Best Mattress Reviews Sleep Education And Product Reviews Fri, 03 Jan 2020 14:01:51 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Best Mattress Reviews 32 32 127763152 Trazodone vs Ambien vs Xanax vs Seroquel vs Zoloft Mon, 02 Dec 2019 09:21:03 +0000 During the past year, 117,291,026 prescriptions for these five sleeping pills, antidepressants, and antipsychotic drugs were written. Researchers estimate that almost 17% of Americans take at least one psychiatric drug at some time during the year. When a drug is used off label, it means that clinical research demonstrating that its risks outweigh its benefits …

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During the past year, 117,291,026 prescriptions for these five sleeping pills, antidepressants, and antipsychotic drugs were written. Researchers estimate that almost 17% of Americans take at least one psychiatric drug at some time during the year.

When a drug is used off label, it means that clinical research demonstrating that its risks outweigh its benefits for that purpose doesn’t exist or hasn’t been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Off label use of dangerous drugs is common for the treatment of insomnia even though these drugs come with the potential for serious adverse consequences.

Off label drugs are frequently prescribed to treat insomnia with little to no clinical evidence that they are effective or that their benefits outweigh the risks. In addition, these drugs are taken long-term by 80% of the patients despite expert recommendations that they should only be used on a short-term basis.

When it comes to insomnia treatments, the recommendation is to use these types of drugs about 7 – 10 days and seek other treatments to improve insomnia that persists. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is highly effective for insomnia and improvements in sleep hygiene can make a significant difference in the ability to sleep.

Long-term use raises concerns about dependency and increases the risk of dangerous and fatal side effects. Here’s what the experts are saying:

“It would be hard to identify another class of drugs that, despite decades of use, has more questions about the patient groups for which its benefits outweigh its risks, and the incidence of severe adverse effects.”

“Antipsychotic drugs often do not provide enough benefit to justify their toxic side effects, according to a new analysis of key scientific studies published in the medical journal Drug Safety.”

Let’s look at the risks and uses of Trazodone, Ambien, Xanax, Seroquel, and Zoloft.

Trazodone vs Ambien vs Xanax vs Seroquel vs Zoloft

All of these drugs have dangerous side effects and in clinical trials, the improvements in sleep quality provided may not be worth those risks.

The common side effects of Trazodone are as bad and maybe worse than the effects of sleeping poorly. They include drowsiness, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, and blurred vision. Up to 10% of patients experience more serious side effects including blood pressure issues, confusion, and sexual problems.

The risks associated with taking Ambien are even worse and include developing dependence, loss of control of behavior, suicidal thoughts, and sleep behaviors that can lead to serious injury or death. The common side effects leave you in about the same situation you’d be in with inadequate sleep. The high prevalence of emergency department visits associated with Ambien are enough to make you pause before popping an Ambien.

Xanax comes with the risk of a higher number of serious adverse side effects including respiratory depression, coma, and death. When used to treat insomnia, it is not recommended for use beyond 7 – 10 days yet many patients are prescribed Xanax for longer term use. Over 20% of patients experience side effects that adversely affect the quality of life far more than being sleep deprived including cognitive disorders, memory impairments, and muscle weakness that causes slurred speech.

There’s no evidence Seroquel provides benefits that are worth the risks involved to treat insomnia. Increased risk of heart problems, including heart failure, and pneumonia that led to death increased blood pressure are high prices to pay for an insomnia treatment.

Zoloft is prescribed more than any other psychiatric drug despite being associated with an increased risk of suicide and common side effects that include diarrhea, dizziness, drowsiness, sexual problems, fatigue, and headache. Plus, some patients experience more serious side effects. Given the prevalence of prescriptions, almost 40,000 patients would experience the more serious side effects.

The side effects are enough to make you consider alternatives like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy that are effective without adverse side effects.


Depressed woman awake in the night, she is exhausted and suffering from insomnia

Drug Category:

SSRI – Serotonin Antagonist and Reuptake Inhibitor

Drug name:

Trazodone (Sold under brand name Desyrel)

Prevalence of Trazodone Use:

In 2013, a study of over 40 million people indicated that 4.16 million people in the United States took this drug and an average of 5.6 prescriptions were written per person in one year. In 2016, it was the 24th most prescribed medication in the United States; 25,300,258 prescriptions for Trazodone were written over the past year.

Purpose of Trazodone:

Trazodone is primarily an anti-depressant that is used off label for a variety of purposes including:

  • Insomnia
  • Aggressive Behavior
  • Cocaine Withdrawal
  • Alcohol Withdrawal
  • Prevention of Migraine

Trazodone works by changing chemicals in the brain.

Trazodone Half-life:

Between 10 – 12 hours.

Adverse side effects from Trazodone use:

Serious and life-threatening side effects have been reported by patients and their physicians related to Trazodone use. A Black Box Warning was mandated by the FDA after patients reported life-threatening side effects. Trazodone’s mandated Black Box Warning relates to an increased risk of suicidal thinking and behavior in children, adolescents, and young adults and warns that patients should be monitored closely for changes in behavior. In addition, there are numerous common side effects that decrease the quality of life.

Common side effects from Trazodone use include:

  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Dry mouth
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Blurred vision
  • Fatigue

Side effects that occur in 1 – 10% of patients:

  • Constipation
  • Edema (swelling)
  • Orthostatic hypotension (blood pressure that drops upon standing up)
  • Syncope (fainting related to low blood pressure)
  • Tremors (shaking)
  • Nasal congestion
  • Weight change
  • Confusion
  • Disorientation
  • Lack of coordination
  • Ejaculation disorder
  • Decreased libido

Less than 1% of patients experience these side effects:

  • Acne
  • Alopecia (sudden hair loss)
  • Anemia (inadequate red blood cells in blood)
  • Anxiety
  • Diplopia (double vision)
  • Increased appetite
  • Insomnia
  • Priapism (pathologically prolonged erection)
  • Sedation (reduced state of consciousness)
  • Urinary retention
  • Vertigo (room spinning sensation)


A man unable to fall asleep in bed

Ambien is a Nonbenzodiazepine hypnotic that works as a sedative to cause sleepiness.

Drug Category:


Drug name:

Zolpidem tartrate

Sold under brand names that include:

  • Ambien
  • Edluar
  • Zolpimist
  • Intermezzo

Prevalence of Ambien Use:

19,102,809 prescriptions were written over the past year. A study conducted in 2013 reported that 4.86 million people took Ambien with the average patient being prescribed 5 prescriptions per year.

Purpose(s) of Ambien:

Ambien is used as a short-term solution for sleep onset and maintenance of sleep. It is also prescribed for Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS).

Use beyond 7 – 10 days for insomnia is not recommended. Address underlying causes of insomnia with sleep hygiene improvements and/or Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for insomnia which has a good record of improving sleep quality.

Zolpidem (Ambien) Half-life:

The half-life of Zolpidem is two hours.

Adverse side effects from Zolpidem (Ambien) use:

Ambien use is associated with more emergency department visits for adverse effects than any other psychoactive drug, with 25% of the visits requiring admission to the hospital. The majority of problems were associated with being prescribed and used in ways not recommended by the FDA and manufacturer.

Ambien is required to have a Black Box Warning relating to complex sleep behaviors that can be life-threatening. Patients taking Ambien have reported episodes of sleep-driving, sleep-walking, sleep-cooking, and sleep-sex that may be accompanied by amnesia. In some cases, these activities resulted in serious injuries or death. Unfortunately, the Black Box Warning doesn’t cover all the serious side effects Ambien can cause including:

  • A decreased level of consciousness
  • Dependence on the drug; this risk is higher for those with histories of drug or alcohol abuse
  • Severe reactions to the drug including allergic anaphylactic and anaphylaxis
  • Changes in behavior that can cause relationship or legal problems that may also be dangerous including decreased inhibition (much like the effect of drinking too much tequila), aggressive behavior, bizarre behavior, agitation, and depersonalization.
  • Respiratory depression and worsening respiratory disease
  • Worsening depression including suicidal thoughts and completed suicides
  • Impaired psychomotor function that interferes with driving the next day and increases the risk of falls

Common side effects include:

  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Drowsiness

Side effects experienced by 2% – 4% of patients:

  • Allergic reaction to the medicine
  • Constipation
  • Depression
  • Drowsiness
  • Hallucinations
  • Lightheadedness
  • Memory disorders
  • Myalgia (muscle aches and pains – can be severe)
  • Pharyngitis (irritation or pain in the throat)
  • Palpitation (heart palpitations – feeling that the heart is pounding, racing, or skipping a beat)
  • Rash (irritated or swollen skin)
  • Sinusitis (sinus irritation)
  • Visual disturbance (vision changes such as blurred vision, dry eyes, etc.)

1% or fewer of the patients reported:

  • Asthenia (muscle weakness)
  • Diarrhea
  • Dry mouth
  • Flu-like symptoms

Warnings related to Zolpidem (Ambien) use:

Do not mix with alcohol

Do not mix with other drugs, including over-the-counter and herbal insomnia treatments

Check for drug interactions with any other medications you consume

Do not take more than the prescribed dosage

Report any side effects to your physician

Do not operate machinery, including cars, as your reaction times may be slower the next day

Do not rely upon your prescribing physician to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations that are designed to keep you healthy. 68% of patients were sustained users with 229 days of prescribed drugs despite the drug being recommended for 7 – 10 days’ use. Additionally, 23% of the patients who were prescribed Zolpidem (Ambien, etc.) were also taking a drug that should not be combined with Zolpidem.


Melancholy reflection of the girl in the window

Drug Category:


Drug name:

Alprazolam, sold under the brand name Xanax.

Prevalence of Xanax Use:

27,030,725 prescriptions for Xanax were written for 5.6 million people a year, with an average of 4.9 prescriptions prescribed per person. Note that Xanax is recommended to be used for only 7 – 10 days to treat insomnia.

