-existing medical issue. These medications might include alternatives made for high blood pressure (including beta-blocker), corticosteroids, decongestants made for cold allergies and medications for asthma, etc.
  • Stress, depression, and having a bright or noisy sleeping space.
  • Sleeping at non-traditional hours due to work shifts.
  • Eating, drinking, or exercising close to bedtime.
  • Sleep-related conditions, including obstructive sleep apnea, when breathing can be impaired during sleep, restless legs syndrome in which an uncomfortable sensation in the legs is experienced at night, and is typically relieved by stretching or moving the legs.

Who should use sleeping pills?

A healthcare provider will begin the consultation by trying to determine the contributing factors and length of insomnia. A doctor or physician may at first suggest non-pharmaceutical approaches to dealing with insomnia. Alternatively, if these therapies do not work, or in conjunction with these techniques, a doctor can recommend therapeutic options such as sleeping pills. This may be the case if an individual’s sleep condition is acutely affecting his/her physical and mental health and daily life activities.

Your doctor will initiate you out with the lowest effective dose. And he will also try to keep the user on these pills for the shortest duration of time. Patients will also be advised to continue to work on other relaxation techniques and other healthy sleep habits in combination with sleeping pills.

Different Types of Sleeping Pills?

There are a number of sleeping medications, and brands are available in the market. Each product has its specialty and different potential for sleep management. Doctors will determine which product will best work for an individual based on the cause and length he or she has been having trouble sleeping, as well as the specific type of insomnia disorder he/she is experiencing.

Commonly used sleeping pills include:

  • Ambien®, Ambien® CR (zolpidem tartrate)
  • Halcion® (triazolam)
  • Dalmane® (flurazepam hydrochloride)
  • Lunesta® (eszopiclone)
  • Restoril® (temazepam)
  • Prosom® (estazolam)
  • Rozerem® (ramelteon)
  • Sonata® (zaleplon)
  • Silenor® (doxepin)
  • Over-the-counter sleeping pills (including antihistamines,
  • Desyrel® (trazodone)
  • Belsomra® (suvorexant)
  • melatonin, herbal formulations, and others)

What are the potential side effects of sleeping pills?

Sleeping pills can cause some very serious side effects, which is why they should always be administered with the approval of a medical expert. These effects can happen with both over the counter and prescription medications. Possible side effects can include:

  • Being too drowsy to drive the nest morning safely
  • Oversleeping
  • Being drowsy to work other necessary functions the next morning
  • Allergic reactions and facial swelling
  • With some active sleeping pills, doing potentially dangerous activities like walking, eating, leaving the house, making phone calls, having sex, driving, and carrying a conversation while you are not fully awake. Users may not even be aware of these activities as they are doing them in their sleep.
  • Side effects may be worse in people who use alcohol while taking sleeping pills and people with sleep apnea. If someone is experiencing these types of side effects, they should seek immediate medical help.

Are there any other drawbacks to strong sleeping pills?

A user might become addicted to or dependent upon sleep medications if he or she used them over a long period of time. This can cause some serious long-term health consequences, including:

  • Mental and behavioral disorders
  • Memory problems
  • Learning problems
  • Worsening symptoms of sleep disorder beyond their baseline when the pills are stopped.



It is crucial to take immediate medical help if someone is becoming addicted to sleeping pills.