Sleeping pills can help you get the restful sleep you need, but how often can you take them? Such sleep aids can have adverse side effects, and taking them too often can lead to dependence
Repeated misuse of sleeping pills can even lead to a substance abuse disorder. A sleeping pill addiction treatment program can help. Call Women’s Recovery today at 833.754.0554 for information and help if you or a loved one is struggling with sleeping pill misuse.
Even if you aren’t addicted, you may experience significant side effects by regularly taking sleeping pills. Many of these side effects come on quickly and without warning.
How Do Sleeping Pills Work?
Sleeping pills are typically either benzodiazepines or “Z-drugs.” “Z-drugs” include Lunesta, Ambien, Edluar, and Zolpimist. Benzodiazepines work by binding to a receptor called GABA. GABA is a neurotransmitter that helps regulate your nervous system. When it’s active, it has a calming effect on your body. Often it is so calming, it will make it easier for you to fall asleep. “Z-drugs” work similarly to benzodiazepines by binding to the same receptor in your brain. They typically work faster, but their effect doesn’t last as long.
While both help put you to sleep, they also come with possible undesirable side effects.
Short-Term Sleeping Pill Side Effects
The use of benzo sleeping pills comes with risks for a range of short-term side effects:
- Confusion or disorientation
- Weakened muscles
- Slurring of your speech
- Decreased body balance
- Blurring of your vision
- Dry mouth
Other, less common side effects of taking sleeping pills every night, or nearly every night, may also occur. Rarer issues include rashes, headaches, urination difficulties, double vision, low blood pressure, and loss of bladder control.
“Z drugs” generally produce fewer short-term problems than benzos. Still, you may experience issues such as:
- Fastrointestinal distress
- Lethargy the next day.
- Sleepwalk or driving
- Anterograde amnesia, which is an inability to form new memories.
Long-Term Side Effects of Sleeping Pills
One of the most severe potential long-term side effects of sleeping pills is addiction. As a rule, the addiction risks associated with benzos are higher than those associated with “Z drugs.” Still, ongoing misuse of either sleeping pill can eventually result in addiction.
Addiction is just one possible side effect of sleeping pills every night for extended periods. You may also experience problems such as:
- Impairment of your higher mental functions
- Higher risks for motor vehicle crashes
- Greater odds of experiencing a fall-related injury
- Increased overall chances of developing a serious disease or illness
- Higher overall chances of dying and overdose
Can I Take Sleeping Pills Every Night?
Sleeping pills are not meant for regular use. They are only intended to help you sleep better on an occasional basis, such as when you are experiencing jet lag. If you need to take a sleeping pill every night, or nearly every night, to fall asleep, it’s time to talk to your doctor. You may have an underlying sleep disorder that is causing your insomnia. Once that underlying sleep disorder is treated, you may no longer need to take sleeping pills to fall asleep.
Get More Information on Sleeping Pill Side Effects at Women’s Recovery
Women are prescribed sleeping pills more often than men. Talk to the experts at Women’s Recovery to learn more about your potential exposure to sleep medication side effects. We’ll help you assess your gender-specific level of risk for addiction and other sleeping pill-related problems.
If you are already addicted to sleeping pills, we specialize in treating this addiction. Our customized support will help you meet your recovery goals. Call us today at 833.754.0554 to learn more, or fill out our online contact form.