Wholesale cost per dose:


Purpose(s) of Xanax:

Xanax is a short-acting benzodiazepine that was developed to treat anxiety disorders, panic disorders, and is used off label to treat insomnia. Anti-anxiety drugs with a side effect of drowsiness are often used to treat insomnia because anxiety is often the cause of insomnia. In clinical studies, up to 77% of patients experience drowsiness as a side effect of taking Xanax.

Xanax Half-life:

Alprazolam has a half-life of 11.2 hours.

Adverse side effects of Xanax use:

Xanax is a benzodiazepine with a serious Black Box Warning: Use of benzodiazepines and opioids may result in profound respiratory depression, coma, and death; administer concomitantly when there are no alternative options; limit dosages and durations to minimum required; monitor for signs and symptoms of respiratory depression and sedation.

Side effects may be worse for senior citizens, women, and individuals with impaired liver function.

Even healthy individuals sometimes experience serious side effects when they take benzodiazepines. Patients with the following histories should not take Xanax:

  • Drug or alcohol addiction
  • Respiratory illnesses including COPD, sleep apnea, lung diseases, and other diseases that interfere with lung function
  • Decreased liver function
  • History of psychotic illness or depression

Side effects experienced by 15% of patients taking Xanax include:

  • Depression
  • Headache
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Dry mouth

Over 20% and up to 50% of patients experience (in order of greatest prevalence):

  • Impaired coordination
  • Increased appetite
  • Fatigue
  • Memory impairment
  • Irritability
  • Decreased salivation
  • Cognitive disorders
  • Insomnia
  • Decreased appetite
  • Headache
  • Lightheadedness
  • Dysarthria (muscle weakness that causes slurred speech)
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Weight change

Side effects experienced by 10% – 20% of patients taking Xanax:

  • Nasal congestion
  • Decreased or increased libido
  • Menstrual disorder
  • Difficulty with urination

Side effects that between 5% – 10% of patients experience:

  • Tachycardia (fast heart beat)
  • Confusion
  • Insomnia
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Blurred vision
  • Nasal congestion

Between 1% – 5% of patients experience:

  • Hypotension (low blood pressure)
  • Syncope (fainting)
  • Akathisia (uncontrolled fidgeting)
  • Dizziness
  • Increased salivation
  • Nervousness
  • Tremors
  • Weight changes
  • Talkativeness
  • Incontinence

Other reported side effects include Stevens-Johnson syndrome, angioedema, peripheral edema, Hyperprolactinemia, gynecomastia, galactorrhea, Hypomania, mania, and liver enzyme elevations.

Warnings related to Xanax use:

Do not mix with alcohol or other drugs that depress CNS

Read the package insert and ask questions

Report side affects you experience to your doctor

Do not stop use without the supervision of your physician

May cause dependence

Alprazolam is a controlled substance (Schedule IV drug)

May cause Central Nervous System (CNS) depression and reduce mental and physical abilities

Operating machinery or automobiles may result in an accident due to decreased reaction times

Seroquel (Quetiapine)

Depression Concept with Heavy Rain directly aimed at depressive Human Profile with a broken Brain

Drug name:

Quetiapine is sold under the brand name Seroquel.

Drug Category:

Atypical antipsychotics

Prevalence of Seroquel (Quetiapine) use:

8,751,996 prescriptions were written for Seroquel over the past year, many of them for insomnia despite a lack of evidence to support the use of Seroquel for insomnia.

Purpose(s) of Seroquel (Quetiapine):

Seroquel was developed for use as a short-acting antipsychotic drug used to treat schizophrenia, bipolar I disorder, major depression, and generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). Seroquel is widely used off label as a sleep aid, but research shows that the benefits do not usually outweigh the side effects.

Seroquel (Quetiapine) Half-life:

The liver metabolizes quetiapine which has a half-life of six hours.

Adverse side effects associated to Seroquel (Quetiapine) use:

Experts are questioning the use of Seroquel for insomnia. The risk of serious side effects appears to outweigh the benefits of using Seroquel for the treatment of insomnia – an off label use that isn’t supported by clinical research. The evidence suggests that Seroquel is being prescribed to patients with a higher risk of metabolic cardiovascular complications and to individuals who suffer from personality or social vulnerabilities that make the use of Seroquel ill-advised.

In Australia, 20% of the deaths associated with quetiapine (Seroquel) were not prescribed to treat a diagnosed psychiatric illness. Among the elderly, antipsychotics are associated with an increased risk of falls, cognitive deterioration, and fatalities from pneumonia, hip fractures, and strokes.

Seroquel has the following Black Box Label: Not approved for dementia-related psychosis; elderly patients with dementia-related psychosis who are treated with antipsychotic drugs are at increased risk of death, as shown in short-term controlled trials; deaths in these trials appeared to be either cardiovascular (e.g., heart failure, sudden death) or infectious (e.g., pneumonia) in nature.

Increased risk of suicidal thinking and behavior in children, adolescents, and young adults taking antidepressants for major depressive disorder and other psychiatric disorders; prescriptions should be written for smallest therapeutically effective quantity, and caregivers should monitor and report any incidence of suicidality and associated behaviors to their healthcare professionals.

Not approved for children <10 years

There are other serious side effects from Seroquel use including:

Caution should be used with patients who have cardiovascular and cerebrovascular disease. Note that 1/3 of all deaths are attributed to cardiac disease and undiagnosed cardiac problems can significantly increase the risk.

Hyperglycemia and diabetes have been associated with serious side effects including coma and death.

Seroquel increases the risk of stroke.

Clinically significant worsening of depression and suicidal thoughts can occur.

41% of patients experienced increased blood pressure.

Up to 22% of patients experienced increased triglycerides.

Up to 13% of patients experience extrapyramidal symptoms including acute dyskinesias and dystonic reactions in the muscles, parkinsonism, akinesia (voluntary movement impairments), dyskinesia (movement disorders), neuroleptic malignant syndrome (confusion, rigid muscles, variable blood pressure, fast heart rate, high fever, and sweating), and akathisia (inability to sit still). These serious side-effects of this anti-psychotic drug seriously reduce the patient’s quality of life.

Common side effects also include:

  • Constipation
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Dry mouth
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Increased total cholesterol
  • Increased appetite

Other side effects include:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Arthralgia (joint pain)
  • Back pain
  • Blurred vision
  • Dyspepsia (indigestion)
  • Hemorrhage
  • Myalgia (muscle pain)
  • Neck pain
  • Neutropenia (low white blood count)
  • Tremors
  • Postural hypotension (low blood pressure)
  • Tachycardia (rapid heartbeat)
  • Pharyngitis (sore throat)
  • Rhinitis (ringing in the ears)
  • Rashes

Uncommon side effects include:

  • Cardiomyopathy (reduced heart function)
  • Epistaxis (bleeding from the nasal cavity)
  • Exfoliative dermatitis
  • Leukocytosis (increased white cell count)
  • Myocarditis (inflammation of the heart muscle)
  • Nightmares
  • Palpitation (racing heart)
  • Pancreatitis (inflamed pancreas)
  • Priapism (prolonged erection)
  • QTc prolongation (heart rhythm problem)
  • Rhabdomyolysis (results from muscle death and can cause kidney failure)

Warnings related to Seroquel (Quetiapine) use:

Increased risk of falls

History of Industry Misbehavior related to Seroquel (Quetiapine):

The manufacturer paid a $520,000,000 fine to settle allegations that it promoted off label use for inappropriate reasons including insomnia, anger management, and dementia and paying doctors to allow their names to be used in conjunction with ghost written articles promoting the use of Quetiapine (Seroquel).


Side profile of a sad man losing parts of head as symbol of decreased mind function

Drug name:

Sertraline (Sold under the brand name Zoloft)

Drug Category:

SSRI antidepressant

Prevalence of Zoloft (Sertraline) use:

37,105,238 prescriptions of Zoloft were written in the past year, the most prescribed psychiatric medication in the USA, with 6.2 million people receiving an average of 5.8 prescriptions a year.

Purpose(s) of Zoloft (Sertraline):

Zoloft was developed to treat depression, OCD, panic and anxiety disorders, PTSD, and PMDD (premenstrual dysphoric disorder).

Zoloft (Sertraline) Half-life:

The half-life of Zoloft is 26 hours, which means it takes more than 5 days to metabolize out of the body.

Adverse side effects associated with Zoloft (Sertraline) use:

The FDA requires Zoloft to place a serious Black Box Warning on its label to warn patients: In short-term studies, antidepressants increased the risk of suicidal thinking and behavior in children, adolescents, and young adults (<24 years) taking antidepressants for major depressive disorders and other psychiatric illnesses.

This increase was not seen in patients over age 24 years; a slight decrease in suicidal thinking was seen in adults over age 65 years.

In children and young adults, risks must be weighed against the benefits of taking antidepressants.

Patients should be monitored closely for changes in behavior, clinical worsening, and suicidal tendencies; this should be done during the initial 1-2 months of therapy and following dosage adjustments.

The patient’s family should communicate any abrupt changes in behavior to the healthcare provider.

Worsening behavior and suicidal tendencies that are not part of the presenting symptoms may require discontinuation of therapy.

This drug is not approved for use in pediatric patients for major depressive disorder, but it is approved for obsessive compulsive disorder in children >6 years

Not approved for the treatment of bipolar depression

The following side effects occur in more than 10% of patients who take Zoloft (some of these symptoms are experienced by up to 30% of patients:

  • Diarrhea
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Dry mouth
  • Ejaculation disorder
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Insomnia
  • Nausea

Between 1% and 9% of patients experience these symptoms:

  • Agitation
  • Anorexia
  • Anxiety
  • Constipation
  • Impotence
  • Malaise (generally feeling unwell)
  • Pain
  • Paresthesia (abnormal sensations in the skin)
  • Vomiting

Uncommon symptoms include:

  • Asthenia (muscle weakness)
  • Back pain
  • Chest pain
  • Hypoesthesia (decreased sense of touch)
  • Sweating
  • Increased appetite
  • Myalgia
  • Palpitations
  • Rhinitis
  • Tinnitus
  • Weight gain
  • Yawning
  • Trismus (Lockjaw)

Warnings related to Zoloft (Sertraline) use:

Increases risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior

Abruptly stopping this drug may be dangerous – only stop with physician supervision

Read the package insert

Additional Risks of Sleeping Pills and Alternatives for Obtaining a Good Night’s Sleep

Cognitive Behavior Therapy, Stress Management skill development, and improving sleep hygiene are all more effective than sleeping pills at improving the quality of sleep.

