People think the pills will help - but in fact they can make things worse. I don't believe everyone is told how addictive they can be. Avoid them if you can.
These words come from the mouth of Paula Wynne. She was a solid sleeper until two years ago. After being made redundant and needing surgery, she couldn't sleep. That's when her doctor prescribed her sleeping pills.
After taking the pills every night for six months, Paula found it impossible to stop taking them. When she tried, she suffered from rebound insomnia. It took another six months to wean herself off the pills. You can read Paula's story over at the Daily Mail.
The UK's National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence recommends sleeping pills should be prescribed for a maximum of only one month and the Royal College of Psychiatrists advises that sleeping pills should only be prescribed when a patient cannot sleep at all (and even then, they should be taken for less than two weeks).
We need to stop relying on sleeping pills as a long-term solution for insomnia. If your doctor is prescribing you sleeping pills on a long-term basis, or isn't offering any alternative forms of treatment, it may be time to seek a second option or consult a registered sleep center.
Last updated: October 11, 2010