Sleeping preparations confidently occupy the first lines in the list of the most popular medicines. And this happens despite the fact that the side effects from them are sometimes much more serious than the real help in the normalization of sleep. Therefore, before making your choice in favor of chemical hypnotics, you need to weigh all the pros and cons of these remedies carefully.
According to statistics, 20-24% of adults complain of insomnia. More than 70% of them take various types of sleeping pills. The most popular sleeping pills are used in people over 60 years old, not the largest age group among the inhabitants of the Earth (this is only 16% of the total population of our planet).
There is a certain list of requirements, according to which the quality of any hypnotic is determined:
- the total duration of sleep, which should increase,
- latency of sleep,
- the gap between the moment when you went to bed and the moment when you fell asleep,
- periods of night insomnia, which should decrease in duration and frequency.
During the night period of influence on the body, sleeping pills are also divided into high-speed, that is, having an effect in the first half of the night, and delayed action, that is, affecting sleep in the second half of the night.
Of course, it would be ideal to find such a drug that would plunge us into a state of sleep, no different from the natural. Alas, modern pills can’t do this, they all affect the quality of sleep in one way or another. Thus, barbiturates shorten the phase of paradoxical sleep at 10%-15%. As soon as you stop taking these drugs, its duration is to be increased by 40%. In the treatment of benzodiazepines, the phase of deep slow sleep is affected the most. Sleeping pills influence the brain activity during sleep, and the natural picture is distorted not only on the night of the medication’s intake but also in the following after it.
The patient may experience the consequence of taking sleeping pills during the day, during active wakefulness. So, because of the impact on the brain the next day after taking the drug, a person may experience drowsiness in the morning, get tired quickly, get tired with mental activity. The general condition thus reminds an alcoholic hangover.
Because of the soothing effect of all sleeping pills, lethargy and inhibition may occur, which is especially dangerous in situations requiring quick decisions and concentration. For example, the effects of tranquilizers are felt even a day after their intake, which is especially dangerous for drivers.
Another consequence of sleeping pills is associated with the cessation of their admission, the so-called “recoil of insomnia.” This is a violation of sleep, associated with a sharp cessation of taking sleeping pills, which is quickly eliminated from the body. Since in the process of taking the medicine the patient becomes dependent on a long-term drug, the first nights without sleeping pills becomes more superficial and sensitive. If the patient “breaks” and again resorts to taking sleeping pills, it will not be possible to overcome the formed dependence. To avoid such complications, it is recommended to reduce the dose of the drug gradually.
Very often, elderly people tend to increase the dose of sleeping Soma or Ambien, since they are more susceptible to sleep disorders. However, age, in this case, plays a cruel joke, and the severe consequences of large doses of drugs in the form of dizziness, loss of memory, confused consciousness that can be mistakenly attributed to senile symptoms. Therefore, it is necessary to select the sleeping pills for the elderly especially carefully.