Read more: How to Fall Asleep Faster

Additional life-threatening risks are associated with the use of prescription sleep aids, including a greater risk of death from all causes.

Read More:

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Best Over-the-Counter Sleep Aid Mon, 02 Dec 2019 08:26:19 +0000 When you can’t sleep, should you reach for an over the counter sleep aid? Sleep deprivation occurs when someone doesn’t receive as much sleep as they need. Acute sleep deprivation occurs when the individual doesn’t get any sleep. Chronic sleep deprivation occurs when someone receives insufficient across sleep multiple nights. Losing out on just one …

The post Best Over-the-Counter Sleep Aid appeared first on Best Mattress Reviews.

When you can’t sleep, should you reach for an over the counter sleep aid? Sleep deprivation occurs when someone doesn’t receive as much sleep as they need. Acute sleep deprivation occurs when the individual doesn’t get any sleep. Chronic sleep deprivation occurs when someone receives insufficient across sleep multiple nights. Losing out on just one hour of sleep for a few nights can lead to serious consequences, including a higher risk of accidents, illnesses, relationship difficulties, and decreases in self-control.

Insufficient sleep is a widespread problem in the United States with over 30% of Americans frequently getting less sleep than they need. Numerous causes for poor sleep quality exist including:

  • Anxiety (including a racing mind)
  • Stress
  • Depression
  • Pain (Fibromyalgia, joint pain, Gulf War Illness, arthritis, gastro related pain, and other types of pain)
  • Insufficient time to get adequate sleep
  • Binge-watching shows or video games
  • Poor sleep hygiene
  • Side effects of drugs (caffeine, prescription drugs, etc.)
  • Illnesses
  • Frequent bathroom trips
  • Uncomfortable bed
  • Dense, urban environments with noise and light pollution

Insomniacs reach for prescription and over the counter (OTC) drugs, supplements, and herbs to improve their ability to go to sleep or stay asleep.

Going to sleep is a complex process involving biology and psychology. The body’s biochemistry plays important roles in the ability to sleep. Hormones and chemicals that naturally occur in the body including acetylcholine, dopamine, epinephrine, glutamate, histamine, melatonin, and norepinephrine all play a role in the ability to go to sleep and stay asleep.

Sleep medicines hope to reduce the amount of time it takes to go to sleep, make it easier to stay asleep, and increase the total time slept.

Because anxiety and pain are often responsible for sleep problems, medications that address anxiety or pain and make you drowsy are the most effective insomnia treatments.

In this article, we’ll discuss the effectiveness of over the counter sleep medications, supplements, and herbal treatments as well as their potential side effects. We review over the counter sleep aids that include diphenhydramine, doxylamine, dimenhydrinate, melatonin, valerian root, and CBD Oil.

All prescription medications include warnings about serious and even life-threatening side effects that have been experienced by some patients. Ideally, insomnia treatments will allow sleeping to come easily without risking serious adverse effects or next day drowsiness that makes it difficult to function well. None of the commonly prescribed prescription drugs meet this criterion. Let’s see if over the counter insomnia treatments offer effective relief with less risk.

Best Over-the-Counter Sleep Aid (Quick Summary)

A few common ingredients are used in many different over the counter sleep aids sold under a variety of names. In addition, some over the counter medicines combine multiple drugs, sometimes to address pain, congestion, and anxiety.

Also, the active ingredient in products with the same name may be different in different versions of the drug. For example, Unisom is a sleeping pill with the active ingredient Doxylamine. But Unisom PM Pain doesn’t contain Doxylamine. Unisom PM Pain’s active ingredients are diphenhydramine and acetaminophen while Unisom SleepGels only contain diphenhydramine.

Our review makes it clear how important it is to read and understand the label before taking sleeping pills, especially in light of the potential for serious adverse consequences. Professional tip: Take a photo of the label on drugs you use with your cell phone for easy reference and to help you purchase the same type of active ingredient if you need to buy over the counter sleep aids in the future.

We’re going to cover the side effects of the main ingredients used in over the counter sleep aids. An article that covers all the possible combinations would be too long. You can look up the ingredients in any specific drug on Medscape and view the side effects and drug interactions.

1. Diphenhydramine

Diphenhydramine is an antihistamine that causes drowsiness. Antihistamines counteract histamine (allergic reactions) in the body that cause nasal congestion, sneezing, and other allergic reactions.

Best Over the Counter Sleep Aids with Diphenhydramine

  • Alka-Seltzer Plus Allergy
  • Benadryl
  • Benadryl Allergy Dye-Free LiquiGels
  • Children’s Benadryl Allergy
  • Children’s Triaminic Thin Strips Allergy
  • Nytol
  • PediaCare Children’s Allergy
  • Simply Sleep
  • Sominex
  • QlearQuil Nighttime Allergy Relief
  • Tranquil Nighttime Sleep Aid
  • Unisom SleepGels
  • Unisom SleepMelts
  • ZZZQuil

Adverse Side Effects Associated with Diphenhydramine

Side effects are symptoms some patients experience when they take a specific drug. Whether you will experience any of the side effects is unknown.

Serious Side Effects

Serious side effects can be life threatening or cause life threatening situations. For example, while dizziness by itself isn’t a big deal when someone is sitting down, it can lead to serious injuries or death when it occurs when they’re walking downstairs or causes the person to stumble into traffic.

  • Agranulocytosis (dangerous low white blood cell count)
  • Blurred vision
  • Confusion
  • Convulsions (uncontrollable, rapid muscle contractions)
  • Dementia-like symptoms
  • May decrease cognitive function in geriatric patients
  • Hypotension (low blood pressure that can cause fainting)
  • Tachycardia (fast heart beat)
  • Thrombocytopenia (low blood platelet count – affects clotting)
  • Palpitations (fast heartbeat, fluttering, or skipping a beat)
  • Vertigo (dizziness, room spinning sensations)

Less Serious Side Effects

  • Anorexia (loss of appetite)
  • Constipation
  • Diplopia (double vision)
  • Drowsiness (can interfere with functioning the next day)
  • Dry mouth
  • Dry nasal mucosa
  • Euphoria (elevated mood)
  • Hemolytic anemia (low red blood cell count)
  • Hyperpyrexia (a tendency to overheat)
  • Menstrual irregularities
  • Nervousness
  • Neuritis (nerve inflammation that causes pain, pin & needle feelings, weakness, or numbness)
  • Pharyngeal dryness (dry, scratchy throat)
  • Thick bronchial sputum
  • Tinnitus (noise or ringing in the ears)
  • Restlessness
  • Urinary retention (difficulty eliminating liquid waste)

Photo shows a blurred vision while driving after drinking alcohol


Can depress the Central Nervous System (CNS)

May impair ability to drive or operate machinery the next day

Do not combine with alcohol

Elderly patients experience an increased risk of falls and other side effects

Do not use for insomnia in geriatric patients

Other combinations using Diphenhydramine

Products that combine acetaminophen, ​diphenhydramine, and phenylephrine:

  • Benadryl Allergy & Cold
  • Sudafed PE Severe Cold
  • Delsym Cough + Cold Night Time

Products that combine acetaminophen and ​diphenhydramine:

  • Excedrin PM
  • Tylenol PM
  • Percogesic
  • Percogesic Extra Strength
  • Goody’s PM
  • Midol PM
  • Unisom PM Pain

Products that combine aspirin and ​diphenhydramine:

Products that combine diphenhydramine and ​phenylephrine:

  • Children’s Dimetapp Nighttime Cold & Congestion

Products that combine naproxen and ​diphenhydramine:

Products that combine acetaminophen, ​aspirin, and ​diphenhydramine:

Products that combine diphenhydramine and ​ibuprofen:

Products that combine diphenhydramine and ​pseudoephedrine:

  • Benadryl Children’s Allergy and Cold Fastmelt
  • Benadryl D Allergy and Sinus Fastmelt
  • Benadryl D Children’s Allergy and Sinus

Products that combine acetaminophen, diphenhydramine, and ​dextromethorphan:

  • Diabetic Tussin Nighttime Cold & Flu

2. Doxylamine Succinate

Doxylamine succinate is also an antihistamine that causes drowsiness.

Best Over the Counter Sleep Aids with Doxylamine


Adverse Effects Associated with Doxylamine Succinate

Serious Side Effects

  • Blurred vision
  • Disorientation
  • Diplopia (double vision)
  • Dizziness
  • Palpitations (fast heartbeat, fluttering, or skipping a beat)
  • Tachycardia (fast heartbeat)
  • Vertigo (dizziness, sense the room is spinning)

Less Serious Side Effects

  • Anorexia (loss of appetite)
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Drowsiness (can interfere with functioning the next day)
  • Dry mouth
  • Dysuria (painful urination)
  • Epigastric pain (pain/discomfort localized below the ribs near the upper abdomen)
  • Paradoxical CNS stimulation
  • Urinary retention (inability to void the bladder)


Do not combine with alcohol or other CNS depressive substances (organic or medicinal)

Do not use for more than two weeks

Other combinations for Doxylamine

Products that combine doxylamine with ​dextromethorphan:

  • Vicks NyQuil Cough
  • Safetussin PM

Products that combine acetaminophen, doxylamine, and phenylephrine:

  • Alka-Seltzer Plus Severe Allergy Sinus Congestion & Headache
  • Vicks NyQuil Sinus
  • QlearQuil Nighttime Sinus & Congestion Relief

Products that combine acetaminophen, ​doxylamine, ​dextromethorphan, and ​pseudoephedrine:

  • Vicks NyQuil D
  • Vicks NyQuil

Product that combines aspirin, doxylamine, ​dextromethorphan, and ​phenylephrine:

  • Alka-Seltzer Plus Night Cold & Cough Effervescent

Products that combine doxylamine and ​pyridoxine:

  • Diclegis
  • Bonjesta

Products that combine acetaminophen, ​doxylamine, and ​dextromethorphan:

  • Coricidin HBP Nighttime Multi-Symptom Cold
  • Tylenol Cough & Sore Throat Nighttime
  • Vicks NyQuil Cold & Flu

Products that combine acetaminophen, ​doxylamine, ​dextromethorphan, and ​phenylephrine:

  • Alka-Seltzer Plus Night Cold Formula
  • Tylenol Cold Multi-Symptom Nighttime Liquid
  • Alka-Seltzer Plus Night Severe Cold

3. Dimenhydrinate

Primarily used for motion sickness. Because drowsiness is a common side effect, it may be used as an off label treatment for insomnia.

