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When you endure from insomnia, a resting pill that delivers a an excellent night’s rest deserve to seem favor a gift from heaven. However they’re not without sometimes strange next effects and also even risks. We obtained tips on sleeping pill safety and security from Dr. Sam Fleishman, president and spokesperson because that the American Academy that Sleep Medicine.

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Do examine in v your medical professional if you at this time take a prescription sleep aid. The U.S. Food and Drug administration recently revised their dosage references for frequently prescribed resting pills, including Ambien. The change is based upon some safety and security studies that found the drugs often tended to linger in patients’ systems—particularly women’s—for longer than 8 hours. Through that lot of the drug still in their mechanism in the morning, claims Fleishman, “people could wake up the next day and have impairment, that could impact driving, and also other complex tasks.”

The new recommendations speak to for cutting dosages in half—starting patient at 2.5 mg instead of 5 mg, and lowering the top limit indigenous 10 mg to 5 mg—but even if her dose is already relatively low, you have to still top your doctor to talk about lowering that further.

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Don’t popular music a sleeping pill till you’re actually in bed. Over-the-counter sleep aids can be sluggish to act, for this reason if you’re provided to taking those, you might think you have the right to take a prescription pill if you’re still watching TV. However so-called “hypnotics” prefer Ambien and Lunesta take impact within about 15 minutes. Some patients have reported strange actions like sleepwalking, sleep eating or otherwise doing things they nothing remember—like virtual shopping or call friends—on occasions when they take it the resting pill when they to be still up and also about. Protect against “Ambien amnesia” by getting in bed prior to you take it the pill.

Don’t rely too greatly on over-the-counter (OTC) remedies. If you’ve browsed the drugstore aisles lately, girlfriend may have actually noticed that Tylenol PM, Advil PM and Nyquil currently offer versions without the painkillers, broadening your alternatives for OTC sleep aids. However be mindful that these remedies work in different ways than a prescription resting pill. “Most have actually an antihistimine in them, which can be sedating,” Fleishman says. “But those have the right to have significant hangover effects.” To minimize morning drowsiness, make sure you have actually at least 7 hours to sleep before you take one. And also never use them on a permanent basis without consulting her doctor.

Do ask her doctor about a medication dubbed Intermezzo if you have tendency to wake up in the center of the night. The 7-hour rule that applies to most sleeping pills deserve to be frustrating if you fall asleep through no trouble, however tend to bolt awake a couple of hours later. Over there is at the very least a momentary solution: Intermezzo, a low-dose variation of Ambien, whose results only last about 4 hours.

Do see a medical professional if her insomnia lasts longer than a few weeks. “Everyone has quick periods wherein they don’t sleep,” states Fleishman. “But after two weeks, the time to go see your doctor. It might be one underlying clinical problem.”

Don’t use a resting pill an ext than 5 nights a week—even if you have actually a prescription. Sleeping pills have the right to be the answer come an insomniac’s prayers, yet be careful around relying on a prescription too much, or you can be training your body no to sleep there is no help. “With some of these medications, friend can develop a yongin over time,” Fleishman says. “So shot to go at least two nights a week there is no them—even if it way you nothing sleep really well ~ above those nights.”

Do practice good “sleep hygiene.” We love this term the sleep doctors use come describe best practices for sleeping. Think of castle as simply as an important as brushing your teeth or washing behind your ears! several of the highlights: Cut ago on alcohol and caffeine, nothing eat or exercise as well late in ~ night, don’t nap and don’t sleep also late. “Humans are wired to it is in up in the morning,” Fleishman says. “The early morning sunlight helps reset her brain’s clock.”

Don’t shed faith.

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if there’s no proof that sleep aids space physically addictive, periodically people end up being psychologically dependency on acquisition a pill to aid them sleep. “If you worried around sleep, and taking a sleeping pill helps, sometimes people think, ‘If i don’t take it, it’s not going to happen,’” Fleishman says. If you uncover yourself in that boat, it may be time to speak to your doc about your sleep hygiene and other behavioral strategies, which can be really effective.