There is nothing like the chaos of addiction to spur the longing for peace and rest, the kind that knocks you out and puts you out of your misery for a night. But what about when a night’s rest turns into eternal rest. Sleeping pill overdoses are on the rise amongst addicts, often unintentionally.
Why are so many addicts and alcoholics turning to sleeping pills? What are the signs, symptoms, and dangers of abusing sleeping pills, or adding them into a cocktail of other addictive substances?
In this article, I will touch upon the answers to these questions as well as providing some cautionary steps when dealing with sleeping pill addiction and tips for getting a good nights sleep without the use of pills.
The Insomniac Nation
According to a recent survey put out by the national Institute of Health, 69 percent of primary care patients complain of sleep problems, a majority of them dependent upon sleeping pills to help them drift into dreamland.
Lab studies have shown both reductions in deep sleep and abnormalities in REM sleep in a majority of recovering individuals. Some may have already been experiencing problems with sleep before becoming addicted, as roughly 15 percent of the population experience insomnia, to some extent.
Doctors end up prescribing a host of various types of medication for this problem from sleeping pills to hypnotic medication. These drugs include Benzodiazepines, antidepressants, melatonin like drugs, or antihistamine drugs. Many of these are meant to be temporary solutions but are taken for the long haul with very little knowledge of the long term dangers of use.
Significant side effects and symptoms of overdose Many people underestimate the negative impact of sleeping pill abuse, or even over-use. Some of the signs of abuse of sleep medication such as Lunesta, Sonata, Ambien, Rozerem, and Halcion can include:
• Memory and concentration problems
• Slurred Speech
• Uncoordinated movements
• Unsteady gait
• Inability to focus
• Impaired memory
• Unusual euphoria
Some more rare cases experience parasomnias. These are sleep disorders that include disruptive sleep behaviors such as sleep-walking, sleep-eating, sleep-driving and other detrimental activities to be engaging in while sleeping.
Many of these signs and symptoms can occur before an actual overdose happens, but can be precautionary symptoms that allude to impending overdose if the pills are continued with the same consistency.
Often, once the momentum of abuse has begun, like with all addictions, the powerful lure of continued use can lead to dangerous overdose, with bodily symptoms such as:
• Excessive lethargy, or inability to stay awake
• Unconscious behaviors or actions, in a partial sleep state
• Abdominal pain
• Breathing irregularities
If you find yourself experiencing symptoms of sleeping pill abuse, but are not able to withstand some of the withdrawal symptoms such as rebound insomnia, do not despair. Like any substance, the process of detox and recovery takes time and support.
At Oasis Recovery, we address the root causes of all addictions, including sleeping pill addiction. We understand the need for supervised detox in certain cases, and work closely with certain detox centers to begin your process of recovery. We can also help you access the skills and tools that allow for adequate, nourishing rest, without the use of sleeping pills. To contact us and begin your recovery, click here.
Rest for the Weary
Like any organic life process, such as sleep, there are many avenues for building health and creating positive results. Some natural alternatives that help create positive brain chemistry for adequate sleep, and that help restore the ability to fall asleep with ease are:
• Follow a regular sleep schedule
• Keep your bedroom cool and dark
• Abstain from eating or drinking before bed
• Turn off electronics an hour before bed
• Engage in relaxing activities before bed, such as meditation or reading
• Get plenty of exercise
• Eat a wide variety of fruits and vegetables
• Alleviate anxiety throughout the day with deep breathing, therapy, and restorative activities
Of course, a glance at this list while in the grips of addiction can seem like a pipe dream of good intentions. Don’t worry, I’ve included this list mainly to point out that an environment in which many are attempting to incorporate these positive habits, and in which you have lots of support and reminders is the most ideal way to go about instilling these powerful habits into your routine.
At Oasis Recovery, we provide a calm, comfortable environment, with 24 hour support to help you gain the awareness and personal power to incorporate positive sleep habits with ease. We believe that with proper treatment, you can feel empowered to create a healthier, addiction-free life, full of nourishing rest and relaxation.