Are Sleep Aid Remedies Addicting?
People that struggle with falling asleep know how much stress it can cause if they don’t find a solution. Insomnia is a serious issue that can affect your life in more ways than one. People who don’t get enough sleep on a regular basis often have health issues and a number of other symptoms that can accompany their insomnia.
Some people might find that prescription sleeping pills can help them get over their sleep issues and provide relief from the myriad of problems that have developed because of their insomnia. However, typically these type of pills are meant to be a short-term solution. Long-term use of sleeping pills in many cases can lead to dependency although people with chronic insomnia may feel that they need to continue using their medication indefinitely.
Many insomnia sufferers may wrongly assume that they can’t get addicted to sleeping pills and that using them on a regular basis is completely safe. The problem with prescription sleep medications such as Ambien, Lunesta or Sonata is that they can be psychologically habit forming. In many cases if the pill successfully induces sleep but if the patient’s medication is suddenly stopped for any reason then they will often display signs of dependency.
Anyone trying to stick with short term use of sleeping pills may find it difficult to get off their medication and will need to try to wean themselves off gradually. Suddenly quitting sleeping pills can give you an overwhelming desire to take them again and experience certain withdrawal symptoms that make it difficult to quit. People that are struggling with a sleeping pill addiction may show certain signs such as:
- Having several failed attempts to quit
- Getting intense cravings for sleeping pills
- Doctor shopping to get more prescription refills
- Continuing to take pills in spite of negative consequences
- Showing signs of memory loss from the medication
Sleeping Pill Abuse and Dependency
When someone develops an addiction to sleeping pills they may be abusing the medication and taking much higher doses than is recommended by the doctor. This could be because they have developed a tolerance and still have trouble falling asleep on their usual dose. They may also get addicted to relaxed feeling they experience when they take pills like Ambien and begin to abuse them.
People who abuse sleeping pills may take them at times when they are not using them specifically to help them sleep. This type of abuse can cause people to behave differently and and can impair their ability to function normally. Some signs of sleeping pill abuse include:
- Slurred speech
- Uncoordinated movements
- Inability to focus or pay attention
- Stumbling or walking with an unsteady gait
- Issues with memory loss
- Unusual states of euphoria
If someone you know has been taking sleeping pills to help with their sleep issues but they seem to have unusual behavior during the day then they might be abusing their prescription. There are a lot of dangers associated with taking high doses of sleeping pills. Abuse of sleep medication can lead to issues such as depressed breathing and even seizures in some cases.
People who abuse sleeping pills can also experience side effects like dizziness, dry mouth, lightheadedness and fatigue. Using sleeping pills over a long period of time can intensify these symptoms. In some cases their dependency can cause issues like symptoms of depression and anxiety.
Anyone who has been abusing sleeping medication and is showing signs of addiction needs to get treatment and recovery help. Abusers need to go through detox so that they can rid themselves of their chemical dependency and then cope with their psychological dependence on the medication as well. Former addicts may end up suffering from rebound insomnia but it can be managed with professional medical treatment.
Avoiding Addiction for People with Insomnia
For those who struggle with sleep issues but want to prevent themselves from getting addicted it is best to limit prescription use and keep it as a short term solution. What many people don’t realize about their sleep issues is that there is often an underlying problem causing their insomnia which is treatable. Once you discover what causes your insomnia you can limit and eventually do away with medication.
What can often cause insomnia are issues such as built up stress, depression and anxiety, poor diet, lack of exercise and even over consumption of caffeine or alcohol. It is important to try different options such as eating healthier, getting more exercise and natural sunlight exposure, as well as using relaxation techniques to avoid becoming dependent on medication. Often changing your lifestyle is the most effective way to improve your ability to sleep.
Sleeping pills can be effective but only for a certain period of time. Natural sleep remedies and solutions can provide more consistent results and prevent any issues of abuse or dependency.