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Sleeping Pills Side Effects

Side Effects of Sleeping Pills You Need to Watch Out For

Improper or prolonged use of sleeping pills can lead to side effects. The severity of side effects usually depends on the dosage.
Madhura Pandit
Last Updated: Apr 9, 2018
A sleeping pill is one of the most widely used drug all over the world. In the recent years, it has been found that insomnia or sleeplessness is a major health issue in the world, usually occurring due to stress. Therefore, people depend on sleeping pills (also known as hypnotics, sedatives, and soporifics) to induce sleep.
What exactly are Sleeping Pills
These pills are meant for therapeutic or medicinal purposes. They are prescribed to patients suffering from chronic insomnia. They are also used as relaxation medications or cures for anxiety disorders. On the other hand, sedatives are administered to patients before any major surgical procedure. Although sedatives do not relieve the patient of any pain or symptoms, they are usually given before administering anesthetics to the patient.
However, it has been found that sleeping pills are used extensively by people on a regular basis to cure sleep disorders or insomnia. Most of the time, it is also found that people misuse stronger sedatives like barbiturates to combat anxiety and stress. One may be unaware, but, there are several side effects of sleeping pills.
Side Effects
The effects of these pills depend on the type and quantity consumed by the person.
  • Dry mouth
  • Heartburn
  • Headache
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Dizziness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weakness
  • Fatigue
  • Burning sensation in joints
  • Vertigo
  • Confusion
Apart from these, drug dependency is one of the most significant side effects. Many people are unaware that sleeping pills are meant for temporary and short-term use and are not to be taken for a longer time. However, when a person gets used to the relaxed feeling brought about by these drugs, he becomes dependent on it. People wrongly believe that sleeping pills help in overcoming stress, and hence, get addicted to it. This can lead to drug overdose. The effects become more complicated if a person is already suffering from chronic disease like COPD, diabetes, etc.
Following are the effects of an overdose of sleeping pills.
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Lack of coordination
  • High blood pressure
  • Low blood pressure
  • Anxiety
  • Seizures
  • Loss of memory
  • Respiratory disorders
  • Lack of judgment
  • Slow pulse rate
  • Pneumonia
Sometimes, due to the pills, sleep becomes uncontrolled, making the person unaware of his actions and environment. It is known as Parasomnia. Venturing out of the house or driving in this state can have fatal consequences. On the other hand, the human body develops tolerance to these drugs, which can indirectly lead to drug overdose. Overdose of barbiturates can be very fatal and can lead to coma and even death.
You need to be aware of these possible side effects in case you are thinking of using sleeping pills for stress relief. There are many other effective stress management techniques that can be helpful. One should try to stay away from sleeping pills and other sedative drugs as much as possible. If one has to have a sleeping pill, it should be taken only on the doctor's prescription, and that too, in the prescribed amount!
Disclaimer: This article is intended only to provide information. It should not be used as a substitute for doctor's advice.