Best Over the counter sleep aid with Dimenhydrinate


Adverse Effects Associated with Dimenhydrinate

sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system 3d medical

Serious Side Effects

  • Acute labyrinthitis (inner ear inflammation)
  • Agranulocytosis (low white blood cell count)
  • Arrhythmias (e.g., extrasystole, heart block)
  • Blurred vision
  • Paradoxical CNS stimulation (children and occasionally in adults)
  • CNS depression
  • Diplopia (double vision can be very dangerous, especially if it occurs while driving)
  • Dizziness
  • Disturbed coordination
  • Faintness
  • Leukopenia (low white blood cell count – reduces ability to fight infection)
  • Pancytopenia (low red, white, and platelet counts)
  • Tachycardia, palpitation ECG changes (e.g., widened QRS)
  • Thrombocytopenia (low blood platelet count)
  • Toxic psychosis (psychosis as the result of exposure to drugs)
  • Vertigo
  • Visual disturbances

Less Serious Side Effects

  • Anorexia (loss of appetite)
  • Chills
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Drowsiness
  • Dryness of mouth, nose, and throat
  • Dysuria (painful urination)
  • Early menses
  • Epigastric distress (upper abdominal pain – heartburn, gas, bloat)
  • Facial dyskinesia (involuntary repetitive motions)
  • Headache
  • Hemolytic anemia
  • Hypertension
  • Hypotension
  • Impotence
  • Insomnia
  • Irritability
  • Lassitude (low energy)
  • Muscular weakness
  • Nausea
  • Nasal stuffiness
  • Nervousness
  • Paresthesia (abnormal sensations in the skin)
  • Sedation ranging from mild drowsiness to deep sleep (most frequent side effect)
  • Sweating
  • Thickening of bronchial secretions
  • Tightness of the chest
  • Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
  • Tremors
  • Urinary retention
  • Vomiting
  • Wheezing

Less Common Side Effects

  • Euphoria
  • Insomnia
  • Nervousness Delirium
  • Palpitation
  • Restlessness
  • Seizures
  • Tremors

Rare Side Effects

  • Cholestasis (impaired bile function involving the liver)
  • Hepatitis (inflammation of the liver)
  • Hepatic failure (liver failure)
  • Hepatic function abnormality (abnormal liver function)
  • Jaundice (yellowing of skin or eyes due to high levels of bilirubin)

Side Effects with Higher Risk for Geriatric Patients

  • Dizziness
  • Sedation
  • Hypotension


May interfere with safe driving and operation of machinery

Over the Counter Sleep Aids with Combinations of Supplements aren’t Recommended

Some of the herbal supplements are made into combination medications but combining sleeping aids, even herbal ones, is not recommended. There is not much research for the individual supplements, and even less when they are combined.

Many sleep aids work because they suppress the Central Nervous System (CNS) and having multiple drugs suppressing the CNS can cause dangerous reductions in heartbeat and breathing. Without clinical testing, using combinations is risky business.

There is evidence that using multiple sleeping herbs or sleeping supplements is ill-advised yet, because supplements are regulated like food, not drugs, companies combine multiple ingredients that aren’t tested for use in combination with one another and market them as over the counter sleep aids to unsuspecting consumers.

Understanding the ingredients that should not be combined and reading the labels is your best option to avoid adverse side effects.

Individually, the following substances have some evidence of being beneficial for sleep with a low risk of adverse side effects from short term use. The experts recommend not combining these supplements with one another.

  • Chamomile
  • Tryptophan
  • Kava
  • Lemon balm 
  • L-tryptophan 
  • Passion flower
  • Valerian Root
  • Melatonin

Here are some examples of products that combine multiple supplements. Reviewing their labels provides an example of what to look out for.

Overall Cautions

Reading the box can prevent adverse reactions and save you money. Store brands are often available with the same active ingredient as national brand names at a reduced price.

Treating insomnia with prescription or over the counter sleeping aids is not the best solution. Professional mental health sessions with a therapist for insomnia can be highly effective with long-term benefits in as little as 1 – 6 sessions. Instead of adverse side effects, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy has beneficial side effects.

Improving stress management skills also reduces insomnia symptoms.

If your insomnia symptoms persist for more than 7 – 10 days, consult with your physician.

4. Melatonin

This natural hormone works to control the body’s sleep-wake cycle and is most commonly used to adjust the sleep cycle to fit a new time zone following travel across several time zones.

Best Over the Counter Sleep Aids with Melatonin

  • N-acetyl-5-methoxytryptamine
  • Pineal hormone melatonin

Adverse Side Effects Associated with Melatonin

  • Abdominal cramps
  • Alertness decreased
  • Circadian rhythm disruption (sleep cycle)
  • Daytime fatigue
  • Depression (transient)
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Dysphoria in depressed patients
  • Headache
  • Irritability


There isn’t enough research to know if melatonin use is safe over the long-term

Patients with epilepsy and those who take blood thinners should discuss melatonin with their doctor before they take melatonin

Use only reputable brands – random testing showed variations from the contents disclosed on the label and, in 26% of the bottles, serotonin was present. Too much serotonin can have harmful effects, even at slightly elevated levels.

5. Valerian Root

Valerian root has been used for centuries to improve sleep.

Valerian herb root and flowers with dropper bottle and mortar with pestle over oak background

Best Over the Counter Supplements Sleep Aids with Valerian Root

Serious Side Effects

  • Cardiac disturbances
  • Hepatotoxicity (liver damage)

Adverse Effects Associated with Valerian Root

  • Allergic reactions
  • Appetite (loss of)
  • Daytime drowsiness
  • Dry mouth
  • Excitability
  • Feeling excited or uneasy
  • Headache
  • Hives
  • Insomnia
  • Morning drowsiness
  • Nausea (especially in the upper stomach)
  • Sedation
  • Strange dreams
  • Uneasiness
  • Upset stomach
  • Thinking problems
  • Withdrawal syndrome (chronic use)


Difficulty driving or operating machinery the next day.

Do not combine Valerian root with other herbal supplements that cause drowsiness (including chamomile, gotu kola, Jamaican dogwood, kava, melatonin, St. John’s wort, 5-hydroxytryptophan) California poppy, skullcap, yerba mansa, or catnip).

Do not drink alcohol when taking Valerian root.

Read labels carefully. For example, one of the most popular liquid valerian root products contains cane alcohol despite recommendations not to combine valerian root with alcohol. Another product combines numerous sedating ingredients including L-Theanine, Melatonin, P5P, Chamomile, and valerian root.

Look at the list of ingredients on this label and compare it to the list of herbal supplements standard warnings discourage using when taking Valerian root. Remember, clinical testing of the individual ingredients is limited and testing of their use in combination with other supplements is non-existent. Natural does not mean safe. Many poisons and deadly substances are natural.

6. CBD Oil

Medical marijuana cannabis cbd oil

CBD oil is made from the parts of hemp or marijuana that do not contain THC, the psychotropic chemical in hemp (THC), that causes a high. CBD oil is legal under Federal law as long as the oil doesn’t contain more than .3% THC. CBD oil remains illegal under the laws of a few states.

CBD Oil is becoming known for alleviating pain, anxiety, and assisting with sleep, both frequently interfere with sleep.

Best Over the counter sleep aids with CBD Oil

Adverse Effects Associated with CBD Oil

  • Appetite changes
  • Changes in weight
  • Diarrhea
  • Tiredness

More research is needed to further understand all the side effects from using CBD Oil.


CBD Oil isn’t marijuana because the psychotropic ingredient, THC is minimal or absent in CBD Oil, but the legalization of marijuana by many states has fueled new research on the effects of both marijuana and CBD Oil. More research is still needed but early reports indicate that CBD has a favorable safety profile.

Animal studies indicate there may be risks to unborn children.

Insufficient research exists to comment upon the safety of CBD Oil used in combination with other drugs.

So far, most studies have been short-term (30 days or less) so less is known about risks associated with long-term use.

Is CBD Oil legal?

As of this writing, CBD oil is only illegal in three states (Idaho, Nebraska, and South Dakota). The Federal government made CBD Oil with less than .3% THC legal, but states can have laws that are more restrictive than the Federal laws. CBD oil doesn’t contain enough THC to cause the high that makes marijuana a popular recreational drug.

THC is the psychotropic chemical in hemp and some states, such as Idaho, require 0% THC for CBD Oil to be legal within its borders.

Natural vs Safe

It is important to note that natural ingredients are not automatically safe. Many natural ingredients can have harmful side effects or be toxic at high doses.


None of the over the counter sleep aids are recommended for long-term use. Prescription sleep aids also have this limitation. Sleep aids of any type aren’t the best choice for dealing with acute or chronic insomnia. They should only be used on a short-term basis while you work on sleep hygiene and meet with a therapist or develop stress management skills.

