Are You Dependent on Sleeping Pills?
Despite the knowledge that sleeping pills are only of short-term benefit, many people continue to use such prescriptions long-term. Sleeping pills may help restore sleep in a crisis or during illness, but they were never intended to be used for months or years on end.
Although many people take sleeping pills on occasion to regulate sleep patterns, others continue to take pills for much longer then suggested, then have difficulty stopping. A gradual reduction is usually recommended under medical supervision. Further, in order to stop, some individuals may need specialized psychological care in order to stay off sleeping pills.
One of the ways to steer clear of sleeping pill addiction is to find healthy ways to regulate your sleep and to minimize the things that cause wakefulness. The following tips can help optimize your sleep.
- 1. Keep a regular schedule: set a regular bedtime; wake up at the same time every day; nap to make up for lost sleep; fight after-dinner drowsiness.
- 2. Naturally regulate your sleep-wake cycle: spend more time outside during daylight; let as much light into your home/workspace as possible; when it’s time to sleep, make sure the room is dark; don’t read from a backlit device at night (such as an iPad).
- 3. Create a relaxing bedtime routine: keep noise down; keep your room cool; make sure your bed is comfortable; take a warm bath; read a book or magazine by a soft light.
- Eat right: stay away from big meals at night; avoid alcohol before bed; cut down on caffeine.
As knowledge increases on the sometimes dangerous effect of sleeping pills, more people are seeking alternative ways to work through their sleep problems. Sleeping pills will continue to be prescribed, but it is hoped that patients and physicians will work together to limit their use. Consider seeking treatment if you have used these medications for longer than recommended by your doctor.