Most sleeping experts agree that prescription sleep medicines should not be taken more than a few weeks – a few days at best. They become habit forming and addiction has been known to occur. Long-term use leads to tolerance issues and a stronger pill us required to achieve the same level of sleep. You do not achieve quality sleep when using prescription or over the counter sleep aids.
When people stop taking sleeping pills, there is a tendency for withdrawal, which then leads to agitation, anxiety and, in some cases, insomnia, that is worse than before they started taking sleeping medication. Sleeping pills react with other drugs. They also react negatively with alcohol usage.
If you treat symptoms, you will always treat symptoms. Many times, doctors prescribe sleeping medications to treat the symptoms of poor quality sleep or insomnia, but have not diagnosed the cause of the problem.
Sleep deprivation restrains our immune systems. Many studies show that our T-cell levels fall when we are sleep deprived. It opens the door for illness and disease that our immune system could normally fight. Inflammation increases when we do not get enough quality sleep. This can be seen easily in the C-reactive protein (CRP) blood test. CRP is a marker for total body inflammation. Chronic low-level inflammation is the genesis of 90 percent of disease.
Our mortality rate increases when we average less than six hours of sleep a night. Sleep is personal to everyone. I know some people who swear they live a high-quality life with only four hours of sleep a night. A lot of people awaken tired and weary. That first cup of coffee and ensuing caffeine intake masks the tiredness until late afternoon.
Just as you should eat only when you are hungry, your body is a great predictor of what you need in other areas. When you are sleepy, you need to go to sleep.