The Negative Effects of Sleeping Pills

Insomnia is a major problem for many adults in the United States. Up to 50 percent of Americans have diagnosed insomnia or complain of poor sleeping. This has led to the popularity and increased use of prescription sleeping pills. While many sleeping pills are very effective sleep aids, they are typically designed for short-term use. Unfortunately, there are many downsides and negative effects that come with the use of sleeping pills.

One major side effect of sleeping pills is how they make people feel the next day. Many people feel extreme fatigue the next day even if they slept peacefully throughout the night. This is because the prescription medication is still in their system. This excessive drowsiness can lead to impaired ability at work and a lack of focus. It may also negatively impact memory and mental speed. Some people who use sleeping pills at night complain of feeling hung-over the following day.

The physical side effects of using sleeping pills vary from person to person. Some people do not experience many side effects, but others may be overwhelmed with a multitude of symptoms. Common side effects include constipation, diarrhea, gas, heartburn, headache, dry mouth, stomach pain and muscle weakness. These negative effects can easily impact the daily routines and comfort of sleeping pill users.

Unfortunately, it is impossible to predict what side effects will occur until the sleeping medication is actually used. People who choose to use sleeping aids should only do so under the direct supervision of a doctor. In addition to this, it is important to document side effects and symptoms experienced during use.


N.A. "Understanding the Side Effects of Sleeping Pills." WebMD (Website). (2015).
  • 22 Commentsby Likes|Date
  • Those are some nasty side effects for a sleeping pill. I did not think that sleeping pills would make you constipated or give you gas. Heartburn I would understand since that is what most meds seem to do that.
  • So, essentialy, sleeping pills don't do us any kind of good beside helping us fight against insomnia, but this certain fight doesn't turn out to be productive in the end, as there will always be side-effects implicated which will involve an even more accentuated feeling of fatigue than sleep itself.
    As for what it goes about the physical side-effects, they are very unusual among people and many of them don't even experience the aforementioned ones. 
  • Basically the side effects are a and of worse than insomnia. I wouldn't take a pill to go to sleep if the next day I'm going to feel like death warmed over, that just defeats the purpose. I want to sleep and wake up feeling well rested and great!
  • I only use Melatonin to help me sleep as I am scared of what might happen if I use a prescription sleeping aid. I have a fear of not waking up. Even with Melatonin you are not supposed to use it every night because it stops releasing natural sleep chemicals from your brain. I only use it when I really need help falling asleep at night.
  • I had my brush with these in the past and yeah they are a little difficult to manage. I was forming a habit and thankfully I was aware of it so even as my tolerance built up I tried my hardest not to binge. Now I'm completely off them and I sleep regularly in a natural way and it definitely feels better not waking up drowsy each day.
  • I think the major negative effect is the belief that will develop over time that you cannot naturally get into a deep sleep without taking the pills. Even if you do have a great deep sleep without any disturbance and no sleeping pill, your mind tends to think that you're still tired and achy. You then take the pills and out in the same amount of deep sleep and wake up feeling fresh. Sleeping pills play real mind games like that.
  • A lot of people that have resorted to the use of sleeping pills in order to get to sleep have said that the next day they feel as if they're walking round in a coma as if they can't properly wake up.

    Another side effect of course is that they develop a dependency on them to the point they can't go to sleep or relax without them.
  • I take Seroquel because it isn't supposed to be addictive. Unfortutnely, it is. I've been on it for about 5 years and now find myself unable to sleep without it. That's bad because a side effect of it has been my gaining 40 lbs which is really unhealthy.
  • I think sleeping pills are a lot worse than most people realize. There are a lot of people who don't understand what they're getting into once they start relying on them. The only person I ever knew who used is sleeping pills is no longer with us - that's how badly they affected her. Many people who use sleeping pills also have a tendency to mix them with alcohol which, of course, is dangerous.
  • I myself prefer natural sleeping aids like chamomile tea, milk and others because I have a fear of prescription pills especially sleeping pills. Dependency is very real. What I'm really scared of though is that sleeping pills disrupt the natural circadian rhythm of the body and the fact that it makes you gain weight and other side effects.
  • With my history with substances, I KNOW I cannot start taking sleeping pills even if I feel I really need them (darn shift work.)
    This only strengthens that idea, very through thank you!
  • When I was in college, I used to have sleeping disorder. My condition was so severe that I had to take sleeping pills.I started with taking half pills. The day I took pills, I was able to sleep soundly. Next day I tried to sleep without taking pills, but could not, thus I took half pills and slept nicely. After taking pills regularly for 20 days(half tablet every day), I was nervous. It looked like I was becoming addicted. I used alternative methods to get sleep and gave up pills.
  • I took sleeping pills when I was younger, because it was harder to just lie down and try to sleep, because sometimes I could be lying down there for hours and nothing happened.   The side effects of clonazepam weren't worth it, so I stopped.  I only take clonazepam drops when I know I won't be able to sleep for sure, like for example before a big exam or a long international trip. 
  •  I think that it is something which can affect people and also the pills which are meant to be for sleeping can make someone get addicted and also spend their money on this pill which is not a good thing. It is imyportant to be aware of the pills you take as many people can get affected by the pills, and also hope that people understand how this affects the mind and body as well. I hope that doctors think about what they give the patient as in some cases this pill does more harm than good and the body can't cope with what goes on.
  • I completely agree with you arthnel.This can be the major side effect that you will not able to get into sleep naturally and will be dependent on sleeping pills and then all your hopes will be killed that you can sleep well without these drugs.You can also be embarrassed if you visit your neighbour it will be the major factor of embarrassment for you.It is bit common among maximum of adults and teens too.Try to avoid these.  
  • In my opinion, there are many better alternatives to sleeping pills. You can meditate, for instance. I meditate for 2 min before sleeping and it helps me a lot. If I meditate for 10 min, I am able to reach the 'dreamless sleep' state. So, I would highly recommend you meditation instead of those sleeping pills with various side effects.
  • So it's just like alcohol? Some of its effects are exactly like when you imbibe alcoholic beverages. That's probably the reason why my dad preferred drinking alcohol than take sleeping pills for his insomnia.
  • I used to take sleeping pills when I was a teenager and this is completely accurate, even if I slept like a baby in the morning I felt like I haven't rested at all. It's curious to see how damaging and dangerous can be something that was made to improve the quality of life people.
  • I don't know the specifics, but I've heard a lot of sleeping pills prevent you from entering deep REM sleep. That's where you get the "effective" sleep. It would make sense since the number one complaint among people that use sleeping pills is usually that they feel really groggy in the morning and felt they didn't get quality sleep.
  • I've come to realise that not only to sleeping pills play hazard with our in built system, it knocks it off for the next day too and the body comes to depend on it. It's not helping at all and it doesn't even make us feel restful! Why isn't this shared alot more? REM sleep is vital when it comes to sleep so you can feel restful. Thanks for this informative article!
  • I think that people get addicted to sleeping pills because they are not aware that they are not alone fighting against this problem approx 60%+ people faces this problem which we call as Insomnia. There is no need to be tensed. Everybody when they are in their adolescence, they have to face this problem because of the hormonal imbalance. Only thing is important is that they have to keep their mind cool and tension free which can be done by doing exercises, meditation and yoga. Be healthy, be fit. Sleep well.
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