Should I Take Sleep Medicine for My Sleep Disorder?

Healthy sleep is essential to your overall health and well-being. Yet more than 70 million Americans struggle to get a good night’s rest because of sleep disorders. One of the most common sleep disorders is insomnia, a condition that can make falling and/or staying asleep a challenge. 

Many people turn to over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription sleep medications to help them sleep, while others make lifestyle changes or invest in therapeutic devices to get the sleep they need. But how do you know what type of sleep therapy is right for you?

The pulmonary specialists at Northwest Pulmonary and Sleep Medicine in Algonquin, Illinois, are experts in sleep medicine, which analyzes all aspects of your sleep to accurately diagnose and treat any sleep disorders. Once we diagnose your sleep disorder and its root cause, our team customizes a treatment plan for your sleep needs. 

We also believe in educating our patients about their options for treating sleep disorders. In this blog, our sleep experts discuss the different kinds of sleeping pills.   

What are sleeping pills?

Sleeping pills are medications that can help you stay asleep longer, fall asleep more easily, or both. Not all sleeping pills are created equal, however. These medications vary in effectiveness and strength and risks and side effects.

Antihistamines are the key ingredient in OTC sleep aids, for example, and they can make you feel sleepy or sluggish the next day. Prescription sleep medications can be more effective, but they may also bring additional risks and side effects, including:

In addition to sleep medicines designed for aiding sleep, some doctors treat insomnia by  prescribing antidepressants with a sedating effect. These medications can also come with many unpleasant side effects.

Who should take sleeping pills?

Most people who take sleeping pills struggle with insomnia. Sleeping pills may be useful with short-term insomnia, which can be caused by certain issues, such as travel and stress. 

But if you have difficulty with chronic insomnia, sleep medicine shouldn’t be your first line of defense. 

Before taking any sleep medicine, it’s important to see your provider at Northwest Pulmonary and Sleep Medicine for a thorough evaluation. Understanding the root cause of your insomnia is essential for lasting, effective treatment.

Sleeping pills are never a permanent treatment solution, and they aren’t effective for many sleep disorders, such as sleep apnea or narcolepsy.   

Are there other ways to treat sleep disorders?

Yes! In fact, research shows lifestyle and behavioral changes are the best long-term solution for treating insomnia. After discussing your symptoms, lifestyle, and medical history, our team may recommend a sleep study to further analyze the root cause of your sleep disorder. 

Based on the results of your evaluation, we may offer different therapies, such as a CPAP machine or an Inspire Sleep device if you have sleep apnea.   

If you’re struggling to get enough sleep, don’t wait to contact the team at Northwest Pulmonary and Sleep Medicine. The sooner we diagnose your sleep problem, the faster we can prescribe the right treatment plan for you. To learn more, book an appointment online or over the phone today.

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