Inside: Many of us take sleep medication without knowing the long-term effects on our bodies! We can find the best sleep medication and many times it isn’t in a pill, but lifestyle changes that promote sleep.
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I never knew what it felt to have insomnia. I have always been able to sleep, and pretty much I could sleep wherever I was.
All that changed a few years ago.
I’m not sure if it was adrenal fatigue or hormonal issues after baby number five, but I found myself not able to sleep for three full days.
Day or night I couldn’t drop into dreamland. I actually begged my husband to take me into my doctor.
I left with a prescription and knew without a doubt my zzz’s were on their way.
Once I had that pill in the palm of my hand, I knew nothing would come in the way of sleeping. My anxiety about falling asleep melted away because this pill worked so well (I found myself before not trusting God would help me overcome my sleep issues).
That was until I noticed my bladder seizing and painful which finally was linked to the sleeping medication.
My fear returned of not sleeping again, but it was quickly stopped because I did find sleep.
What is a Sleeping Pill?
Before I talk more about this subject, I want to address that I am not a doctor. You might deal with a health condition that requires a prescription for sleep medications.
I am not knocking the meds. We each have to weigh the risk versus benefits for all things we take for our bodies.
Not sleeping has many risks involved with it also. So we need to decide for our own specific situations what we’d like to use and what positives and negatives come from our decisions.
The definition of a sleeping medication can be either prescription or over-the-counter medication that acts like a hypnotic sedative which relaxes, promotes and can extend sleep.
The truth of the matter is 48% of Americans have occasional insomnia.
Around 22% have nightly or many nights a week of little to no sleep.
However, did you know sleep meds as a whole were intended as a short-term solution?
What Happened to Short-Term?
So many people I know are on medications for sleep for the long-term.
Their bodies don’t even know how to fall asleep nor stay asleep without meds on board.
Did you know that sleep meds were originally only to be used 7-10 days?
According to the National Foundation for Sleep, “the goal being to take a sleep aid for the shortest duration that still provides you with the proper sleep benefits.”
So many times, people build a tolerance to the meds and find themselves not sleeping again.
However, the original reason for the sleep issue was never uncovered, and now they find themselves in a
Side Effects of Sleep Medications
The side effects of all sleep medications are huge (taken from the Cleveland Clinic):
- Being too drowsy to drive safely the next morning
- Being too drowsy to work or perform other necessary functions the next morning
- With some prescription sleeping pills, doing potentially dangerous activities such as eating, walking, leaving your house, having sex, making phone calls, carrying on conversations, or driving while you are not fully awake. You may not even be aware of these activities as you are doing them in your sleep
- Allergic reaction (anaphylaxis)
- Facial swelling (angioedema)
- Falling down
- Increases risk of cancer (BMJ Open 2012 Study)
The Goal of Getting to Sleep
Whenever we become unable to sleep, the goal should be to get us back sleeping as God intended in the ideal state without medication if possible.
Sometimes, we have to change our habits in order to promote sleep. It takes intention and work to overcome the challenge of not sleeping to again finding sleeping.
The Best Sleeping Medication (it isn’t a pill)
My issues with sleep (according to testing I’ve had) could be attributed to adrenal fatigue, hormone imbalances, and anxiety.
Some of the things I’ve done which have helped me regain 8 hours a night without sleep medications or tossing and turning at night:
- CBT for Insomnia which is where we change our thoughts about sleep and the lack of sleep we are getting.
- Exercising daily to release stress and increase overall body wellness.
- Staying up until I notice physical signs of tiredness in my body versus time on the clock.
- Not watching T.V. in my bed or in the hour before I go to sleep.
- Magnesium Supplements
- Sleep supplements (I no longer need these now that I’m sleeping regularly again): Young Living Sleepessence and Immupro
- Essential Oils diffused and rubbed on my feet such as RutaVaLa, Cedarwood, Peace & Calming, Lavender, Vetiver, and Ancient Minerals Magnesium Oil sprayed on my feet.
Talking With Your Doctor
If you’re currently on sleep medication, might I urge you to talk with your doctor and even look up the side effects/long-term side effects of being on these drugs. Have the talk with your doctor before going off of the medication.
They aren’t meant to be used long-term.
You can find sleep again without using medication.
That’s the first battle you need to overcome.
God blessed you with the ability to sleep and you can sleep without the meds, it might take a little while to get back into the habit without meds but you become a savvy sleeper again!
To read the other posts in this sleep series!
Why You Need To Make Sleep More Of A Priority
Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and DreamsYou’ll Get Through This: Hope and Help for Your Turbulent TimesAlaska Bear Natural Silk Sleep Mask, Blindfold, Super Smooth Eye Mask (One Strap)Bedsure Fleece Blanket Throw Size Navy Lightweight Super Soft Cozy Luxury Bed Blanket MicrofiberURPOWER 2nd Version Essential Oil Diffuser,Aroma Essential Oil Cool Mist Humidifier with Adjustable Mist Mode,Waterless Auto Shut-off and 7 Color LED Lights Changing for Home Office Baby