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Why Sleeping Pills Are Not A Cure For Insomnia

Dec 12, 2007
When faced with the prospect of a large report, a looming deadline, or a major presentation, many people feel a great deal of stress in their lives, regardless of how well they've prepared, and how large their contribution needs to be. It is human nature to want to impress others, and the stress that we all feel from these kinds of situations can often manifest itself in the form of a sleepless night. This kind of insomnia is often called transient insomnia because it does not occur for long periods of time, and typically goes away after the stressful situation is dealt with.

Faced with these kinds of stressful situations, it is common for many people to cause themselves even more stress by worrying over getting a good night's sleep. After all, how can you perform at your best if you feel groggy after failing to sleep the night before? In these situations, many individuals turn to sleeping pills, and unfortunately, this is one of the very worst things that you can do.

Sleeping pills are designed as a cure for insomnia, and very often they will work quite well, however there are many risks associated with sleeping pills, and many things to be aware of if you are taking them for a period of transient or intermittent insomnia.

First and foremost, the vast majority of sleeping pills on the market will lead to dependency if used too often. Not only is this an expensive proposition over the long term, but it is bad for your health, and will leave you needy if you cannot get your nightly fix. Fighting an addiction to sleeping medications is on par with quitting smoking; very few people who try to do it will be successful.

In addition, the root cause of your inability to sleep is caused by an outside source (the presentation, the project, etc.), and not by a physical issue like sickness or restless leg syndrome. By attempting to drug yourself with medication rather than dealing with the problem at hand, you will find your body and mind fighting the medication in order to stay awake and deal with the issue. While the medication will often win out in the end, you will lose valuable sleep time and energy dealing with a problem that didn't exist beforehand, and this will leave you even worse off than you were before.

In order to deal with insomnia, especially a period induced by a stressful situation, you need to alleviate as much of the stress as possible before you fall asleep at night. By laying out your clothes for the next day, packing your things, reflecting on your preparedness, and creating a to-do list for the following day, you can often put your mind to rest, and deal with a large amount of the fears and anxieties you are experiencing.

Transient Insomnia, sometimes called temporary insomnia, is a condition which affects almost everyone at some point or another. This condition is often caused by mental stress, and typically lasts only one or two nights.

Unlike other types of insomnia, transient insomnia should not be considered a disease, and you should almost never attempt to treat the case with medication. By taking sleeping pills or other medications, your condition may worsen, as you will often feel even more stress the next day. In addition, repeated use of these pills will lead to dependence, and you will have a graduated case of insomnia without them.

In the majority of cases, people get transient insomnia because of stress at work, because of a looming deadline on a project, or because of family issues, not because of a physical or mental condition like other types of insomnia. In order to put these fears and anxieties aside, it is generally a good idea to spend some time actually acting on them, rather than attempting to fall asleep on the spot. Some people find that writing out a to-do list on paper for the following day will help them organize their thoughts.

The other reason that people will often suffer from transient insomnia is because of their physical activities. If you work out late at night, and then attempt to go to sleep too soon thereafter, you will usually suffer some sleep loss. The reason is that you are not giving your body enough time to relax and transition from a state of work to a state of rest. After a more intense workout, wind down slowly rather than ending abruptly, by walking for a period of at least five minutes before calling it quits. A longer-than-usual shower will also help to soothe your muscles and aid in putting your body to rest.

While overworking your body before sleep is a typical cause of transient insomnia, an even more common reason that people suffer from this condition is a lack of exercise. If you spend an entire day in front of your computer or your television screen, then you are not giving your body the exercise it needs, and all of your stored energy will go to waste. Because the body naturally stores energy from day to day, you will often have a full reserve of energy at the end of the day, and therefore have difficulty replenishing physical energy in sleep. This is often the cause of restless nights, but fortunately, if you fall in this category, it is fairly easy to fix. You simply need to get some more exercise. For the next few days at least, make a greater effort to get out and work your body so that you can get some rest at night. Take a walk outside, get some fresh air, and that should help you alleviate the condition.

If you find that transient insomnia is occurring more and more frequently as time goes by, you may wish to consult a psychologist. Most cases of severe insomnia do not appear overnight, they build and build until you find yourself unable to sleep. Psychologists are experts at determining the root cause of your inability to rest, and may provide some insight into the reasons why you, specifically, are having an issue with sleeping. By starting the process of recovery as soon as you notice an increase in the frequency of your transient insomnia, you will be better able to cope with it, and find a solution.
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