Sleep is a basic need, besides food and water that a person needs to survive. It can recharge you mentally and physically. When you don’t get enough sleep your everyday functions such as productivity, brain and heart health, emotional balance, creativity, and even your weight, is effected. Sleep is the easiest way to provide yourself with many health benefits.
For some of us though it is not as easy as you’d think. It is said that adults need 7 – 9 hours of sleep but most of us don’t get the minimum and we don’t even know that we are sleep deprived. Most of us think it is normal to be sleepy in the afternoon or a boring meeting but this is true only if we are sleep deprived. If you are getting enough sleep you should be alert and fully awake for at least 12 hours.
Why do People Have Sleeping Problems?
Some of us may have difficulty falling asleep because of some events that may have happened during the hours before such as an argument of some news that is causing overthinking. Maybe the excitement of a trip the next morning or a test that has us up and not being able to fall asleep. For some of us, it is difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep. It may have been since we could remember or perhaps it started in our later years. This has been known as insomnia.
There are many different types of insomnia:
- Acute insomnia
A short episode of difficulty sleeping that is usually caused by a life event, such as a stressful change in a person’s job, receiving bad news, or travel. Often acute insomnia resolves without any treatment.
- Chronic insomnia
A long-term pattern of difficulty sleeping. Insomnia is usually considered chronic if a person has trouble falling asleep or staying asleep at least three nights per week for three months or longer. Some people with chronic insomnia have a long-standing history of difficulty sleeping. Chronic insomnia has many causes.
- Comorbid insomnia
Insomnia occurs with another condition. Psychiatric symptoms — such as anxiety and depression — are known to be associated with changes in sleep. Certain medical conditions can either cause insomnia or make a person uncomfortable at night (as in the case of arthritis or back pain, which may make it hard to sleep.
- Onset insomnia
Difficulty falling asleep at the beginning of the night.
- Maintenance insomnia
The inability to stay asleep.
With the many types of insomnia, none of them are easy. We all just want to have a good night’s sleep and want it now. Most of us may look for a quick and easy way to fall asleep, which may result in seeking over the counter or prescription sleep pills. If one does choose to take either of these routes it is best to only as directed because it is very easy to gain dependence on them and the opposite effect might happen when you stop taking them.
There are over–the–counter drugs such as:
- Diphenhydramine, found in Benadryl, Advil PM, etc., is a sedating antihistamine. Side effects might include daytime drowsiness, dry mouth, blurred vision, constipation, and urinary retention.
- Doxylamine succinate found in Unisom SleepTabs is also a sedating antihistamine with the same side effects as Diphenhydramine. Both should not be used long term, can cause dependency, and have the opposite effect when not taken.
Commonly used sleeping pills that may be prescribed by your physician include:
- Ambien®, Ambien® CR (zolpidem tartrate)
- Dalmane® (flurazepam hydrochloride)
- Halcion® (triazolam)
- Lunesta® (eszopiclone)
- Prosom® (estazolam)
- Restoril® (temazepam)
- Rozerem® (ramelteon)
- Silenor® (doxepin)
- Sonata® (zaleplon)
- Desyrel® (trazodone)
- Belsomra® (suvorexant)
It is very dangerous for someone to quit sleeping pills cold turkey. The withdrawals can get very intense and could become dangerous. It is recommended to seek the care of specialized physicians in a medical detox facility to safely come off sleeping pills.
Sleeping Pill Withdrawal Timeline
- Days 1-3 Begin first 24 to 72 hours after quitting sleeping pills. Confusion, changes in mood and memory, anxious, fear, vomiting depending on the user’s amounts
- Days 4-10 Difficulty sleeping, anxiety continues, drug cravings. Physical symptoms: sweating, increased heart rate and tremors
- Days 11-17 The physical symptoms of withdrawal begin to dissipate at this stage. Psychological symptoms, such as anxiety, may continue and panic attacks can manifest. In some users, depression begins to set in.
- Days 18+ physical symptoms will fade, depression and drug cravings can last for several weeks to several months, especially for those who used the drug heavily. PAWS may occur at this time, which may last as long as 18 months.
When you enter a detox facility they will usually start to taper you off the sleeping pills, which takes longer, but has less severe symptoms and is less dangerous. This is a preferred method of treatment. After the user has successfully kicked all symptoms of withdrawal, it is usually suggested to continue to an inpatient or outpatient treatment facility to continue treatment and to have less of a chance of relapse.
We are Here to Help
If you or a loved one has fallen victim to sleeping pills, Allure Detox can help you safely quit and get back to your life. When it comes to Allure Detox, we provide much more than the bare minimum. Of course, we help clients stop using safely – that’s just a given. Almost as important as that, though, is that we offer clients the foundation for a lifetime of relief and recovery.
That’s the Allure Detox promise: that patients leave our care with more than good health at their disposal. Our focus is on minimizing your withdrawal symptoms to a comfortable level while beginning the comprehensive treatment process that will keep you sober.