Sleeping Pills : Science’s Answer To The Sandman’s Magic Dust?

There’s a song that goes, “Mister Sandman, bring me a dream.” Do you remember the folklore that old people used to tell kids to lull them to sleep? It’s about this mystical person that brings sleep by sprinkling magic dust into children’s eyes. Enter Sandman.

Sleeping disorders have become more and more prominent over the ages. More than 60 million American adults encounter difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, or sleeping well. Stress and environment also contribute to sleep disorders. Stress causes sleep disorder in such a way that the brain is active as the person thinking about things such as finances, marital problems, health issues and extreme boredom to name a few. Environment also plays a role in such a way that a noisy neighborhood can disrupt your sleep if not stop you from getting your well deserved rest. Living in a loud environment, working on the night shift, excessive consumption of caffeine-containing products, these may cause you to lose sleep.

The fact is, most of the sleeping pills that are potent enough to be used as a means to commit suicide are no longer being prescribed by doctors. Some relatively high dosage pills might still be available in hospitals but these are only used for anesthetic purposed during major surgery. Sleeping pills that are still sold in the market have milder formulas and are no longer as potentially lethal as the sleep-inducing medications available some years back.

There are several ways to work around insomnia. Regular exercise, especially during the afternoons or early evenings have proven beneficial to getting a good night’s sleep. Engaging in relaxing activities such as reading, watching TV, or taking a warm bath is also helpful to induce sleep as it calms the mind and body. In cases where hunger is the reason for having difficulty sleeping, a light snack might help. Resisting the urge to smoke before bedtime also helps as nicotine is a kind of stimulant that may keep you awake for the rest of the night. The best way to get around it is to establish a regular bedtime until the body has been accustomed to sleeping at a specific time of day.

If all else fails, take a sleeping pill. Sleeping pills are sleep-promoting medications that are generally used to establish a sleeping habit when all other natural means have failed. These medications are closely related to sedatives as is a mild form of sedative. Heavy doses are prescribed for people with anxiety disorders. It is only effective if difficulty sleeping is still on its early stage. Once insomnia has been on-going for a long while, it will prove to be less helpful as no sleep-inducing medication should be used as long term treatment.

According to recent surveys, health professionals have decreased prescribing sleeping pills. Only when the sleeping disorder proves to be hazardous to a patient’s health do they advise the use of these pills. Over the counter sleeping pills are available in the market, though it is advised that sleeping pills should never be taken if it isn’t prescribed by a doctor as side effects might emerge.

This result brought Zadra and his colleagues to conclude that sleep deprivation may encourage sleepwalking in sleepwalkers. The findings could help in diagnosing and treating people for sleepwalking.

Sleeping pills, however convenient it is to use, isn’t a cure for any sleeping disorder. It cannot be used to treat insomnia’s underlying causes, it can only give you temporary relief by giving you the rest you need at the moment. It is best to exhaust all natural means of getting through sleeping disorders as their effects are longer lasting than that induced by sleeping pills.

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