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Is Insomnia and Medications Wreaking Havoc With Your Life?

Jun 16, 2008
Did you know chronic use of sleep medication can create a physical and/or psychological dependence on medication? It can also impair your ability to function the following day by causing drowsiness or muddled thinking.

Sleep medications can be helpful to those who have short-term sleep disruptions caused by jet lag, shift-work, or emotional difficulties such as divorce or loss of a loved one. To limit risks, it's important to take them only when they are truly needed and to use them only for a brief period of time.

Studies have shown that certain heart and blood pressure medications, and other such needed substances have the ability to disrupt our sleeping patterns, causing us to toss and turn throughout the night. Obviously, it would not be in our best interest to cut these out of our lives, but we need sleep to be healthy all the same. You should not have to choose between life-saving drugs, and sleeping the night through.

If you notice that you are having trouble sleeping for an extended period of time, it might be a good idea to consult your doctor. Sometimes prescriptions can be altered or substituted with sanctioned medical advice.

Any time our bodies undergo a major change, including stopping or starting a new prescription, there will tend to be drawbacks. Sleepless nights are almost always listed as a potential side effect of some of the more potent medications out there, because of the strength of the chemicals within them. If the body feels like it is totally 'on' and processing the drugs in your system, it will be harder for you to feel completely at rest.

While you cannot change the effects of prescribed medicines, you can avoid other substances that will surely leave you feeling groggy or have you stay up all night. Many over-the-counter pills, alcohol or illegal narcotics will impact the body in a negative way, more often than not.

If you have to take medication, what are some tips for still getting a good night's rest?

* Incorporate bedtime rituals. Listening to soft music, sipping a cup of herbal tea. This cues your body that it's time to slow down and begin to prepare for sleep.

* Go to bed when you are sleepy. Stay up until a reasonable bedtime even if you feel sleepy earlier. Go to bed only when you are feeling really tired and sleepy. If you can't sleep, get up and only go back to bed when you're really sleepy again.

* Nicotine. Avoid nicotine, especially near bedtime and on night awakenings.

* Relax before going to bed. A warm bath, reading, listening to soft music, or meditation can help you unwind from the day and get ready for sleep.

* Body Heat and Sleep. Heating the body can have a very different effect from a warm room during sleep. Some studies suggest that soaking in hot water (such as a hot tub or bath) before retiring to bed can ease the transition into a deeper sleep.

* Do not look at the clock. Avoiding looking at the clock; this promotes anxiety and obsession about time.

It is important to note that you should never try to self-medicate, especially if you want to lead a healthy lifestyle. Seven to nine hours of sleep is considered part of a healthy life plan, so anything that interferes with this is certainly something to cut out altogether. The longer it takes these substances to get out of your system, the more trouble you will have being comfortable enough to sleep through the entire night.

Just remember, there are ways to overcome insomnia even when your current medications are keeping you up for much of the night. Do not worry, because the right solution is out there for you.
About the Author
Sherry Harris used to have a sleep disorder. Now she gets a good night sleep with aromatic sleeping mist fragrances. If you are tired of insomnia, go to http://www.ScentToSleep.com. Why don't you bookmark the article you are reading right now? You know you will want to find it again soon.
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