Sound and healthy sleep is a natural need of any person, from birth to old age. If it is difficult to fall asleep in the evenings, you have to spend several hours waiting to fall asleep, many immediately go to the pharmacy for sleeping pills. But such an approach is fundamentally wrong, since constant stress, lack of physical activity, certain diseases, and even the microclimate of the bedroom often interfere with normal sleep. If the elimination of all possible problems does not lead to the normalization of sleep, a visit to the doctor is necessary, only he can prescribe medications that have a hypnotic effect. But they are not perfect, and these are drugs of last resort.
Sleep disorders and wrong tactics
Normal sleep is very important for health, high performance and positive mood. If a person chronically lacks sleep for at least a couple of hours over several years, this adversely affects metabolism, health, and even life expectancy. There is a category of people whose poor sleep has already become a constant companion of life. But with the problem of insomnia, they are in no hurry to see a doctor, looking for various recipes of traditional medicine on the Internet, taking herbal preparations or even sleeping pills. As a result, the quality and duration of sleep practically do not improve, and the general condition sometimes suffers even more than it was originally. Due to constant fatigue, people become distracted, concentration and memory suffer, depression and communication difficulties occur. It is important to identify the true cause of sleep problems, eliminate it, and then the problem often resolves itself.
Common causes of sleep problems: stress, discomfort, pathology
Often, sleep disorders are caused by constant overexcitation of the nervous system, which is why the brain cannot switch to rest in the evening. Often the cause is chronic stress — physical or psychological, the release of hormones that spur a tired and exhausted body to be active again and again. Against the background of stress, normal sleep-wake rhythms are suppressed, which can lead to drowsiness in the morning and afternoon, and an excess of activity in the evening. Also, constant stress suppresses the production of the hormone melatonin due to an excess of cortisol. It also negatively affects the process of falling asleep and the quality of sleep at night. It is not uncommon for people to go to the pharmacy for over-the-counter sleep aids that solve problems for a while. Preparations of this type usually contain sedative components that eliminate anxiety, irritability, and reduce the effect of stress on the body. However, if stressors continue to be exposed, often mild sedatives and sedatives alone are often not enough.
When do I need a doctor’s consultation and a prescription for sleeping pills?
If insomnia has become protracted, it has turned into a chronic severe form, it is necessary for the patient to be examined by a doctor, to determine the presence of a problem and its cause. If the impact of constant lack of sleep is great, there are health problems associated with insomnia, exacerbation of pathologies and social problems, the doctor may decide to prescribe sleeping pills. Usually, strong sleeping pills are sold only by prescription, taken strictly according to the recommended regimen and under the control of side effects and tolerability. For most patients, the specialist will recommend lifestyle changes, light sedatives, vitamins, anti-stress activities, psychotherapy. In the vast majority of patients in the initial stage of insomnia, when the problem has not gone far, it is quite possible to do without strong drugs that are not as harmless as it might seem.
Why are sleeping pills dangerous?
A group of drugs that have a hypnotic effect refers to potent and prescription drugs. These funds are taken strictly on the recommendation of a doctor, individually selected for each patient and clinical situation. It is equally important to know that, in addition to the main hypnotic effect, these drugs also have a number of side effects and contraindications for taking. And in combination with certain drugs or alcohol, they can even lead to death, especially when the dose is exceeded.
Uncontrolled intake of drugs with a hypnotic effect leads to the inhibition of certain physical processes, has an extremely negative effect on thinking and memory, especially short-term, but the addictive effect is especially dangerous. This leads to the need for a constant increase in the dose of the drug, which ultimately leads to serious consequences without proper medical supervision.
Ideally, these pills are used only in emergency situations, the course of their intake should be short, followed by a transition to “lighter” treatment options. OTC tablets, capsules or other forms of drugs are milder, they have fewer side effects and effects on the psyche, there is practically no addiction effect.
How to treat insomnia: is it always pills?
Initially, it is necessary to treat insomnia by identifying its true causes. If this is a banal overwork, high physical or mental stress, a change in climate or time zones, the influence of stress, it is worth eliminating the influence of this. Episodically occurring insomnia or periods lasting no more than 3–4 weeks may require the use of sedative or sedative tablets or infusions. Due to such drugs, relaxation and sedation are formed, which is necessary for many people.
If sleeping pills are needed, their intake is always combined with measures to normalize sleep (creating a microclimate in the bedroom, taking a walk before going to bed, avoiding solid foods and stimulating drinks). Often, a combination of drugs with physiotherapy and sessions with a psychotherapist, changes in the daily regimen, hardening helps well. Only if the problem is not solved for a month or more, the doctor can decide to prescribe stronger pills.