Not being able to get to sleep and dealing with the symptoms and health issues which a lack of sleep can cause, can feel overwhelming. Fatigue, inability to concentrate and the sheer frustration of not being able to sleep can all have a serious impact on your everyday life, so turning to sleeping pills, just to get some rest, can seem like an easy option.


There are many medications available to help you get to sleep, such as zopiclone, but it’s always worth trying natural remedies before you go down the road of taking prescription medicines, as they come with many potential risks.


Zopiclone, like many other sleeping pills, is designed to help you get to sleep and to stop you waking up through the night, so it must never be used with alcohol as that could potentially prevent you waking up at all.


Generally speaking, most sleeping pills are safe as long as they are used properly, which is why it is vital to follow instructions from your doctor and make sure you read the patient information leaflet thoroughly before you take them. It’s important to be careful when taking sleeping pills.


Sleeping pills should only be used as a short-term solution for sleeping problems and shouldn’t be taken for more than a week. The problem is your body can become tolerant to them, meaning that you will need a higher dose to get the same effect as before. But if you take too high a dose there is a real risk of death because sleeping pills can impact on your breathing.


Other problems with taking sleeping pills is that sometimes the impact can carry over into the next day, leaving you still feeling sleepy and drowsy. If you are planning to drive to work, or you operate machinery, this can be incredibly dangerous. Make sure you always follow the guidelines and if it says not to drive or operate machinery while taking the tablets, then don’t do it.


Some sleeping pills have been known to cause side effects such as sleepwalking, or waking up with amnesia so you don’t know where you are. If you experience anything like this you need to inform your GP straight away.


Taking sleeping pills can mean your senses are a bit less keen than normal so with older people, there has been seen an increase in the risk of falling when they are using prescription sleeping tablets. It’s something to be aware of to try to reduce the risk of accidents and injury.


Sleeping pills can be addictive and it is best to manage a gradual reduction of the dosage rather than just suddenly stopping taking them. Talk to your doctor about the best way to manage this process so that you are able to cope with any side effects.


Some evidence has shown that once you stop taking sleeping pills, your original sleep problems can come back even worse, so it is really important to discuss phasing out the pills gradually with medical advice.


One of the key areas to be careful of with sleeping pills is not mixing them with other drugs or alcohol. Drinking alcohol while taking sleeping pills can have serious consequences, putting you into a deeper sleep than normal, and potentially preventing you from breathing, causing you to die in your sleep.


You also need to be careful when you take sleeping pills as they can act very quickly and some people have been known to take one and then carry on doing regular tasks or making decisions about their life, which will then be impaired by the drug. They should be taken at night, just before you are ready to go to bed.


As you can see, taking sleeping pills is not a decision which you should enter into lightly. With risk of drowsiness which could lead to accident or injury, and also the risk of too high a dose leading potentially to death, sleeping pills really need to be dealt with carefully.


If you have problems sleeping then look at other elements first, before opting for prescription pills, such as reducing your stress levels with things like meditation, changing your sleep environment to make sure it is dark and calm, not using electronic devices just before bed, and avoiding alcohol. All of these elements can have a big impact on your sleep and changes in them might just solve the problem without the need for a prescription.