Insomnia is a common sleep disorder, affecting approximately 10% to 30% of the global population. Some people are extremely fortunate that they are able to fall asleep quite easily, however there are millions people all over the world who have trouble falling asleep and staying asleep, for varying periods of time. This sleep disorder is typically characterised as the inability to fall asleep and stay asleep for three days out of a week, for at least one month.
There are various types of insomnia, which can differ in the frequency, and length of the sleep difficulties, for example, the acute form of this ailment can last for a few weeks and is usually triggered by changes, such as the death or a loved one or starting a new job.
Other types of insomnia include the onset and chronic variety. The former happens when we are under a lot of stress, experiencing anxiety or have bouts of depression. The latter can occur due to a pre-existing medical condition, which sometimes does not have an exact source that can be identified and resolved. This is by far one of the worst sleeping disorders one can have, as reported by most sufferers. A sleep condition can stifle your ability to function in your personal and professional life too.
What Are Sleeping Pills and How Do They Work?
- If you are wondering – what is insomnia? – Simply put, this is a disruption of your natural sleep cycle that can wreak havoc on your physical and mental well-being. However, how can we correct this? Well, there are a number of medications available, and these are simply known as sleep aids.
- Sleep aids come in many forms, and work differently to one another, to essentially achieve the same goal; that is, to help us sleep.
- These aids typically come in the form of sleeping pills and these tablets fall into different categories, such as hypnotics, benzodiazepines, sedating antihistamines, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and melatonin.
- Sleep medications often overlap in their effects. Sleeping pills, like benzodiazepine and non-benzodiazepine hypnotics, work by manipulating your brains GABA receptors to induce a state of mental calm and drowsiness to assist you in falling asleep.
- Sedating antihistamines can be used to treat nausea or travel sickness but older variants do have relaxation properties that assist with sleep disorders as well. Melatonin is a chemical your brain produces naturally when it detects darkness, although as we get older our bodies do not produce melatonin as easily.
- SSRIs are commonly referred to as anti-depressant medications and these tablets can also promote a state of calm. Sedating antihistamines, melatonin and SSRIs are therapeutics that can assist in inducing sleep but are not as effective as benzodiazepine and non-benzodiazepine medicines.
How to Take These Tablets
Generally, a sleeping tablet is administered right before bed and this is especially important for fast-acting medications. This is to allow for the therapeutic action of the medicine to come to prominence when you are safely in bed, rather than when you are busy with an activity as the drowsiness can impair your judgement and concentration.
A sleep therapeutic can be administered with or without food. The preference of whether to take the pills before or after a meal is normally advised by the manufacturer as well as stated in the medication guide.
Sleep medications are not advised for use in conjunction with other sedating substances, such as alcohol, as these effects can be potentiated when the sedative substances are used concomitantly. The implications of using a sleeping tablet with alcohol can be life-threatening because the enhanced sedation may depress the respiratory system and affect normal breathing.
Additionally, sleep aids with similar mechanisms of action should not be used together for the same reasons as using alcohol with a sleeping tablet.
What Are Common Sleeping Pills Side Effects?
- Depending on the sleep aid you choose, or are prescribed, the side effects can vary. The adverse events associated with most sleep medications are subjective and based on things like height, weight, age and the dosage of the medication being taken.
- Sleeping pills side effects, particularly those of benzodiazepines and non-benzodiazepine hypnotics, are similar and this is may be partially due to the way they interact with the GABA receptors. These sedative-hypnotic adverse events can include dizziness, slight loss of memory, mood swings, nausea and trouble balancing as well.
- The aforementioned adverse effects are not a complete indication of all the events associated with a sleep medication, as there are many other possible symptoms. The typical side effects can be read about in the information leaflets of the medication or online as well.
- The side effects are common but are usually not severe, however even so, these medications are not to be used for a long period of time, and the recommended dosages must be adhered to as well.
Why Should I Use a Sleep Aid?
There are millions of people around the world who suffer from sleep disorders of varying degrees, but sleep medications have quite literally changed the lives of many insomnia patients.
Whether it is a shift worker, who cannot seem to maintain a normal sleeping schedule, or a PTSD patient (people who have experienced trauma), hypnotic medicines can help improve the symptoms of any sleep disorder.
However, this does not mean that sleeping pills are a cure; they are an effective management system for the symptoms of insomnia.
These medications grant us the reprieve we need to face the everyday problems of stress and anxiety, and they can easily be purchased through safe and secure online pharmacies. By taking a sleep therapeutic, you can get the require help you need so that the lack of rest does not adversely affect other aspects of your life, such as your job or personal relationships.
Sleep deprivation can affect your work life as it can cause you to function at a level lower than your optimal best. Furthermore, a lack of sleep can result in you being increasingly moody and unhappy, and this may affect your personal relationships in more than one way.
With the use of a sleep medicine, you do not have to be concerned about sleep deprivation or the consequences thereof.
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