- General

About Sleeping Pills – What Are the Pros and Cons?

When natural remedies don’t improve a person’s quality of sleep, they often turn to sleeping pills. It is important to explain your situation to your doctor fully so that he or she can prescribe the correct medication. There are different purposes of these pills and they all have different affects.

Sleeping Pills to Fall Asleep

Some people have trouble falling asleep, but once they do they are able to stay asleep. These are the sleeping pills for them. One advantage of this kind is that they hardly ever have a lasting sedative affect. One of the most commonly prescribed of these sleeping pills is Lunesta.

This one is good because it can be taken for longer than two weeks, unlike many of the other pills. Long term use, however, can create withdrawal symptoms when you decide to stop taking it. These include anxiety, unusual dreams, stomach and muscle cramps, nausea, vomiting, sweating and shakiness.

If you have a history of drug abuse, think twice before taking Lunesta. Ambien doesn’t carry as much risk of addiction, but it still has some. This is more of a short term or occasional solution because it may lose effectiveness if it is taken for more than two weeks at a time.

Sleeping Pills to Stay Asleep

If you fall asleep fine, but frequently wake up or wake up too early, you need a sleeping pill with a more lasting effect. Lunesta works both ways, but Ambien has a different product for this purpose. It is called Ambien CR and it has an extended release formula. One advantage of this variation is that it can be used for a longer period of time than original Ambien.

Sleeping Pills for When you are Also Depressed

Because depression often goes hand in hand with insomnia, a lot of depression medications have a sedative quality to them. This is a problem if you are taking them for depression during the day, but can work great to help you fall asleep and stay asleep.

One of the most widely used of these is trazodone. One very important thing to note is that you can’t take this with many herbal supplements. So if you use herbs to help you naturally fall asleep, they may interact negatively with trazodone. Also, if you have a history of high blood pressure trazodone can make this problem worse.