If you have trouble sleeping, such as if you have insomnia or if you work the night shift and have trouble sleeping during the daytime, then you could be thinking about taking a sleeping pill. Sleep medicine can be very helpful for those who have trouble sleeping, but it's important to be careful about how you take it. Luckily, following these tips can help you ensure that you are taking your sleep medication in a safe manner.
1. Meet With Your Doctor
As you might already know, there are a lot of over-the-counter medications out there that are designed to help you go to sleep. Before you reach for one of these, however, you should schedule an appointment with your doctor. First of all, your doctor can check you over to help ensure that there are no medical concerns that you should know about. Then, he or she can help you choose the sleep medicine that will be right for you. Your doctor might recommend that you take an over-the-counter sleeping pill, or he or she might prescribe you something that might work a little better. When taking your sleep medicine, make sure that you tell your doctor if you notice any bad side effects or if it otherwise seems as if something might be wrong.
2. Be Careful About Mixing
It is very important to be careful about mixing other medications or alcohol with sleeping pills. Unless you have been cleared to do so by your doctor, it's probably best to avoid drinking alcohol when taking sleeping pills. It is also important to make sure that your doctor is aware of all of the medication that you are taking—both over-the-counter and prescription—so that he or she can make sure that there will not be any bad interactions with your sleeping pill.
3. Only Take It When You Can Get Plenty of Sleep
If you only have a few hours to sleep, you may want to refrain from taking your sleeping pill. For one thing, your sleeping pill could cause you to oversleep, which can obviously cause problems if you need to get up for work or to take care of other responsibilities. Additionally, when you wake up, you may still be under the influence of the sleeping pill, which could affect your safety, such as if you have to drive to work. Therefore, it is generally best to only take a sleeping pill if you are going to be able to get a full night's sleep.