Warning: Read This Before You Go to Sleep Tonight!

How’s your sleeping at night?  Do you fall to sleep right away or are you one of the millions of Americans you have trouble sleeping.  If you have trouble sleeping you might also be a part of this group of millions who take sleeping pills to help fall and stay asleep.

When you’ve had a good night of uninterrupted sleep, you know just how good it makes you feel the next day.  Your energy soars, you feel sharp mentally, physically, and emotionally.

But, are there dangers to taking these sleep aids over time?   For a short period of time and under the direction of your doctor, it may be o.k. for you to take a sleeping aid.   However, these sleeping pills are not designed for prolonged use.  There are dangers to long term use of these pills.

According to WebMD, here are some of the dangers to using sleeping aid over a period of time.

Common side effects of prescription sleeping pills such as Lunesta, Sonata, Ambien, Rozerem, and Halcion may include:

  • Burning or tingling in the hands, arms, feet, or legs
  • Changes in appetite
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Difficulty keeping balance
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Dry mouth or throat
  • Gas
  • Headache
  • Heartburn
  • Stomach pain or tenderness
  • Uncontrollable shaking of a part of the body
  • Unusual dreams
  • Weakness

The FDA requires manufacturers of Ambien and Zolpimist to offer lower doses for women. Women clear the drugs from their systems more slowly than men and the agency says blood levels of the drugs could still be high enough the following morning to affect activities that require alertness, such as driving. The FDA says doctors should offer the lower dose to men too.

Don’t be fooled by the immediate benefits of sleeping aids.  Make sure you consult with your docotor before you take any sleep aids and then do your best to stop using them as soon as possible.

Here’s to Your Health!

Dr. K Bennett