Sleeping pills: Are Hypnotics for You?

You may be battling against insomnia for a long time right now.

You think you have exhausted all means to get enough sleep such as drinking hot milk, taking a warm shower and counting sheep before sleeping yet nothing seems to work. You want to try sleeping pills out.

What are the Causes of Disturbed Sleep?


There are many factors to sleep alteration. You may have difficulty sleeping because of psychological and emotional factors or other physiological causes.

Mental and emotional stressors are common causes of insomnia. However, you may have underlying health conditions that are causing you pain and discomfort which in turn prevents you from sleeping.

Foods, beverages and even drugs may also affect your sleeping pattern as well as smoking and drinking alcohol. You need to identify what is preventing you from being able to get enough sleep. Using sleeping pills is not always the first remedy.


A drug known to induce sleep is called “hypnotic”. This is a psychoactive which allows you to fall asleep in treatment of the condition called “insomnia”.

In lower doses, you can use hypnotics in treatment of anxiousness. You can’t get this drug straight from the pharmacy without a written prescription from your doctor.

Why Is a Prescription Needed?

Hypnotics used as sleeping pills need a prescription unlike other over-the-counter sleeping pills. The use of this drug for sleep disorders can be habit-forming. It can cause dependence.

There are various factors to not being able to doze off to sleep. Your doctor will rather recommend that you deal with these factors rather than turning to the use of hypnotics.

You will be advised to correct your sleep pattern, do sleep hygiene and exercise before using sleeping pills. It is the last recourse.

However, if these drugs are badly needed, they will be prescribed to be used only at a short period of time. There are two types of hypnotics, the benzodiazepines and the non-benzodiazepines. What are their side effects?

Side Effects

Both benzodiazepine hypnotics and the non-benzodiazepines cause several side effects. You may experience cognitive impairments and daytime fatigue.

Your child may not be prescribed with these drugs except in cases of somnambulism or night terrors. You may be an elderly who is having problems with falling asleep. Doctors believe that the risk outweighs the benefits from a sleeping pill like hypnotics.

Tolerance and drug dependence are only a few of the unwanted effects that you can get. Also, in using these sleeping pills, you are increasing your risk of having accidents.

Abrupt withdrawal from these drugs may cause worsened sleeping patterns. These are the reasons why hypnotics are prescribed at a very low dose, used in a short period of time and is avoided whenever possible among the elderly.

Discuss with your doctor the use of sleeping pills such as hypnotics. For sure, you will be recommended to try natural measures in order to enhance sleep.

Using hypnotics and sleeping pills may lead to more serious complications and will not correct the root cause of the sleep disorder.