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Who Prescribes Sleeping Pills?

Mark Halsey
Chief Editor of - Cleanbreak Recovery

Mark Halsey is a licensed therapist, founder, and chief editor of Clean Break Recovery. With over a decade of addiction treatment experience, Mark deeply understands...Read more

Are you having trouble sleeping and considering taking sleeping pills? It can be difficult to determine who prescribes sleeping pills, as each country has its own rules and regulations when it comes to the prescribing of medications. In this article, we will explore who prescribes sleeping pills, the various types of sleeping pills available, and the potential risks associated with taking them.

Who Prescribes Sleeping Pills?

Who can Prescribe Sleeping Pills?

Sleeping pills are medications used to treat insomnia and other sleep disorders. In many cases, sleeping pills can effectively help people who have difficulty sleeping. But before taking any sleeping pill, it is important to know who can prescribe them and whether they are safe for you to take.

Sleeping pills are classified as a controlled substance, which means that a doctor must prescribe them. In most cases, this means that a primary care physician (PCP) will be the one to prescribe the medication. PCPs may be internal medicine or family practice doctors, as well as nurse practitioners and physician assistants. Generally, PCPs are the first point of contact when considering sleeping pills.

Additionally, psychiatrists, neurologists, and sleep specialists may also prescribe sleeping pills. Psychiatrists are mental health professionals who are licensed to diagnose and treat mental health disorders, including sleep disorders. Neurologists are medical doctors who specialize in the nervous system, including disorders related to sleeping. Sleep specialists are medical doctors who specialize in treating sleep disorders, such as insomnia.

Types of Sleeping Pills

There are two main types of sleeping pills: sedative-hypnotics and non-sedative hypnotics. Sedative-hypnotic sleeping pills are used to treat insomnia and other sleep disorders, including sleepwalking, snoring, and restless legs syndrome. These types of sleeping pills are more commonly prescribed than non-sedative hypnotic sleeping pills.

Non-sedative hypnotic sleeping pills are used to help people fall asleep and stay asleep. These types of medications are generally considered to be safer than sedative-hypnotic sleeping pills. Non-sedative hypnotic sleeping pills are usually used in people who have difficulty sleeping due to anxiety or stress.

Side Effects of Sleeping Pills

Sleeping pills can have side effects, including nausea, dizziness, and headaches. Additionally, taking sleeping pills can cause dependence or addiction. It is important to talk to your doctor about any potential side effects before taking sleeping pills.

Sleeping pills can also cause drowsiness and impair cognitive functioning. As a result, it is important to talk to your doctor about when to take sleeping pills, as taking them too late in the day can cause drowsiness the next day.

When to See a Doctor for Sleeping Pills

If you are having difficulty sleeping, it is important to talk to your doctor before taking any kind of medication. Your doctor will be able to assess your sleep patterns and determine whether sleeping pills are right for you.

In some cases, your doctor may suggest making lifestyle changes, such as exercising regularly and avoiding caffeine before bedtime. If lifestyle changes are not enough to help you sleep, your doctor may then suggest sleeping pills.

Alternatives to Sleeping Pills

In some cases, your doctor may suggest alternatives to sleeping pills, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). CBT is a type of psychotherapy that can help people manage their sleep patterns. Additionally, your doctor may suggest natural remedies, such as melatonin and valerian root, as an alternative to sleeping pills.

Risks of Taking Sleeping Pills

It is important to be aware of the risks of taking sleeping pills. As mentioned, sleeping pills can cause dependence or addiction. Additionally, taking sleeping pills can impair cognitive functioning and lead to drowsiness the next day.

Taking sleeping pills can also interact with other medications, such as antidepressants and blood pressure medications. It is important to talk to your doctor about any potential drug interactions before taking sleeping pills.

Few Frequently Asked Questions

Who Prescribes Sleeping Pills?

Answer: Generally, sleeping pills are prescribed by a physician or a psychiatrist. Depending on the type of sleeping pill prescribed and the severity of the patient’s condition, a person may get a prescription from their primary care physician, a specialist, or a psychiatrist.

What Are the Different Types of Sleeping Pills?

Answer: There are many different types of sleeping pills that can be prescribed, depending on the patient’s needs and condition. The most common types are non-benzodiazepine hypnotics, such as Ambien, Lunesta, and Sonata; benzodiazepines, such as Halcion, Restoril, and Valium; and sedating antihistamines, such as Benadryl and Unisom. Each type of sleeping pill works differently, so it is important to talk to a doctor to determine which type is best for you.

How Long Do Sleeping Pills Last?

Answer: The length of time sleeping pills last depends on the type of sleeping pill taken. Non-benzodiazepine hypnotics generally last up to 8 hours, while benzodiazepines can last up to 10 hours. Sedating antihistamines usually last 4-6 hours. It’s important to talk to a doctor to determine the right type of sleeping pill for your needs.

What Are the Side Effects of Taking Sleeping Pills?

Answer: Common side effects of taking sleeping pills include dizziness, drowsiness, headache, stomach upset, dry mouth, and difficulty concentrating. Other less common, but more serious side effects may also occur, such as confusion, memory problems, difficulty breathing, and chest pain. It is important to talk to a doctor if any serious side effects occur.

Are There Any Risks Associated with Taking Sleeping Pills?

Answer: Yes, there are risks associated with taking sleeping pills. Long-term use can lead to dependency and rebound insomnia, where the patient experiences a worsening of their insomnia after the medication wears off. Taking sleeping pills can also interact with other medications, so it is important to talk to a doctor about any other medications or supplements being taken.

What Can I Do If Sleeping Pills Don’t Work?

Answer: If sleeping pills don’t work, there are other things that can be done to help improve sleep. It is important to create healthy sleep habits, such as going to bed and waking up at the same time every day and avoiding caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine close to bedtime. Other lifestyle modifications, such as exercising regularly and avoiding stressful activities close to bedtime, can also help improve sleep. If these lifestyle modifications don’t help, it is important to talk to a doctor to discuss other options.

Medications That Are Prescribed For Insomnia

Sleeping pills can be a useful tool to help individuals get the restful sleep they need, but it’s important to remember that they should always be prescribed and monitored by a qualified healthcare professional. With their guidance, individuals can find the right sleeping pill for their needs and get the restful sleep their body needs.

Mark Halsey is a licensed therapist, founder, and chief editor of Clean Break Recovery. With over a decade of addiction treatment experience, Mark deeply understands the complex needs of those struggling with addiction and utilizes a comprehensive and holistic approach to address them. He is well-versed in traditional and innovative therapies, including cognitive-behavioral therapy, motivational interviewing, and mindfulness-based interventions.

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