Why You Should Stop Taking Prescription Sleeping Pills Today
What do you crave after a long day? To come home, savour a meal and hit the bed. You unwind and try to get some shuteye.
Surprise, you’re awake even after an hour of trying to sleep.
If you’re one of those people who’d immediately reach out to the sleeping pills on your nightstand and pop in a few, this blog is for you.
Taking sleeping pills briefly, under a doctor’s prescription, with no other resort and ceasing to use them is OK. But, making it a habit is a dangerous trap, for your mind and body.
Walk with me, and we’ll lay out the spine-chilling side effects of overdoing prescription sleeping pills.
What Do Sleeping Pills Do?
Whether you take them just before bed, an hour before, or after you wake up in the middle of the night and can’t fall back to sleep, sleeping pills have a knack for tricking your brain into sleeping.
They block enzymes and nerve pathways in the brain responsible for activity and alertness and sedate you in a short time. The most notorious sleeping pill, benzodiazepines, disrupt the working of a chemical called GABA, cut off nerve activity and induce sleep.
Since this unnatural mechanism hastily sedates your body, you miss the process of winding down, relaxing muscles slowly and lower breathing and heart rate, which makes you skip the mandatory sleep stages.
We’re designed to go through sleep stages one by one, to reap the most benefit out of them.
Benzodiazepines can alter sleep state, and stages and cause alterations in the sleep architecture. When this rhythm is disturbed, it starts an avalanche of health complications.
Adults or elders who have comorbidities have to take utmost caution and consult their physician before taking any kind of sleeping pill. When paired with painkillers, sleeping pills can increase the risk of you developing dementia.
When combined with some decongestants and allergy medicines, sleeping pills can lay undue pressure on blood vessels and pose adverse risks to your heart.
7 Compelling Reasons to STOP Taking Sleeping Pills Today
If you’re shocked by what sleeping pills can do, you must read further. It has hazardous effects on almost all parts of the body, and if you develop a sensitivity towards them, you run a risk of hampering the quality of your life.
#1 Impaired Cognitive Function – Memory, Learning & Concentration
The deep sleep stages often involve assimilating information received during the day and consolidating memories. If one or many stages are compromised by sleeping pills, it interferes with these crucial processes and results in poor memory, low concentration levels and overall cognition.
As an adult with tons of responsibilities but impaired concentration, you’re bound to make critical mistakes, and miss targets at work, without realising the culprit behind your faults.
#2 Poor Daytime Alertness
Since your sleep cycle is disrupted, and your sleeping pills wake you up multiple times at night, you aren’t adequately rested, you start searching for sleep during the day. After a heavy meal, or when you’re not actively involved in a task, there’s a high chance for you to drift off.
#3 Uncontrollable Snoring
Prolonged use of sleeping pills relax your throat muscles beyond their normal state, which opens the upper airway and aggravates snoring. Here’s how you can control snoring.
#4 Pushes You to Overindulge
When the chemicals in sleeping pills influence GABA levels, they also impact dopamine. This causes you to indulge in activities that give you a high, or rush – such as binge eating, gambling, rash driving etc.
#5 Nocturnal Walking or Eating
When the brain skips deep sleep stages, you enter a half-asleep-half-awake zone, where you move while still snoozing. This is when sleepwalking, and sleep eating occur. You may pose a strong threat to yourself and others when left unchecked.
#6 Easy to Get Addicted
If you’re chronically stressed out and find it hard to induce sleep naturally, the instant sleepiness sleeping pills give might get you addicted soon. Without it, you may not be able to function or sleep properly.
#7 Causes a Rebound of Sleeplessness
Sleeping pills aren’t a solution to sleep problems, they’re merely a quick fix. So, when you withdraw from them, you may fall into the vicious cycle of sleeplessness again.
That said, it’s not too late to make amends. Consult your physician and slowly taper the dosage, while parallelly creating calming, relaxing sleep routines for yourself. You can also try taking hot showers, a cup of warm herbal tea, destressing yourself a few hours before bed and gradually witnessing yourself regaining precious sleep.
Another important factor that might keep you up at night could be a worn-out mattress. Replace it with UK’s first and only smartGRID mattress, and increase your chances of enjoying deep sleep, for a lifetime.