The best over the counter sleep aid for you depends on why you’re having difficulty sleeping. If pain is keeping you awake, try a pain reliever without sleep medication first. Heat can sometimes ease pain without drugs. Only resort to an over the counter pain medication combined with a sleep aid, such as Tylenol PM or Advil PM  after discussing the situation with your doctor.

If anxiety, depression, stress, or a racing mind are keeping you awake, you have a number of options. Therapy is your best shot at long-term relief without adverse side effects. Improving your ability to manage stress is another way to ease the symptoms that interfere with your ability to go to sleep or go back to sleep after you wake up. CBD Oil is a good choice if it is legal in your state because it helps with anxiety and pain.

If poor sleep hygiene is interfering with your sleep health, making adjustments to your habits is healthier than popping an over the counter sleep aid.

While the risks associated with over the counter sleep aids are not as severe and don’t occur as frequently as the adverse side effects associated with prescription sleep aids, they can still pose dangerous and life-threatening risks that are best avoided whenever possible.

Always consider how the drugs you take to help you sleep might interact with other drugs or supplements you’re taking and with possible pregnancy or the need to drive or operate dangerous machinery.

We hope this article helps keep you safe and helps you sleep well.

Sweet Dreams.

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How Long Do Sleeping Pills Last in Your System? Tue, 26 Nov 2019 05:23:08 +0000 When you’re taking sleeping pills for insomnia, it is important to know how long the drug remains in your system to avoid dangerous and even life-threatening complications from combining more than one drug or drinking alcohol while under the influence of a sleeping pill. Sleeping pills decrease the function of your Central Nervous System (CNS). …

The post How Long Do Sleeping Pills Last in Your System? appeared first on Best Mattress Reviews.

When you’re taking sleeping pills for insomnia, it is important to know how long the drug remains in your system to avoid dangerous and even life-threatening complications from combining more than one drug or drinking alcohol while under the influence of a sleeping pill.

Sleeping pills decrease the function of your Central Nervous System (CNS). Your Central Nervous System plays key roles that keep you alive including beating your heart and breathing for you. Even though you can consciously decide to breathe and exert control over your breathing, most of the time your breathing is accomplished without thought – an automatic function that is critical while you’re asleep.

One way to measure how long drugs will remain in your system, a measurement referred to as the half-life is determined. The half life of a drug refers to the length of time it takes natural bodily processes to remove the drug from the blood plasma in your body. Your liver and intestinal processes are important organs when it comes to cleansing drugs from the body. If your liver or kidney function is impaired due to diseases or advancing age, it can take longer to eliminate the influence of the drugs. Age and genetics can also influence how long it takes drugs to be out of your system.

Another factor that influences how long it takes to remove the influence of a drug from the body must also consider whether or not the drug accumulates in the tissues through a variety of processes that keep the drugs in the body longer. If the drug binds to proteins, active metabolites, or via receptor interactions, rather than just being in the blood, its effects can last longer.

The following factors influence how long sleeping pills last in your system:

  • The active ingredient in the drug
  • The half-life of the drug
  • How long you’ve been taking the medication
  • How much of the drug you take

If you’ve noticed that when you take pain medicine you don’t need a second dose as soon as expected, your body may process and eliminate the drug slower than average.

Multiply the half-life by five to get a good estimate of how long the drug will be in your system.

Hypnotics (non-benzodiazepine)

Hypnotics are prescribed to treat insomnia including trouble falling asleep and staying asleep.

Hypnotics work by binding to GABA receptors in the brain to induce sleepiness. The half life varies between .45 – 6.5 hours. With most Hypnotics, the drug is out of your system within 24 hours. However, this can be sped up or slowed down as the result of interactions with other drugs. For example, erythromycin increases the absorption rate and extends its half-life. Other drugs, such as Nefazodone, slows metabolism and prolongs the sedation effects of the drug.

Alcohol should be avoided when Hypnotics are taken as it can cause dangerous interactions.

Eszopiclone (Lunesta)

Eszopiclone has a half-life of between .45 and 1.3 hours which means it should be metabolized during a normal night’s sleep. Unless there are other drugs affecting metabolism, a full night’s sleep of 7 – 8 hours should eliminate the risk of being groggy the next day.

Zolpidem (Ambien, Edluar, Zolpimist, Intermezzo)

Zolpidem has a half-life of about two hours. The drug should be out of your system within 10 – 12 hours. The FDA cautions patients not to drive the day after taking Ambien and to only take it at the beginning of the sleep period – not in the middle of the night when you’re having difficulties going to sleep.


Zopiclone has the longest half-life of the hypnotics, taking between 3.5 – 6.5 hours to metabolize. The average half-life is five hours which means it will take slightly longer than 24 hours to be out of the body.

Zaleplon (Sonata)

Zaleplon is absorbed quickly and has a half-life of only 1 – 1.5 hours, which means it will be metabolized out of your system within 5 – 7.5 hours. This allows it to be used in the middle of the night when sleep won’t come as long as no sleeping aids were used at bedtime and the patient hasn’t been drinking.

Zaleplon can have adverse cognitive effects on the elderly and is not recommended for use other than in short-term acute episodes of insomnia.



Benzodiazepines are another sleep aid that binds to GABA receptors in the brain to treat insomnia.

The half-life of benzodiazepines has a broad range from 1.5 hours to 56 hours. Longer half-lives are helpful for treating undesired sleep behaviors such as sleep walking and night terrors, but they increase the risk of being impaired the next day.

Alcohol should be avoided when benzodiazepines are taken as it can cause dangerous interactions.

Triazolam, Quazepam, and Flurazepam hydrochloride are metabolized the fastest of all the benzodiazepines.

Triazolam (Halcion)

Triazolam has a half-life that ranges from 1.5 – 5.5 hours so it should be fully metabolized within 27.5 hours.

Quazepam (Doral)

Quazepam has the shortest half-life of 1.75 hours which minimizes next day sleepiness because the drug will be removed from the patient’s system within 9 hours.

Flurazepam hydrochloride (Dalmane)

Flurazepam’s half-life is 2.3 hours, eliminating the drug from the body within 11.5 hours.

Alprazolam, Lorazepam, Estazolam, and Temazepam all have a half-life of about ½ a day, which means it takes about 2½ days for the drugs to metabolize out of your system. The health of the patient can affect the amount of time it takes to metabolize the drug.

Alprazolam (Xanax)

The half-life of Alprazolam is 11.2 hours.

Lorazepam (Ativan, Lorazepam Intensol)

The half-life of Lorazepam Intensol is about 18 hours for Lorazepam and only 12 hours for Atian. Ativan takes about 2.5 days to metabolize and Lorazepam Intensol takes 3.75 days.

Estazolam (Prosom)

Estazolam has significant variation in the range it takes to eliminate the drug from the body, from a minimum half-life of 8 hours to a maximum of 31 hours. The average half-life is 19 hours.

Temazepam (Normison, Restoril)

Temazepam causes metabolites to form that have a half-life of 10 hours. It takes a total half-life of 12 hours to form the metabolites and reach their half-life, making it take 2.5 days to fully metabolize the drug.

The final four benzodiazepines, Chlordiazepoxide, Clonazepam, Clorazepic acid, and Diazepam have half-lifes that are considerably longer.

Chlordiazepoxide (Librium)

Chlordiazepoxide creates metabolites with a half-life of 36 – 200 hours. The half-life of chlordiazepoxide itself is 5 – 30 hours. The effects can last nearly six weeks.

Clonazepam (Klonopin)

The half-life of Clonazepam is 30 – 40 hours which means it can take between six and more than eight days for a single dose to fully leave your body.

Clorazepic acid (Tranxene)

Clorazepic acid has a half-life of 40 – 50 hours. It takes a minimum of 8 days and can take almost 11 days to metabolize out of the system.

Diazepam (Valium)

Another long acting drug, diazepam’s half-life ranges between 30 – 56 hours, with some reports of an 80-hour half-life for Valium.


Barbiturates suppress the Central Nervous System (CNS) which helps patients go to sleep. Like all CNS depressants, avoiding consumption of any alcohol and other CNS suppressants is important for avoiding adverse effects.

Butabarbital (Butisol)

Butabrabital’s half-life averages 100 hours which means it takes an average of 20 days for it to be fully removed from the system.

Mephobarbital (Mebaral)

The half-life of Mephobarbital is not yet known. The drug continues acting for up to 16 hours which means the half-life is probably more than ½ a day.

Pentobarbital Sodium (Nembutal)

The half-life of this drug, the same drug that is most frequently used to euthanize dogs, is between 15 – 50 hours.  It takes at least 3 days and up to twenty for the drug to be metabolized out of the system.

Seconal (Seconal Sodium)

The half-life of Seconal averages 28 hours, with a range between 15 and 40 hours which equates to more than 3 days to 16 days.



Anti-depressants bind to receptors in the brain (acetylcholine and sedating). The half-life is not known.

Doxepin (Silenor)

This anti-depressant helps people who have trouble staying asleep. Its half-life is 15 hours (doxepin) and 31 hours (nordoxepin). Overall, it takes between 3 days and nearly 7 days to metabolize Silenor out of the system.

Melatonin Receptor Agonist

Tasimelteon (Hetlioz)

This expensive drug for blind people has a half-life between .9 and 1.7 hours, which means it will be out of the system after a normal nights’ sleep.

Ramelteon (Rozerem)

The relative fast half-life, between 2- 5 hours with an average of 2.6, means that the drug is fully out of the system within 13 hours.

Serotonin Antagonist and Reuptake Inhibitor

Trazodone (Desyrel)

With a half-life between 10 – 12 hours, it takes about 2.5 days for Trazodone to metabolize out of the patient’s system.

Selective, Dual Orexin Receptor Antagonist

Suvorexant (Belsomra)

Suvorexant’s 12-hour half-life means it takes 3 days to eliminate the drug from the patient’s system.

How Long do Over-the-Counter Sleeping Pills last in your system?

