What Happens If I Take a Sleeping Aid for Too Long?

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If you take a sleeping aid for too long one of the most common things that occurs is what we call habituation or your body just gets used to it, and it can get used to it both on a physiology level as well on a mental level. So as an example, your body gets used to having a medication in it and then it builds a tolerance and after you build that tolerance, you may need more of that medication for you to still be effective.

But even more importantly, especially with sleeping pills we see that there's a big, mental component to it and so a lot of times people would actually be better off taking a sugar pill or a placebo and it would have the exact same effect on them but because mentally they're so used to taking a sleeping pilll, that's what's helping them fall asleep.

One thing that people must remember is sleeping pills across the board are meant to be a quick treatment, not an extended or long treatment and don't get me wrong there are people out there who may need to be on a medication for an extended period of time. An example of that might be somebody who's going through chemotherapy, somebody who's going through bereavement, somebody who's going through a pain syndrome or a joint problem, disc problem, things like that, that will prevent them from being able to sleep without a medication.

But generally speaking, sleeping pills when prescribed for sleep problems such as insomnia really it should be a subscribed period of time, usually no longer than a month and certainly no longer than three months.