Sleeping pills, also known as ‘sleep aids,’ are medications that can help individuals who have trouble sleeping get some rest. They come in different types, ranging from over-the-counter to prescription medications, and work by interacting with certain chemicals that influence sleep in your brain.
Like almost any medication, especially prescription medication, the potential for misuse is always present, even for sleeping pills. Women’s Recovery in Colorado understands the cycle of addiction and provides comprehensive outpatient addiction treatment services. Call 833.754.0554 to learn more or get started with sleeping pill addiction treatment today.
How Do Sleeping Pills Work?
Sleeping pills generally fall into a category called sedative-hypnotics, which include drugs like benzodiazepines, non-benzodiazepines, and barbiturates. These medications work by slowing down the activity in the brain, thus promoting sleep.
Some of the most common sleeping pills prescribed include the following:
- Benzodiazepines – These drugs, such as Valium and Xanax, are fast-acting and can help people fall asleep quickly.
- Non-benzodiazepines – These drugs, such as Ambien and Lunesta, act more slowly but may be more effective in the long term for people who have trouble staying asleep.
- Barbiturates – These drugs, such as Seconal and Phenobarbital, are older medications that act quickly but can be dangerous if taken in large amounts.
Some of the most common over-the-counter (OTC) sleeping pills include the following:
- Diphenhydramine – This is the active ingredient in Benadryl, an antihistamine that can cause drowsiness.
- Doxylamine succinate – This is the active ingredient in Unisom, a medication that can help people get to sleep and stay asleep.
Whether prescription or OTC, quitting sleeping pills can be challenging when they have become a habitual part of your sleep routine. Seeking professional help from an addiction treatment center like Women’s Recovery offers the best chance of successful recovery.
Are There Symptoms of Withdrawal from Sleeping Pills?
Yes, withdrawal symptoms can occur if someone stops taking sleeping pills, especially if they’ve been taking them for a long period or at high doses. These symptoms can range from mild discomforts like restlessness and irritability to severe complications like seizures.
Signs and Symptoms of Overuse and Withdrawal
Overuse of sleeping pills can lead to dependency, where the body becomes so accustomed to the medication that it requires higher doses to achieve the same effect. Symptoms of overuse can include the following:
- Memory problems
- Daytime drowsiness
- Paradoxical effects like increased agitation and insomnia
Withdrawal symptoms, on the other hand, often include the following:
- Difficulty sleeping
In severe cases, hallucinations, panic attacks, and seizures can also occur.
Tips for Dealing with Sleeping Pill Withdrawal
While professional help is essential, there are also things you can do at home to cope with the effects of withdrawal:
- Create a calm sleep environment – Ensure your bedroom is quiet, dark, and cool. Remove any distractions that could interfere with sleep.
- Avoid caffeine and alcohol before bed – These substances can disrupt your sleep cycle and make it harder to fall asleep.
- Follow a regular sleep schedule – Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, even on weekends. This can help regulate your body’s internal clock and improve sleep quality.
In conclusion, while sleeping pills can help treat short-term insomnia, they’re not a long-term solution and can lead to dependency and withdrawal symptoms.
The Importance of Professional Addiction Treatment
If you or someone you know is struggling with sleeping pill addiction, it’s crucial to seek professional help. One such place that offers specialized addiction treatment programs is Women’s Recovery in Colorado.
At Women’s Recovery, we understand the unique challenges women face when dealing with addiction and provide a safe, supportive environment for recovery. Our outpatient programs include individual therapy, group sessions, and holistic treatments designed to help women regain control over their lives and achieve long-term sobriety.