Over-the-counter sleep medicines can be drugs, supplements, or herbs. The active ingredient in drugs is usually doxylamine succinate or diphenhydramine. Both of them are antihistamines with a side effect of making users drowsy.

There are three main types of over-the-counter sleeping aids, all of them can cause drowsiness that extends into the next day as well as a hungover type feeling.

Diphenhydramine (Compoz, Nytol, Sominex, Benadryl,  and Sleepinal)

Diphenhydramine and Naproxen Sodium (Aleve PM)

Diphenhydramine plus Acetaminophen (Tylenol PM, Aspirin-Free Anacin PM)

Diphenhydramine has a half-life that ranges between 3.4 and 9.3 hours, with an average of 4.3 hours which equates to almost a full day.

Doxylamine Succinate, Acetaminophen, plus 10% alcohol (NyQuil)

Doxylamine (Nighttime Sleep Aid, Unisom Sleep Tabs)

Doxylamine’s half-life is 10 hours which means it takes slightly more than two days to metabolize it fully from your system.

Over-the-Counter Supplements that Aid Sleep

Over-the-Counter Supplements that Aid Sleep

Supplements include hormones and amino acids that occur naturally in the body. It is important to point out that natural substances can be problematic in large doses. Natural is often promoted as safe but that is a way that marketers mislead consumers.


Glycine is an important amino acid that can improve sleep. The half-life is .5 – 4 hours which means it will be metabolized out of the body in less than a day.


L-theanine is an amino acid that aids in relaxation. Its half-life ranges between 58 and 74 minutes which means it will metabolize out of the body in about five hours.


Tryptophan is an essential α-amino acid used in the biosynthesis of proteins that aids serotonin production. Its half-life is very short.


Melatonin is the most commonly used sleep supplement, the human hormone has a half-life of 30 – 50 minutes, it metabolizes out of the system during a normal night’s sleep.


Magnesium is a mineral that is essential for bone health that can promote sleep health. The half-life is almost 42 days which means it takes more than 208 days to metabolize out of the body.

Herbs for Insomnia

Herbs for Insomnia

Herbs are natural ingredients, often made into teas, but also available as supplements that can increase well-being and improve sleep, frequently by decreasing anxiety. It is important to remember that natural does not mean risk-free. Some herbs are associated with adverse side effects, so it is important to learn about any supplements you consider using – even those marketed as natural.


The half-life of chamomile is 12 hours which means it takes 2.5 days for chamomile to fully metabolize. Usually consumed as a tea, an oil can also be used. The apigenin in Chamomile tea has been studied with positive results and is thought to reduce anxiety.

Ginkgo biloba

Ginkgo biloba is a natural plant extract that has numerous side effects. The half-life is 4.5 hours, so it takes almost a day for it to be fully metabolized.


Valerian root is used as a natural sleep aid and also has side effects. The half-life is about an hour, so it is fully metabolized in about five hours.


The half-life of lavender is unknown, but its sleep-inducing benefits are well established in the research.

Lemon Balm

There is some evidence that Lemon balm improves insomnia. Its half-life is six hours. It takes 30-hours to fully metabolize out of their system.

Passion Flower

There’s research supporting the use Passion Flower to improve insomnia. Its half-life is also six hours.

Magnolia bark

Magnolia bark has anti-anxiety and sedative effects which makes it a wonderful natural insomnia treatment for individuals who experience anxiety. The half-life is 1 – 2 hours, so it is out of the body within 5 – 10 hours.

St. John’s Wort

The half-life is 24 hours, so St. John’s Wort remains in the system for up to five days. It helps with insomnia and depression.

Side Effects of Sleeping Pills

It is very important to understand that prescription Hypnotics, Benzodiazepines, Barbiturates, anti-depressants, Serotonin Antagonist and Reuptake Inhibitors, Selective, Dual Orexin Receptor Antagonists, and over-the-counter drugs including Diphenhydramine, and Doxylamine are intended for short-term use.

Long-term solutions for insomnia should incorporate improved sleep hygiene, which can include supplements and herbal sleep aids and, if needed, stress management training that teaches improved habits of thought, and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.

The consequences of continued reliance on sleeping pills can be dangerous and include disability of death.

Dangers of under estimating how long sleeping pills last in your System

Sleep medicines have dangerous side effects, particularly when combined with alcohol or other drugs that also depress the Central Nervous System. When a drug remains in your system, it is important that you know it may still be having an effect on the way your body functions. If you assume the sleeping pill you took yesterday is out of your system and drink alcohol the next night and opt to use an herbal supplement that induces sleep much the same way the sleeping pill works, you increase the risk of an adverse side effect.

Behaviors to Avoid when Sleeping Pills are in your System

There are a number of problems that can arise related to sleeping pill use. Sleeping pills are powerful drugs that can have numerous adverse side effects. These safety guidelines will help you stay safe:

  • Do not use alcohol with sleeping pills or herbal insomnia treatments
  • Do not mix sleeping pills and herbal supplements known to increase drowsiness
  • Sleeping aids, prescription pills and herbal supplements, are not intended for long-term use. If you need them for more than two weeks, we strongly suggest you adjust your sleep hygiene habits and consider Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for insomnia
  • Check drug interactions with prescription and over-the-counter sleeping pills you take and supplements
  • Do not drive or operate dangerous machinery when you’re under the influence of sleep medications or herbal supplements that induce insomnia

Knowing the half-life of sleep aids you take helps you consider what other substances may be affecting your system before you take more or drink alcohol. We want to help you sleep well and be safe.

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How to Euthanize a Dog with Sleeping Pills Mon, 25 Nov 2019 08:05:24 +0000 In a perfect world, beloved pets would stay healthy forever and we’d never have to consider euthanizing a dog with sleeping pills. Unfortunately, the life expectancy of dogs is much shorter than humans, so this tough decision is one we may have to face more than once during our lifetime. For most people, the first …

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In a perfect world, beloved pets would stay healthy forever and we’d never have to consider euthanizing a dog with sleeping pills. Unfortunately, the life expectancy of dogs is much shorter than humans, so this tough decision is one we may have to face more than once during our lifetime.

For most people, the first time is the most difficult. After we’ve been through the process with one pet, we see clearly in hindsight that we made the most loving decision when we decided to end their suffering. Although it is never easy, it is often less agonizing after the first time because we know it is the right choice for our dog.

When is the right time to allow your dog to die?

In most cases, there is a period of time when there is a balance between your dog’s suffering and letting go. You want to let go before the suffering outweighs the good days, so your companion doesn’t suffer unnecessarily.

Suffering can be mental or physical or both. Physical pain is something we want to avoid but what if the dog is anxious because of the pain they’re experiencing? Your dog may not understand the source of the pain which can create anxiety. Blindness and poor vision are common problems in older dogs as well as hearing loss. If they remain in the same environment, pets with limited vision and hearing loss can usually do well enough. But when they begin experiencing pain and they can’t hear your voice soothing them because they’re deaf, they can become more anxious and feel threatened by the pain.

Ask yourself questions about your dog’s health to help you see the situation clearly.

Does your dog have an illness from which they can’t recover that will lead to a painful death?

Is there hope your dog will get better?

Can your dog eat?

Is your dog able to control their bowel and urination or are they having frequent accidents?

Are they in pain when they move?

Can your dog walk?

Do they still interact with family members or other pets?

Can you get your dog interested in his favorite toys?

Does she frequently fall down?

Is your dog’s breathing difficult or does he have frequent coughing or hacking spells?

Are they anxious because of the pain they’re experiencing?

Are they able to relax and sleep or are they in too much pain?

Do they show enthusiasm or happiness when you come home?

Has your dog become irritable?

Has your dog become aggressive?

Is your dog refusing to get up?

Old Black Dog with Gray Muzzle Relaxing at Home

When a pet’s quality of life begins to decline, they will generally experience several of these problems.

Anxiety can be distressing to the dog and the owner. Dogs who are anxious may pace, walk in circles, move to higher ground (top of a sofa or go upstairs even if it means they are away from people they usually stay close to), whine, sleep poorly, be hyper vigilant, pant, or even hyperventilate. If the pain cannot be completely controlled, anti-anxiety medicine may help keep your dog comfortable enough to extend the amount of time they can live comfortably.

Some dogs become aggressive when they’re in pain – just like some people. This can make continuing to care for your pet challenging or even dangerous.

If you’re having a mix of good and bad days and the bad days aren’t completely miserable for your dog, it may not be time yet. When the bad days begin outnumbering the good ones, it is a sign that you should begin thinking about your dog’s quality of life and how much you’re willing to allow them to suffer before you’re willing to say goodbye.

There is another danger. Sleep deprivation makes driving and operating machinery more dangerous by increasing the risk of accidents. If your dog’s pain is not controllable and repeatedly prevents you from sleeping as much as you need to maintain your health, it is probably time to let them go. If you can’t work or safely drive because your dog’s distress keeps you awake every night, your pet is suffering, too. An occasional bad night is one thing – when it becomes so common that you’re persistently sleep deprived, the suffering is too great.

Where to euthanize your dog

Making the decision to lovingly let your pet go is a difficult decision. Saying good bye is distressing, even when you know it is the right decision. Saying your goodbyes in the cold, clinical surroundings of a veterinarian’s office can make your goodbye even more emotionally painful for you and cause anxiety for your dog.

Veterinarians have been recognizing that pets and their owners are more comfortable in the comfort of their own home and for pets who have veterinarian induced anxiety, home is the only place where the goodbye can be calm. In home euthanasia can cost between $250 – 450 and can be over $800 if you want your pets’ cremated ashes returned, which is considerably more than it would cost in the office.

One consideration is how well you’ll handle the memory of where your pet died. If you’ll think about their final moments instead of all the good times every time you look at the spot where you last held them, it might be better to do it at the veterinarian’s office. If you tend to look at the brighter side and will focus more on the good times, the memory of your pet calmly passing on in your home may be something you won’t have a problem dealing with.

