How do I get off sleeping pills?

Q:  I have been taking prescription sleeping pills for several years now, and would like to finally stop and learn to sleep again on my own.  Any advice?

A:  Great question, and you are hardly alone in wanting to do this.  In 2010, some 60 million prescriptions were written for sleep aids.  These medications, while potentially useful for some, are also potentially addictiveBut rest assured there are answers.

First, you would be wise to consult with the doctor who prescribed the sleeping pills in the first place.  There are tapering strategies you can use, but this depends on your situation.  Your doctor has assessed you and knows your unique medical history, so he or she is usually the best person to consult.

Beyond that, it’s important to understand that insomnia is only a symptom.  Your inability to sleep is a symptom of something else going on deeper that is causing the insomnia.  To effectively treat this, you’ve got to get to the true underlying causes.

Unless you have a medical condition causing your insomnia, generally these underlying root causes are some combination of excessive worry about the idea of sleep and bad sleep habits.

It’s surprisingly easy to fall victim to bad sleep habits and excessive worry about sleep.  Many of us unwittingly become entrapped in a negative and self-imposed cycle of insomnia from which it can be difficult to escape.  This happens to literally millions of us.

Nonmedical issues such as bad sleep habits and excessive worry about sleep are not directly addressed by sleeping pills.  If you are only taking a drug to unnaturally force sleep, these true underlying issues may still be there causing ongoing problems.

So it’s important to understand the permanent way out is to effectively identify and treat these nonmedical root causes for sleeplessness.

Fortunately, this is exactly what CBT for sleep is specifically designed to do.

CBT is cognitive behavioral therapy.  CBT is a safe, completely drug-free method designed to address these nonmedical root causes for insomnia.  It is very effective and helps most people who try it.  CBT is the standard of care recommended by the American Academy of  Sleep Medicine, so we suggest you discuss this with your doctor.

By using CBT sleep training methods, there is every reason to believe you will be helped too.

Explore posts in the same categories: Health, Insomnia, sleep

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One Comment on “How do I get off sleeping pills?”

  1. healthiestbeauty Says:

    Reblogged this on The healthiest beauty.

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