We often write about the need for non-pharmaceutical insomnia treatments to be made more widely available, accessible and affordable. However, we want to make it clear that we aren't totally against sleeping pills.
The fact is, many insomniacs rely on sleeping pills to cope with their sleep deprivation and make life bearable. Yes, sleeping pills come with their own risks and side-effects (as do natural insomnia treatments) - but they are vital to the health and well-being of chronic insomnia sufferers.
A persistent lack of sleep comes with a number of risks. Here are just a few:
- Weight gain
- Insulin resistance
- Emotional disturbance
- Weakened immune system
- Abnormal hormonal profiles
- Higher levels of stress hormones
- Lower levels of growth hormones
If these insomnia symptoms can be relieved with sleeping pills, then we're all for it - what we're against is the long-term prescription of sleeping pills and a lack of exploration of alternative therapies such as cognitive behavioral therapy.
As always, you should explore your options with your doctor - sleeping pills can help, but bear in mind there are other treatment options out there that can be just as effective (if not more so) when it comes to treating your insomnia, particularly over the long term.
Source: NY Times[Thanks, jayinsf]
Last updated: June 7, 2012