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How do I Choose the Best Prescription Sleeping Pills?

Lainie Petersen
Updated May 17, 2024
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Prescription sleeping pills can only be accessed via a prescription from a licensed health care provider, usually a physician, nurse practitioner, or physician assistant. Ideally, you will work with your health care provider to select prescription sleeping pills that address your insomnia while not causing troubling side effects. During the process of deciding on which sleeping pill is right for you, it is important that you communicate with your doctor about the circumstances that may be causing your sleeplessness, your lifestyle habits, as well as any medicines or supplements that you take on a regular basis.

If you are having difficulty sleeping and other attempts at addressing your insomnia have not worked, you may want to speak to your primary health care provider about the possibility of using prescription sleeping pills as a tool in helping to get you back onto a regular sleep schedule. A responsible clinician will want to give you a thorough medical exam to ensure that your sleeplessness is not a symptom of another physical condition. He will also want to know a little bit about your life circumstances, including whether you've been suffering from depression, grief, or anxiety. In addition, he may recommend that you try a course of over-the-counter sleep aids, dietary changes, or even that you undergo a sleep study before prescribing sleeping pills.

It's a good idea to read up on various prescription sleeping pills before making a decision along with your doctor as to what might be most appropriate for you. While your health care provider has the training and expertise to appropriately recommended and prescribe prescription sleeping pills, you should also know something about the drugs that you are going to be taking. If you have specific concerns about drugs, you should bring them up with your health care provider so that she can address these concerns and possibly modify her recommendations. It is extremely important that you be completely honest with your doctor about any other drugs that you use on a regular basis, including alcohol or street drugs. If you regularly use herbal or nutritional supplements, you should also disclose this to your doctor, as they can sometimes interfere with prescription drugs.

Your doctor should inform you about any potential side effects that you may experience while taking prescription sleeping pills. You should also discuss with him whether it is worth it for you to risk the side effects as well as ways that you can mitigate them. For example, if you have to drive or care for small children, you should discuss this with your doctor so that she can decide whether a drug is appropriate for you. You may also want to figure out a plan of action in which other family members can take on these responsibilities while you get used to the drug. In either case, your doctor should be made aware of your situation so that he can use his professional judgment when deciding on whether to prescribe a specific drug.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Lainie Petersen
By Lainie Petersen , Former Writer
Lainie Petersen, a talented writer, copywriter, and content creator, brings her diverse skill set to her role as an editor. With a unique educational background, she crafts engaging content and hosts podcasts and radio shows, showcasing her versatility as a media and communication professional. Her ability to understand and connect with audiences makes her a valuable asset to any media organization.

Discussion Comments

By Talentryto — On May 23, 2014

@ocelot60- I think that you will find that you do have some degree of grogginess and sleepiness the morning after taking a prescription sleeping pill, at least until your body adjusts to this medication. You may also feel as if you didn't get enough sleep during the night. These effects will likely decrease over time, provided you take the dosage that is prescribed by your doctor.

I think that your best bet, however, is to try all other natural sleep remedies before resorting to taking prescription sleeping pills. These drugs are potent, and we still do not know the long-term side effects of taking them.

To be on the safe side, talk to your doctor about natural and over-the-counter sleep aids. You should also try adjusting your diet and controlling stress with relaxation techniques and exercise for a better nights sleep before taking strong prescription drugs.

By Ocelot60 — On May 22, 2014

I am looking for information about the after effects of taking prescription sleeping pills. I have heard that you often wake up feeling groggy and sleepy. Does anyone know if these side effects are common?

Lainie Petersen

Lainie Petersen

Former Writer

Lainie Petersen, a talented writer, copywriter, and content creator, brings her diverse skill set to her role as an...
Learn more
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