Table of contents:
- Types and Side Effects of Sleeping Drugs
- The Long-Term Dangers of Using Sleeping Drugs
- Other Alternatives to Improve Sleep Quality
Sleeping pills are often used by some people to treat sleeplessness. Although it is quite effective in treating sleep disorders, this drug is not recommended for long-term consumption because of the risk of side effects, including dependence
Sleep disturbance or insomnia is one of the common complaints. Almost everyone has experienced sleep disorders. This complaint can happen in a short time, but it can also happen in the long term.
In cases of severe insomnia or already causing difficulty in activities, the use of sleeping pills can be an option to overcome these problems. In addition to treating sleep disorders, sleeping pills are also sometimes used as sedatives.
However, keep in mind that the use of sleeping pills should only be for the short term and must be according to doctor's recommendations and prescriptions. If used inappropriately, sleeping pills can cause side effects in the form of dependence and various other he alth problems.
Types and Side Effects of Sleeping Drugs
There are several types of sleeping pills that are usually prescribed by doctors to treat sleep disorders, including:
The types of drugs above are generally recommended to be consumed at bedtime. Because it can cause drowsiness, people who take sleeping pills are advised not to drive or do activities that require full concentration, such as operating machinery.
In order to provide a more optimal effect in overcoming sleep disorders, someone who has sleep problems is also recommended to do sleep hygiene or good sleep habits.
Like other medicines, the use of sleeping pills is also not free from side effects. The following are some side effects of sleeping pills to watch out for:
- Stinging or tingling sensation
- Digestive disorders, such as constipation, diarrhea, and nausea
- Dry mouth
- stomach ache
- Hard to focus or concentrate
In addition, sleeping pills can also interfere with breathing and are dangerous for people with chronic lung problems, such as asthma, emphysema, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
The Long-Term Dangers of Using Sleeping Drugs
Although it can help you sleep and rest well, sleeping pills are not recommended for long-term use. This medicine is also not recommended to be used without a prescription or doctor's instructions.
If used in the long term or not in the right dosage, sleeping pills can actually cause the following long-term dangers:
Parasomnia is a disorder or behavioral problem that occurs while a person is sleeping. People who suffer from parasomnias may experience sleepwalking or falling asleep while talking and eating.This behavior generally occurs because the consumption of sleeping pills exceeds the dose.
In addition to the use of sleeping pills, parasomnias can also occur due to drug or alcohol abuse.
2. Allergic reaction
The use of sleeping pills can cause allergic reactions in some people. When using sleeping pills, you need to be alert and recognize the symptoms of drug allergies that can appear, such as:
- Skin feels itchy and bumps and rashes appear
- stomach ache
- Shortness of breath
- Heart pounding
- Blurred vision
- chest pain
- Difficulty swallowing
- Swelling of the eyes, lips, tongue and throat
If you experience an allergic reaction after using sleeping pills, you need to stop using the medicine immediately and see a doctor immediately.
Although rare, sleeping pills can also cause a severe allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. If not treated immediately, this condition can lead to fatal complications or death.
3. Effects of addiction or dependence
Sleeping pills prescribed by doctors are generally only intended for short-term use. After the sleep disturbance is resolved, the patient is advised to stop using sleeping pills and the doctor will adjust the dosage before the sleeping pills are completely stopped.
If consumed in the long term or exceed the dose, especially without a doctor's prescription, sleeping pills can actually cause serious side effects in the form of dependence or addiction.
People who are addicted to sleeping pills can experience various symptoms, such as dizziness or vertigo, difficulty focusing, extreme mood changes, decreased libido or appetite, and psychological disorders, such as excessive anxiety.
4. Decreased focus and memory
Another potential danger from long-term use of sleeping pills is memory loss and focus or even memory loss. These side effects can interfere with the quality of life and make it difficult for people who experience them to work or carry out daily activities.
In addition to some of the dangers above, long-term use of sleeping pills can also cause various other side effects, such as kidney disease, decreased blood pressure, or muscle tissue shrinkage (sarcopenia), especially in the elderly.
Other Alternatives to Improve Sleep Quality
In addition to taking sleeping pills, you can also overcome insomnia by adopting good sleep habits. Here are some things you can do to make it easier to fall asleep and have a good night's sleep:
- Create a regular and the same sleep and wake schedule every day.
- Avoid caffeine consumption in the afternoon or evening.
- Avoid consuming alcoholic beverages before going to bed.
- Do exercise regularly, but try not to exercise before bedtime.
- Sleep in a dark, cool and calm atmosphere.
- Keep away from electronic devices at least 2 hours before going to bed.
If the various methods above have been able to overcome the sleep disturbance you are experiencing, the use of sleeping pills is not necessary.
However, if you still find it difficult to sleep despite applying the various methods above and taking sleeping pills, you should consult a doctor to get the right insomnia treatment.