What Are Sleeping Pill Side Effects?

Insomnia can be a disruptive condition that affects your entire life. When you aren’t able to sleep at night, it can negatively impact issues in almost every area of your life and well-being. If you are taking sleeping pills or are thinking about starting to take sleeping pills, make sure you know as much as possible about all the sleeping pill side effects.

What Are Sleeping Pills and How Do They Work?

Sleeping pills are used to treat insomnia. According to the National Sleep Foundation, insomnia is described as difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, even when a person has the chance to do so. People with insomnia can feel dissatisfied with their sleep and usually experience one or more of the following symptoms: fatigue, low energy, difficulty concentrating, mood disturbances, and decreased performance at work or at school. It is the most common sleep disorder in the US and impacts nearly 40 million people annually.

Sleeping pills can be a helpful tool to help insomnia sufferers finally get a good night’s sleep and the rest that their body desperately needs. Although sleeping pills help treat insomnia, they are not a cure and usually, there are underlying issues that must be dealt with. Sleeping pills aren’t a cure for insomnia and shouldn’t be used long-term due to the many dangerous sleeping pill side effects.

Sleeping Pill Side Effects

Physical Sleeping Pill Side Effects

One of the first sleeping pill side effects you will experience when you start taking them could be physical ones. According to MayoClinic, some of these include:

  • Dizziness
  • Lightheadedness
  • Headache
  • Gastrointestinal problems, such as diarrhea and nausea
  • Prolonged drowsiness
  • Severe allergic reaction

Behavioral Sleeping Pill Side Effects

One of the other sleeping pill side effects you may experience are odd behaviors. They can include such things as:

  • Parasomnia, which is undesirable behavior during sleep. These behaviors can include walking in your sleep, talking in your sleep and other strange behaviors that could potentially be dangerous, such as driving a car or walking out of your house while asleep.
  • Daytime memory and performance problems
  • Prolonged drowsiness that may force you to need to nap during the day or have a difficult time waking up in the morning
  • Injuries are more common when taking sleeping pills, due to the increased risk of falls


Since sleeping pills are a sedative, there is the possibility that you could take too much and potentially overdose. Benzodiazepines are also a type of sleeping pill that is commonly prescribed, and these can cause overdoses as well. Sleeping pills cause overdoses by slowing the body down to a halt, making the brain forget how to perform essential functions such as breathing and a beating heart. This can cause severe drowsiness, a slowed heartbeat, coma or even death.


When someone is suffering from insomnia and not treating its underlying symptoms, they can become reliant on taking sleeping pills every night in order to go to sleep. This can cause dependency and even addiction.

Quitting sleeping pills alone is extremely difficult. Uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms can occur when someone suddenly stops taking sleeping pills. Sleeping pill users need to be slowly weaned off them so their bodies can adjust accordingly. The safest and most comfortable way to stop taking sleeping pills when addiction occurs is to receive medical detox and medication-assisted treatment to slowly wean off of sleeping pills and avoid uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms.

Ways to Improve Sleep Without Sleeping Pills

Insomnia is a difficult condition to have to live with. Luckily, there are lifestyle changes people can make to improve the quality of sleep without the help of sleeping pills.

  • Avoid naps during the day. If you can avoid naps during the day, your body will become more tired at appropriate bedtime hours. This might be difficult to get used to during the first few days, but getting your body on a regular sleep schedule will greatly improve your nighttime sleep.
  • Have a bedtime routine. Having a routine before bed can help get the body ready for rest. This includes picking a bedtime and sticking to it, creating a comfy bedroom, reading a few chapters of a book or relaxing with white noise such as water or beach sounds.
  • Exercise. Getting your body tired is a great way to help it fall asleep. Try going for a walk or jog every day to help curb stress and get your body ready for bed. You can also try yoga – not only is it great exercise, but it can also help you practice mindfulness, which is a helpful tool for trying to fall asleep.
  • Avoid caffeine or sugars. These things are meant to help you stay awake, so limit your caffeine and sugar intake or eliminate it altogether. It can be hard to quit these things, so try avoiding it after lunch for a few days and slowly taper off from there.
  • Check underlying medical issues. Insomnia is very often a symptom of a larger issue, not just an issue in itself. Make sure you’re checked for depression or anxiety that could possibly be causing sleep problems, and treat those.

About Cliffside Malibu

If you feel as if you or a loved one may be addicted to sleeping pills, give us a call. We can help you.

Since no two addictions are the same, Cliffside Malibu offers an individualized treatment plan for each and every client. We are committed to providing the best care possible through.a continuum of care including medically supervised detox, residential treatment, day treatment, and outpatient services. Our program includes evidence-based behavioral therapy as well as family and holistic therapy. Whether an individual is suffering from substance abuse and/or alcohol addiction, our programs are designed and structured to be a supportive environment in order to maintain sobriety.

In addition to world-class treatment, Cliffside Malibu offers luxury accommodations, a serene environment, five-star dining, and plentiful amenities. We understand that addiction treatment is a rigorous process. Therefore, we provide for your comfort and relaxation at every turn, allowing you to rejuvenate, to meet the demands of treatment with your greatest energy and attention.

For more information on Cliffside Malibu, visit cliffsidemalibu.com