Sleeping pills act as sleeping aid for sleeping disorders, mainly insomnia and sleep apnea. Sleeping pills have some amount of hypnotic drug, which helps in creating a tranquilizing effect on the mind. Due to this, the mind of the person calms down, thus promoting sleep. They are always recommended by doctors in smaller dosages, for shorter periods, however chronic the problem may be. This is because, excess intake of sleeping pills exaggerate the problem further instead of curing it. Excess usage of sleeping tablets makes the individual get addicted to it leading to numerous and severe side effects on the body, sometimes proving to be fatal.
Symptoms of Addiction
A person suffering from sleeping pill addiction shows some symptoms, which are to be identified in order to provide timely medication. Regular consumption and overdose of sleeping tablets makes an individual addicted to it. They get into a situation of drug dependency, leading to severe restlessness on ceasing the intake of the drug. Some of the main symptoms shown by sleeping pill abusers are – deep and uncontrollable craving for drugs, dry mouth, drowsiness, headache, constipation, forgetfulness (on prolong usage may lead to severe amnesia also), anxiety, mood swings, loss of appetite, loss of weight, nausea, negative changes in personal behavior, poor performance at work, short temper, hallucinations, tremors and seizures, etc.
Sleeping pills abuse causes many ill-effects on major parts of the body. Some of the physical side effects of sleeping pills abuse are:
Addiction: Sleeping pills have very less amount of drug which is used to bring a calming effect on the mind, thus helping the person to fall asleep. Consuming high amounts of pills at once, or continuously using these pills to get euphoric effect may lead to addiction. The abuser cannot think of any other way of curing his disorder – makes himself drug dependent. The major symptoms of drug addiction include uncontrollable desire to consume drug, anxiety, restlessness and uncontrolled anger on forcing to stop drug abuse.
Digestive troubles: Sleeping pills addiction causes many negative effects on digestive system, mainly being loss of appetite, diarrhea, acidity, etc. Due to the irregular sleeping timings, the eating habits and timings also change, leading to the problems in digestive system. Decreased appetite ultimately results in malnutrition, putting the abusers total health at risk.
Nausea: Nausea is seen as a common problem in most of the drug addicts of any kind. This is one of the effects on digestive system. It is sense of uneasiness and also an involuntary urge to vomit. Generally, after an overdose of pills and heavy sleep, the person suffers from the sensation of vomiting, as the stomach of individual is empty, due to loss of appetite.
Drowsiness: Overdose of sleeping pills cause drowsiness or hangovers. After the intake of sleeping pills, the individual suffers from the sleeping effects even during day times. He/she feels sleepy and drowsy all through the day leading to hangover, which results in loss of concentration, lack of coordination, poor performance at workplace, excess tiredness, loss of memory etc.
Constipation: Constipation is a result of poor diet, very common in sleeping pills abusers. Improper eating habits and taking less fluids may lead to constipation. This results in flatulence and laziness.
Sleeping pills drug abuse impacts the emotional status of abuser severely. Some of the common emotional effects are as follows:
Parasomnias: Parasomnia is a stage in which the individual does not have any control over his actions, such as walking, talking, eating, and driving in sleep. During this stage, the person has no knowledge of what he is doing.
Delirium: Excess dosage of sleeping tablets results in delirium. Delirium is having a confused state of mind, during which the person undergoes serious delusions, hallucinations, clouded thinking, day dreaming, etc.
Tremors and seizures: Tremors and seizures are mostly occurred after an overdose of sleeping pills. These are sudden and uncontrollable shaking of some of the body parts like legs, arms and fingers. Sometimes the whole body becomes numb and the abuser loses the sense of touch.
Daytime effects: After heavy dose of sleeping pills during night, the effect still continues during daytime too. The effects may be like feeling sleepy, drowsy, and tired, loss of memory, and loss of concentration.
Dependency: There are high chances of an individual being addicted to the sleeping pills, due to the tranquilizing effect they create. A person whenever feels like having a sleeping problem goes for these pills immediately without having a second thought, in order to get relieved. Thus, he becomes addicted and highly dependent on the drug, which causes many side effects and may also lead to death on forcing to stop its intake.
As seen above, addiction of sleeping pills has very dangerous effects on human body. One of the best ways to avoid the harmful effects of abusing sleeping pills is by detecting the symptoms in the early stages and providing medication. Delayed recognition of these symptoms may increase the severity of the problems leading to many physical and emotional side effects on the body and may even result in more dangerous and incurable consequences such as, heart attacks, nervous breakdowns or death.