If you decide to try sleeping pills, sleep aids or sleep medications, talk to your doctor first. When taking sleeping pills and medication, paying attention into following aspects is advisable.

General guidelines for taking sleeping pills

Other medications: Combining medications can be dangerous.  This includes non-prescription medications such as pain relievers and allergy medicines, as well as herbal supplements..

Decreasing and/or terminating use. In some cases, stopping medication abruptly can cause uncomfortable side effects and even rebound insomnia. Following specific instructions about how to reduce/terminate use is recommended.

Intermittent use: Using medications occasionally rather than nightly (in order to decrease the negative side effects and to increase the sleeping pills’ efficiency) is not appropriate with all medications.

Other medical conditions: Some sleep medications can have serious side effects for people with medical problems such as high blood pressure, liver problems, glaucoma, depression, and breathing difficulties.

Over 60-years: Disadvantages override benefits for sensitive sleepers over 60 years old using traditional sleeping pills, as cognitive harms and daytime fatigue become bigger than in other age groups.

Important tips when taking sleeping pills

When taking sleeping pills, sleep aids, or sleep medications, remember to:

Only take a sleeping pill when you will have enough time to get a full night of sleep (7-8 hours). Otherwise you may feel very drowsy the following day.

Carefully read the package insert that comes with your medication. Pay careful attention to the potential side effects.

Never drink alcohol near the time you take a sleeping pill. Alcohol will disrupt your sleep and it can interact dangerously with the sleeping pill.

Never drive a car or operate machinery after taking a sleeping pill. This tip is especially important when you try a new sleep aid for the first time, as you may not know how it will affect you.

Follow directions closely according to the doctor’s prescription. Find out whether you should take your medication with or without food. For some medications, certain foods must be avoided.

References & Disclaimer

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