Is Euthanizing Your Dog with Sleeping Pills Legal?

The American Veterinarian Medical Association prepared a summary of euthanasia laws in the United States. Most states specify authorized persons who can perform euthanasia on domesticated animals. None of the states list pet owners as persons authorized to euthanize animals unless it is an emergency situation, such as a pet that has been involved in an accident where it would be inhumane to wait and transport them to a veterinarian. In those cases, a single gunshot is prescribed by someone who is trained in the use of guns such that death is instantaneous. Very few states even allow owners to act in these situations, although it is unlikely that an owner would be charged with animal cruelty for ending an animal’s suffering in such a situation.

A few states allow non-veterinarians to euthanize pets under the supervision of a veterinarian who does not have to be present while other states will allow a Certified Euthanasia Technician to perform euthanasia’s after they have received a certain number of hours training in the process, usually a minimum of four hours.

Texas is the only state that allows a veterinarian to instruct the owner in how to euthanize a pet and that is only allowed “in an emergency situation where prompt treatment is essential for the prevention of death or alleviation of extreme suffering.”

The other legal aspect of euthanizing your dog at home relates to the ability to legally possess the barbiturates (Pentobarbital) used to humanely euthanize dogs.

In the United States, drugs are divided into classifications and illegal possession is prosecuted partially based on the classification. Pentobarbital is a Schedule II drug because there is a high potential for abuse. First time offenders in illegal possession of Schedule II drugs can be punished by a year in prison.

Euthanize your dog with Sleeping Pills: What can go wrong?

English Bulldog dog canine pet on brown leather couch under blanket looking sad bored lonely sick tired exhausted

Is a veterinarian necessary? Can you safely euthanize your dog yourself using sleeping pills? Your goal is for your pet to have a peaceful end of life experience. When a veterinarian euthanizes a pet, they generally administer a sedative before the final dose that stops their heart by depressing their Central Nervous System.

Veterinarians go to veterinarian school for four years after completing their undergraduate degree in order to become a vet. This allows them to properly estimate the drug required to peacefully end your dog’s life.

At home, you won’t have legal access to the proper drugs for euthanasia. Even if you can gain access to the drugs, Propophol, the sedative that is used to sedate dogs before administering the fatal dose of Pentobarbital, is a Schedule IV controlled substance. Both drugs are difficult to obtain and unless you’re allowed to euthanize domesticated animals under your state’s laws, using them for that purpose can be illegal and add additional charges onto the possession charges if you’re caught.

In addition to the year in prison for possession of pentobarbital, possession of propophol can add a year in jail, a fine up to $5,000, and loss of your driver’s license for six months.

Both convictions would result in a life-limiting criminal record that can make you ineligible for some jobs, affect custody decisions, and make you ineligible for federally subsidized student loans. In many states, euthanizing a dog with sleeping pills also violates animal cruelty laws.

If you choose to use over-the-counter sleeping pills like Benadryl, Aleve PM, Unisom, or ZZZ Nyquil to euthanize your dog, or administer a shot that is not intravenous, the risk that your dog will suffer instead of experiencing a peaceful death is significant. The wrong dosage can cause brain damage instead of death, put your dog into respiratory distress where they are awake but panicked because they can’t breathe well enough to get the air they need, or leave your dog choking and gagging while clearly in distress that leaves you with few options.

When an at home attempt goes wrong, you’ll have to resort to other methods or rush them to the veterinarian for euthanasia. If you give your dog sleeping pills and they vomit some of them back up and refuse to swallow more, you can easily find yourself in a bad situation.

Once your dog is in respiratory distress, the at-home solutions are all bad. You will have to act quickly to end your dog’s intense suffering using a bullet, breaking their neck, using a plastic bag to suffocate them which will seem to take forever, or cutting their throat which will sear an imagine in your mind that you’ll have to live with for the rest of your life. It is difficult for most people to not be consumed with guilt when an at-home euthanasia attempt goes wrong.

Dr. Patty Khuly of PetMD argues against at-home euthanasia with sleeping pills and strong narcotics, such as leftover pain pills from a human’s surgery, even when the dog’s owner is a medical doctor. Euthanasia’s original translation from its Greek origins is “good death.”  When an attempt to euthanize a dog with sleeping pills at-home goes wrong, it is not a good death.

The goal of euthanasia, a good death that prevents suffering, is often not attained when an owner opts to attempt to euthanize their dog with sleeping pills.

There is no good reason to take the risks involved with attempting to euthanize your dog with sleeping pills.

One SPCA in Pennsylvania provides euthanasia with cremation for only $60 for small animals and offers private cremation with euthanasia and an urn for $145. The price goes go up as the size of the animal increases because more of the drug is required to work effectively. Some animal shelters will do humane euthanasia for a small fee or at no charge. Money should never be the reason for attempting a do-it-yourself euthanasia.

There are many animal lovers in the world. If you can’t afford a modest fee or don’t have transportation to a local shelter that will euthanize a dog at no charge, reach out and ask for help. Even some people who won’t lift a finger to help homeless people will help a dog that is living in pain. Dysthanasia is the opposite of euthanasia, it means “bad death.” Attempting to euthanize a dog with sleeping pills risks dysthanasia. A bad death is not what you desire for your beloved and loyal companion.

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Sleeping Pill Side Effects Fri, 22 Nov 2019 03:25:06 +0000 Insomnia refers to the inability to fall asleep when you want to despite being in bed and desirous of sleep, difficulty staying asleep, waking up too early, or waking up after sleeping for a sufficient period of time and not feeling refreshed. Official definitions of insomnia are not consistent. Some refer only to the sleep …

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Insomnia refers to the inability to fall asleep when you want to despite being in bed and desirous of sleep, difficulty staying asleep, waking up too early, or waking up after sleeping for a sufficient period of time and not feeling refreshed.

Official definitions of insomnia are not consistent. Some refer only to the sleep patterns being experienced while others require secondary symptoms that interfere with daytime functioning.   Because the criteria used to define insomnia often varies when research is conducted, we don’t know exactly how prevalent insomnia is among the general population. Estimates divide insomnia into two categories, one for long-term or chronic insomnia and the other for temporary or transient insomnia that is referred to as acute insomnia. Between 10 – 15% of adults suffer from chronic insomnia and 25 – 35% experience temporary bouts of insomnia.

A connection between poor sleep and increased illnesses and diseases and premature mortality is well established. Sleep deprivation refers to a situation where someone has not received an adequate amount of sleep. Sleep deprivation can be acute, referring to a total lack of sleep, and chronic, referring to receiving less than sufficient sleep, usually for a period of several days or longer.

Both acute and chronic sleep deprivation have well-established consequences for daytime functioning. The adverse effects include worse mood, decreased ability to remember and focus, irritability, fatigue and sleepiness, apathy, accident proneness, and reduced cognitive function. When sleep deprivation continues over a period of time, it has adverse impacts on cardiac function, increases the risk of diabetes, adverse impacts on immune and digestive function, increased inflammation, and decreased self-control.

When evaluating treatment options, the risks of a treatment should be weighed against the risks of no treatment and alternative treatments that may have a lower risk of side effects.

Sleeping Pill Side Effects

We will describe side effects related to four types of drugs that are prescribed as sleep aids:

  • Hypnotics (Non-benzodiazepine sedatives)
  • Benzodiazepines
  • Barbiturates
  • Anti-depressants

Throughout this article, we will describe the side effect one time and if a subsequent drug has the same side effect, we will name the symptom, but we will not describe the it again.

Hypnotics Sleeping Pill Side Effects

Hypnotics are mandated by the FDA to provide a Black Box Warning on the packaging advising consumers that: Complex sleep behaviors including sleep-walking, sleep-driving, and engaging in other activities while not fully awake may occur with therapy; some of these events may result in serious injuries, including death; discontinue therapy immediately if patient experiences a complex sleep behavior.

Additional risks of all the hypnotics prescribed for insomnia include the following:

  • Potential to worsen symptoms of existing respiratory diseases
  • Symptoms of clinical depression, suicidal thoughts, and completed suicides may increase
  • The ability to function at full capacity the day after taking a hypnotic may be impaired including difficulties associated with:
  • Ability to drive or operate dangerous equipment safely
  • Hand-eye coordination
  • Playing a musical instrument
  • Accurate typing
  • Threading a needle


Memory loss due to dementia or brain damage

Amnesia involves the loss of memories, temporarily or permanently, as the result of sedatives or hypnotic drugs. Amnesia can occur as the result of the drugs or, if a complication occurs that depresses the Central Nervous System (CNS), brain damage that causes permanent amnesia can occur.

Dizziness and Lightheadedness

Dizziness and Lightheadedness

Dizziness creates a feeling of unsteadiness and can cause you to feel faint, weak, or woozy or a sense that the room is spinning. All of these symptoms can lead to falls and carry the risk of potentially serious injuries.


Headaches refer to pain in the head that can be mild to sharp, dull to pounding.



Hallucinations can involve seeing things that aren’t there, hearing sounds that aren’t real, and smelling things that don’t exist in reality. Hallucinations can also cause a patient to not see, hear, or smell what is present in reality. They can also involve feeling sensations, such as being touched or bugs crawling on the skin that aren’t there. Hallucinations can cause disorientation and accidents or injuries to self or others.

Increased Risk of Falls

Increased Risk of Falls

Taking hypnotics causes an increased risk of falls and injuries including hip fractures and intracranial hemorrhage; this risk is higher for elderly individuals

The following sleeping pill side effects are specific to Eszopiclone:


Feeling queasy, including the urge to vomit, upset stomach, and sometimes sweating or chills are associated with feeling nauseous.

Abdominal pain 

Abdominal pain 

Abdominal pain can have many sources and the problem with it is that some of those causes can be serious. Inflammation, constipation, gas, stress, muscle strain, and overeating can all cause abdominal pain.


