Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Sleeping Pill Addiction and Insomnia

Prescription sleeping pills are generally used for a short duration to treat insomnia. The definition of a sleeping pill addiction is an addiction or dependency that is present in an individual who shows three or more of the following symptoms; preoccupation with the drug, using more of the drug than prescribed, developing a tolerance to the drug, suffers from withdrawal symptoms if not taken, can’t stop taking the drug, development of other emotional or physical problems related to the drug use and seeks alternative drugs to seek the same effects.

[caption id="attachment_564" align="alignright" width="218" caption="Sleeping Pill Addiction and Insomnia"][/caption]

Prescribed sleeping aides come in various forms; one that help you fall asleep, ones that helps you stay asleep and ones that are sedating antidepressants. The following are popular brands; Lunesta, Ambien, Sonata and Zonalon. Sleeping pill warnings include; drowsiness, dizziness, headache, blurred vision and that they shouldn’t be taken for an extended period of time, otherwise you may become addicted.

When you are addicted to sleeping pills you have an uncontrollable desire to use sleeping pills and frequent use leads to an increase in tolerance, so the more you take…the more you need to get to sleep easy. Other symptoms of addition include; loss of appetite, weight loss, nausea, headache, hallucinations, red eyes, forgetfulness, sensitivity to sounds, rapid speech, anxiety, financial problems, poor performance, neglected personal hygiene and personality changes.

Treatment for sleeping pill addiction includes cognitive behavioral therapy, motivational therapy, addiction treatment programs, which include detox and withdrawal symptom management and counseling. Exercise, diet, personal hygiene and getting enough sleep are lifestyle changes that are also included with the addiction treatment program.

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a general term for a classification of different types of therapies including rational emotive behavior therapy, rational behavior therapy, rational living therapy, cognitive therapy and dialectic behavior therapy. The benefit of these therapies is that we can change the way we think to feel/act better even if the situation does not change. CBT usually is much briefer (12 to 16 weeks) compared to years with psychoanalysis as the patient has homework (reading assignments and practice techniques learned) along with therapy to achieve certain goals. The therapist instills positive behaviors and in turn provides constructive reinforcement to implement healthy lifestyle habits which help the patient attain their goals. When people understand how and why they are doing well, they continue to do well.

CBT for those with a drug addiction teaches the person through functional analysis and skill training to recognize situation where they are most likely to use the drugs to avoid other circumstances and/or cope with problems. Functional analysis tries to identify the thoughts, feeling and circumstances of the patient before they use the drugs. Skill training is to get the person to relearn better coping skills. Prescription drug addictions work best when CBT is combined with other recovery efforts such as group therapy.

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) has emerged as a treatment for sleep problems that's an effective alternative to sleeping pills, even for people with severe or chronic insomnia caused by depression, panic attacks, anxiety, eating disorders and substance abuse (other than sleeping pills). In a recent study conducted by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, CBT can improve the quality and quantity of sleep that can be sustained over a long period of time. CBT can also help people who have taken sleep aides for years, people with physical problems included restless leg syndrome (RLS) and for those with chronic insomnia. In addition, CBT hasn’t shown any adverse side effects and the benefit from the therapy help those sleep better than they did before.

According to, CBT teaches you to recognize and change fictitious beliefs that affect your ability to sleep. For instance, you may believe that you must get eight hours of sleep every night to perform adequately during the day. In truth, seven hours of sleep may be enough sleep for you. Insomniacs often sleep more than they realize. CBT helps reprogram the part of the brain that controls the sleep/wake cycle and targets behaviors called sleep hygiene that negatively causes you to have insomnia. Some sleep hygiene behaviors may include; not exercising or drinking caffeinated beverages too close to bedtime. Therapy helps you to control or eliminate negative thoughts, anxiety or stress that keeps you awake at night. Enforce strict stimulus control by making the bedroom for sleep and sex only and by eliminating all external noise and/or light and keep the temperature cool enough so you don’t wake during the night because you are too hot. Outside stimuli may include keeping your pets out of your bedroom too. Keep a sleep routine by going to bed and waking at the same time every day, even on weekends. Use relaxation techniques like meditation or self-hypnosis CDs, white noise, soothing music or other sounds like ocean waves or a thunderstorm.

The most effective treatment approach may combine a few of these methods. Realize that unlike sleep medications, CBT requires steady practice and that some approaches may cause you to lose sleep at first. Mind your p’s and q’s for sleep easy techniques and eventually you should see results.

Because insomnia can be associated with other emotional or physical disorders, such as depression, substance abuse or another sleep disorder, a thorough sleep evaluation is key in determining the appropriate treatment. In these cases, the root cause should be addressed simultaneously.

Note: A sleeping pill overdose occurs when a person has taken too many pills or sedatives that cause a toxic effect on the body. Symptoms of an overdose include difficulty breathing, slurred speech, fainting and shock. If you are suffering from any of these symptoms you need to go to a medical facility immediately. Your stomach may need to be pumped to remove the drugs from your system or charcoal could be administered to neutralize the effects.

The content provided in Sleeping Pill Addiction and Insomnia is for information purposes only, intended to raise the awareness of different solutions for your sleep problems and should not be considered medical advice. For medical diagnosis and treatment, please see your qualified health-care professional.
GLG America Logo

No comments:

Post a Comment