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Types of Sleeping Pills and Their Effects on Health

Sleeping pills are a type of medication prescribed by doctors as a short-term treatment for sleep disorders. The use of sleeping pills is mandatory under the supervision of a doctor. If not consumed wisely, sleeping pills can bring dangerous side effects, ranging from memory disorders, allergies, to dependence.

Do you have sleep disorders? Do not rush to take sleeping pills to overcome them. Before you decide to use it, it's good to know what side effects can be caused by the use of sleeping pills.

Types of Sleeping Medicine

There are various types of sleeping pills with different benefits and risks of use. Some can make you sleep longer or help you to sleep more easily. Sleeping pills in the benzodiazepine group are referred to as tranquilizers of the central nervous system which play a role in slowing the work of the nervous system. While another group, non-benzodiazepines, have safer side effects.

To be able to find the right medicine, before prescribing sleeping pills, your doctor will ask about your sleep patterns and various other activities that can affect your sleep. Your doctor may also do a test to detect the conditions behind sleep disorders.

If it is needed, the doctor will prescribe sleeping pills for a certain period to see the side effects and their benefits. Discuss with your doctor about the types, dosages, and side effects of sleeping pills, including the presence or absence of generic sleeping pills at a lighter price. You are not advised to take other types of sleeping pills without the knowledge of your doctor if the drugs are given do not have the expected effect.

Here are some types of sleeping pills that are commonly used.

types of sleeping pills that are commonly used

Side Effects of Sleeping Medications

Like other medicines, sleeping pills also have side effects. The side effects of each sleeping pill vary depending on the type. Here are some common side effects:

  • Changes in appetite.
  • Gain weight.
  • Changes in mood or behavior.
  • Change in libido.
  • Impaired memory and out of focus.
  • Burning or tingling sensation in the legs, arms, hands.
  • Headache.
  • Difficulty defecating or urinating.
  • Difficult to maintain balance.
  • Make limbs vibrate (tremor).
  • Nausea.
  • Dry mouth or throat.
  • Frequent farting.
  • Drowsiness during the day.
  • Limp.
  • Stomach ache.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Irregular heartbeat.
  • A severe allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. This reaction can include angioedema, which is a severe swelling of the face.
  • Cause dependence. Without sleeping pills, you will find it increasingly difficult to sleep. Even sleep can be the most worrying moment.

In certain cases, side effects can be severe, such as parasomnia, behavior, and actions that cannot be controlled. People who experience parasomnia become unaware of what is happening. Amid his unconsciousness, sufferers can walk, eat, even call while sleeping.

What to Look For When Taking Sleeping Medicine

Sleeping pills can also be dangerous for people with certain diseases, such as asthma. Sleeping pills can make asthma sufferers difficult to breathe because the side effects of sleeping pills can make a person breathe more slowly and slowly. Those who have high blood pressure, kidney disorders, and a history of seizures also need to be vigilant. Similarly, pregnant and breastfeeding women, the elderly, and people who are taking certain medications that can react with sleeping pills.

If you need to take sleeping pills, there are several things to watch out for, including:

  • Before taking sleeping pills, it is better to check with your doctor first to find out the cause or background of insomnia.
  • Sleeping pills are recommended to be consumed 15 minutes before bedtime. If not, this medicine can make you lose concentration and awareness, so that it will harm you while doing it
  • Make sure you read all the instructions including the dosage listed on the label, especially on the side effects section. Consult a doctor if there is information that you do not understand.
  • Never consume alcohol together with sleeping pills. The combination of sleeping pills and alcohol will increase the side effects of both and can cause stopping breathing which can be fatal.
  • You are also not advised to consume grapefruit or grapefruit juice while taking sleeping pills. This fruit has the risk of increasing and maintaining the levels of drugs absorbed by blood vessels causing excessive doses.
  • Avoid taking a type of sleeping pill for the first time you use, if in the morning you will undergo an important activity such as a job interview or large meeting. You don't know how your body will react to the drug.
  • Some types of sleeping pills are only intended for short-term consumption, for example, 10 days. So, avoid taking sleeping pills for a longer period than your doctor recommends.
  • Stopping the consumption of sleeping pills requires time to adjust. Sometimes insomnia can reappear when sleeping pills stop being used. Consult your doctor to stop using sleeping pills gradually.

How to have good sleep habits?

Although medicine can help us to have a good sleep, it will make you psychologically dependent. You will begin to believe that you cannot sleep without medication and that is not a good habit for your sleep. According to the National Sleep Foundation, good sleep habits must be followed by:

  • Do not consume caffeine later in life.
  • Avoid nicotine and alcohol 2-3 hours before bedtime.
  • Maintain a regular sleep-wake schedule every day including weekends.
  • Exercise regularly and stop a few hours before bedtime.
  • Finish eating at least 2-3 hours before bedtime.
  • Create a restful sleep environment by reducing noise, light and extreme temperatures by plugging in the ears, using blankets, and air conditioning.

Immediately consult a doctor if after taking sleeping pills, you experience chest pain, difficulty breathing, impaired vision, rashes, itching, swelling in the eyes, face, lips, tongue, or throat.

In the end, taking sleeping pills is recommended to be the last alternative after taking other safer ways to treat insomnia.



  1. Knoji (2016). Benefits and Dangers of Sleeping Pills.
  2. Helpguide (2016)Sleeping Pills & Natural Sleep Aids: What’s the best for you?
  3. Goldberg, J. WebMD (2016). Understanding the Side Effects of Sleeping Pills.

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Is a health and wellness enthusiast. In him free time, she loves to travel and taste different types of teas.

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