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How Insomnia Medications Really Work

Dec 12, 2007
There are hundreds of medications and sleep aids on the market, all of which promise to give you a good night's sleep. These insomnia medications can be both prescription sleeping pills or medication, or over-the-counter, one time pills. While these may seem like a fantastic solution if you suffer from transitive, or even chronic insomnia, many of these medications have a tremendous risk involved.

The major risk that you'll hear about most often is the risk of dependency, meaning that once you begin to use the medication regularly, you will have difficulty sleeping without it. While certain prescription sleep aids may claim that there is no risk of dependency, this simply is not true. Because our bodies adjust to a schedule and a routine, we tend to create a relationship in our mind between the pill and our ability to sleep. Similar behaviors occur in many situations where the subject is at risk for addiction, such as when gamblers believe that a certain article of clothing, or a certain seat at the table is "lucky," regardless of how often they win or lose. While there may be no chemical addiction, there is certainly a mental addiction which may take effect.

In addition to dependency, there are other issues with sleeping pills that you must be aware of before reaching for the bottle. Zolpidem, which is the medical name for a variety of different brands of medication, is a chemical which impacts your central nervous system. This is not a good place to try tinkering around. Repetitive use of drugs which involve these fragile, exposed, and tender areas of your body will often decrease the effectiveness of many other medications that you take for physical ailments, and can reduce the effectiveness of painkillers and aspirin, among others.

Because many sleeping pills impact the brain, there are many side effects of these drugs which could be dangerous to your everyday health. Some drugs help you increase your production of melatonin, an enzyme which helps induce sleep, and also happens to cause dizziness, nausea, and loss of coordination. There are even more sleeping pills which induce sleep via muscle relaxation, and can cause lingering effects of spasming and muscle ache. If these side effects begin to impact you at an inopportune time, such as when you are walking or driving a car, then you could be seriously injured.

The purpose of this article is not to scare you away from your medication. There are times when these pills may be beneficial, and in general, most people who use these medications experience few, if any side effects. However, the risk is there, and any one of these reactions to the medication could cause more damage than it's worth, especially given all of the natural remedies and anti-insomnia techniques available in today's market.

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.
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