In 2012, doctors prescribed 60 million prescriptions to Americans. It was a 13 million increase from the 47 million prescriptions written during 2006. These facts came from IMS Health, a healthcare company, but the facts from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are even more startling. In a study they conducted interviewing 17,000 adults between 2005 and 2010, they discovered around 9 million American adults use sleeping pills. The majority of the subjects of that study were 50 years or older, white, educated, and female. It’s not surprising today that so many Americans struggle with Lunesta addiction.

The major question is why is this happening. The truth lies in what these drugs, known as sedative hypnotics, actually are. Patients initially take the drug as a fix to a short term problem: not getting sleep. However, sometimes people may not realize the drugs have physically but also psychologically addictive properties to them. Some initial problems that can occur for patients taking the drugs include memory and attention difficulties. If you have an Ambien, Sonata or Lunesta addiction, you might find that those symptoms could be just the beginning of your problems with sleeping pills. People who take them can find themselves struggling with strange dreams or experiencing uncontrollable shaking.

Other adverse side effects can occur if you become a parasomniac. Parasomnia occurs when people’s bodies act, move, and behave in strange ways while they are asleep and have no control over things. The most common form of this is sleepwalking, where, for example, you may end up walking to the fridge to get a glass of orange juice while you are sleeping. Then, the next morning you might have no idea how a glass of orange juice ended up on the side table next to your bed. What is at stake is not only your control over the actions of your body but your overall physical and mental safety.

Things might become much worse if you start combining the sleeping pill with a glass of wine. Often times, adults enjoy drinking some wine with dinner or before they go to bed. They feel that it helps them relax after a long day at work. But doing so could stop your breathing and you could even end up dying from the combination. Working with your doctor to make sure you do not end up misusing or abusing sleeping pills is the key to protecting your health.


Photo by Kalegin Michail on Unsplash