13 Sep 2023
Sleep is crucial to our overall health and well-being, but for some individuals, falling asleep and staying asleep can be a significant challenge. In recent years, sleeping pills have become a standard solution for people with sleep disorders or those needing assistance getting a good night's rest. However, the question often arises: how many mg of sleeping pills are safe? This blog post provides comprehensive information on using sleeping pills appropriately to ensure your safety and achieve a quality sleep experience.
Several types of sleeping pills are available in the market today, and each has its inherent potential dosage range. These medications fall under two major categories: prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) sleep aids.
1. Prescription sleep medications - These medications are usually reserved for severe sleep disorders and require a prescription from a medical professional. The popular types include:
● Benzodiazepines (e.g., Valium and Ativan)
● Non-benzodiazepines (e.g., Ambien and Zopiclone)
● Orexin receptor antagonists (e.g., Belsomra)
● Melatonin receptor agonists (e.g., Rozerem)
2. Over-the-counter (OTC) sleep aids - These medications can be easily found in drug stores and supermarkets without a prescription. They are typically milder than prescription sleep aids and are recommended for short-term use only. The most common types include:
3. Antihistamines (e.g., Benadryl and Unisom)
4. Melatonin supplements
The ideal sleeping pill dosage varies based on the specific medication you are using, the individual's medical history, and the severity of their sleep disorder. It is vital to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any sleep medication. They can accurately assess your needs and recommend the appropriate dosage. Additionally, always follow the instructions provided by your doctor or included in the medication package.
Here are some general guidelines for safe doses of popular sleeping pills:
● Benzodiazepines: 2-10 mg (depending on the specific drug)
● Non-benzodiazepines: 5-10 mg (Ambien), 1-3 mg (Lunesta)
● Orexin receptor antagonists: 5-20 mg (Belsomra)
● Melatonin receptor agonists: 4-8 mg (Rozerem)
● Antihistamines: 25-50 mg (Benadryl), 12.5-50 mg (Unisom)
● Melatonin supplements: 0.5-5 mg
While sleeping pills can significantly benefit individuals who genuinely need them, it is essential to recognize the risks associated with these medications. Some potential complications and side effects include:
● Dependency: Long-term use of sleep aids can result in dependence, making sleeping difficult without the medication.
● Tolerance: Over time, your body may become tolerant to the effects of a sleeping pill, requiring higher doses to achieve the same impact.
● Drowsiness and dizziness: These side effects can impact your ability to perform daily tasks and may increase the risk of falls or accidents. Avoid driving or operating heavy machinery until you know how the medication will affect you.
● Interaction with other medications: Sleeping pills may interact with other medicines you may be taking.
● Addiction: Sleeping pills can be habit-forming and lead to addiction, particularly if someone increases their dose or takes the drugs longer than prescribed.
● Other health conditions: Speak to your doctor about other health conditions, particularly if you have sleep apnea, depression, or a history of drug or alcohol abuse.
● Agitation and rebound insomnia: Don't stop taking the medication suddenly without speaking to your doctor first. Sudden withdrawal can cause agitation and rebound insomnia.