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What happens if I take a sleeping aid for too long?

Sleep aids are not intended for long-term use; when you take them for too long, you can become dependent or develop a tolerance that makes you take more. Watch as Nina Singh Radcliff, MD, explains why sleep aids should only be taken short term.


If you take a sleep aid for too long, habituation can occur, which causes your body to build a tolerance and it won't be as effective. Watch sleep expert Michael Breus, PhD, discuss why sleeping pills should not be taken long-term for sleep issues.

It is possible not only to experience withdrawal from sleeping aids, but also to build up immunity to the drug, making it likely that you will want to increase your dose, which can be dangerous. Withdrawal symptoms include rebound insomnia and increased anxiety. 

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.