Feeling weak can range from feeling as if your muscles aren’t as strong as they usually are or that they are too weak to support you. You can feel too weak to get out of bed or stand up.

Menstrual cramps  

Menstrual cramps can occur when the woman is not menstruating because of side effects of the drugs.

Eye pain

Eye pain can feel as if it is coming from the surface of the eye, inside the eye, or behind the eye. It can be experienced in conjunction with other symptoms such as nausea.

Sensations on their skin with no apparent cause 

This symptom is a form of hallucination and involves feeling sensations on the skin when there is no cause for the sensation being felt.


Tremors are unintentional shaking or trembling that most often occurs in the hands, but can also occur in the vocal cords, legs, or face.

Decreased Level of Consciousness

A decreased level of consciousness makes it more difficult to rouse a patient and responses to stimuli in the environment are slower or nonexistent.

Zolpidem has these side effects in addition to the ones it shares with the other two hypnotic sleeping pills:

Heart palpitations

When you feel as if your heart is beating extra fast, fluttering, pounding, racing, or skipping a beat, you’re having heart palpitations. While heart palpitations can be frightening, by themselves they aren’t usually a sign of danger. If you’ve mixed sleeping pills with other drugs, you should check for drug interactions (this should have been done before you mixed them, but if you didn’t, do it when you experience any side effect – even if your doctor and/or pharmacist knew about the other drug).



Myalgia is pain in your muscles, ligaments, or soft tissue. It can feel similar to the pain you feel after you’ve worked out and your muscles are sore.



Swelling or inflammation of the sinus tissues.

Sore throat

Sore throat

Pain, especially when swallowing, scratchiness, and irritation of the throat.

Visual disturbances

Visual disturbances

Visual disturbances can include double vision, partial or total blindness, blurred vision, the inability to distinguish colors, halos, or eye pain. In many situations, visual disturbances are dangerous because of the risk of accidents associated with the inability to see properly.


Rashes can occur anywhere on the body. They can be red spots, raised skin, or itchy skin. Rashes can make the skin hotter than surrounding tissues.


Constipation occurs when you don’t feel the urge to go to the bathroom or have difficulty having bowel movements. In most cases, constipation is not dangerous but if it continues, it can become serious and life threatening.

Benzodiazepines Sleeping Pill Side Effects

Benzodiazepines also have a Black Box Warning mandated by the FDA:

Concomitant use of benzodiazepines and opioids may result in profound respiratory depression, coma, and death; administer concomitantly when there are no alternative options; limit dosages and durations to minimum required; monitor for signs and symptoms of respiratory depression and sedation.

More: How Many Sleeping Pills Does It Take To Die

In addition, benzodiazepines include the following warnings:

  • May cause drug dependence
  • Central Nervous System (CNS) depression that impairs mental and physical abilities can occur
  • Hyperactive, aggressive, or paradoxical behavior may occur
  • Do not consume alcohol
  • Do not take other CNS depressants
  • May interfere with the ability to drive or operate machinery the next day

Because benzodiazepines have more adverse side effects than hypnotics, and more sleeping pill side effects that can cause serious injury or death, physicians will generally prescribe hypnotics before they try benzodiazepines.

The length of time it takes for the body to flush out the drugs takes longer in elderly individuals and women which can make the sleeping pill side effects last longer and extend the time period when the patient should avoid drug interactions and alcohol.

More: Sleeping Pills and Alcohol

The higher the dose, the more likely patients are to experience side effects.

There are numerous types of benzodiazepines, but there is considerable overlap on side effects. This list of possible side effects is a combined list of side effects from the different types of benzodiazepines prescribed as sleeping pills. Read the package insert from the pharmacy for the specific side effects for the sleeping pill your doctor prescribed.

Functional Side Effects

The functional side effects of benzodiazepine sleeping pills interfere with the ability of the body’s conscious movements because the ability of the body to respond is impaired.

Daytime drowsiness

Daytime drowsiness can occur even if the sleeping pills allowed the patient to sleep a full 8 hours. This may be because they did not obtain a good balance of REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep.

Fall risk; especially in elderly patients

The risk of side effects that could cause a fall is long and because it takes elderly patients longer to rid their body of the drug, they are more likely to be effected by those side effects the next day as well as during nighttime waking’s to use the rest room, which are common for elderly patients.

Hungover feeling

A hungover feeling is a combination of symptoms that can include wooziness, sleepiness, thirst, confusion and difficulty focusing, headache, and overall malaise including an upset GI track.


A feeling that you or the environment you’re in is moving when it isn’t moving. The room may feel as if it is spinning.

Slow movements

Slow movements occur when the conscious instructions to the brain to move the body are acted on more slowly than normal. This includes slowed reaction times that could be dangerous when driving.


Unsteadiness involves a loss of equilibrium that can cause a sense of falling and can cause stumbling and bumping into objects that would normally be avoided.

Slurred speech 

Slurred speech can give the impression that the patient is intoxicated. The signals to the muscles used when talking do not respond in their normal manner.

Dizziness and Lightheadedness were described in the section on hypnotic sleeping pill side effects.

Side Effects that interfere with Automatic Bodily processes

Numerous side effects of benzodiazepine sleeping pills interfere with automatic bodily processes which can lead to serious complications.

Central Nervous System (CNS) Depression

Central Nervous System (CNS) Depression

The Central Nervous System (CNS) controls your automatic breathing and the beating of your heart. When the Central Nervous System is depressed too much, your CNS can forget to breathe or beat your heart. This can cause death or brain damage.


Convulsions are involuntary rapid muscle contractions that repeatedly contract and relax muscles in a way that is beyond the ability of the individual to control the convulsions.


When an individual has loose stools more than three times in the same day, they have diarrhea.

Dry mouth

Dry mouth refers to a situation where your saliva glands don’t produce enough saliva to keep your mouth wet.


Heartburn is pain and discomfort in the center and upper part of the chest, the sensation may feel as if it is burning, and may include the neck and throat.

GI complaints

GI complaints involve a wide range of symptoms connected to the gastrointestinal tract. They range from chest pain, abdominal pain, hiccups, nausea and vomiting, gas, bloating, GERD, belching, flatulence, and numerous other complaints related to digestion and elimination of waste.



The inability of a man to sustain an erection.


Urinary incontinence is the inability to prevent leakage of urine, usually associated with coughing, sneezing, or lifting heavy objects. During a period of lethargy or decreased consciousness, a patient might not bother to get up to go to the bathroom or have enough awareness that they should.


Jaundice is noticeable when the skin and the whites of the eyes turn yellow as the result of too much bilirubin, which can be due to gallstones, tumors, and hepatitis.

Changes in libido 

Sexual desire may decline.

Menstrual disorder 

Symptoms can be physical, including heavier periods or missed periods and emotional, including uncontrollable mood swings.

Noise or ringing in the ears (Tinnitus)

Noise that is in the ear, not from the environment, which can include buzzing, ringing, roaring, whistling, or hissing.

Difficulty with urination

Reduced bladder function.


Stiffness of the muscles that prevent them from relaxing and can decrease the range of motion.

Increased or decreased salivation 

Dry mouth or too much saliva.


Seizures are uncontrolled electrical disturbances that occur in the brain that can affect your movements, level of consciousness, behavior, or feelings.


Regurgitating the contents of the stomach.

Blurred vision, constipation, decreased Level of Consciousness, amnesia, nasal congestion (Sinusitis),

nausea, visual disturbances, and tremors also belong in this category.

Energetic Side Effects

Energetic Side Effects

The energetic side effects of benzodiazepine sleeping pills reduce the energy an individual has to perform tasks, including activities they usually enjoy doing. It can feel as if they are out of fuel.


Fatigue is a mental and physical lack of energy that robs the person of the desire to do things they need to do and want to do.


Someone who is lethargic exhibits a pathological lack of responsiveness and activity. They do not have the energy or enough desire to make themselves take action – even sedentary activities like reading, watching television, or coloring may seem to take too much effort for an individual who feels lethargic.

Weakness and decreased energy are also side effects.

Behavioral Side Effects

Changes in appetite 

A loss of appetite is more common than an increase because depression of the CNS system slows digestion, but appetite could increase due to decreases in inhibition, so it can go either way.

Hyperactive behavior – Restlessness and an Inability to stay still 

Hyperactive behavior refers to activity that doesn’t necessarily have a reason, such as fidgeting and pacing, impulsive actions, difficulty concentrating, and being easily distracted.


You could say that talkativeness is hyperactivity of the mouth. Although some people are naturally talkative, this symptom refers to talkativeness that is not normal for the patient.

Emotional Side Effects

Emotional Side Effects


Hostility refers to a general demeanor that is unfriendly or worse, such as antagonistic.  In this case, it often refers to unwarranted hostility that occurs with little or no provocation, such as someone who reacts poorly when someone looks at them.


Someone who is irritable overresponds to small stimuli by expressing frustration or becoming upset. Small things, like dropping a spoon on the floor, might make someone who is irritable react in a strongly negative way.

Impaired neurological coordination (gait, speech, eye movements) – Coordination Difficulties

One of the side effects of these sleeping pills is delayed signals through the neurological system that interfere with the ability to walk, speak, and use our other senses the way we do when we are unimpaired.

Physical Side Effects


Bloating refers to the feeling that your belly is swollen and is most common after eating, especially a big meal. It can also be related to excess gas production or problems with the muscles in the digestive system performing appropriately. Those muscles are part of the CNS and can be adversely affected by depression of the CNS.

Neuromuscular & Skeletal Weakness

Skeletal muscle weakness is associated with COPD which is often associated with insomnia. The medication can also cause temporary weakness in the neuromuscular and skeletal systems.

Weight gain/loss

Benzodiazepines can cause weight gain and weight loss, partially due to appetite changes as well as lethargy.

Muscle cramps and aches and pains (Myalgia) are also potential side effects of benzodiazepines.

Cardiovascular Side Effects

Cardiovascular Side Effects

Cardiovascular side effects are some of the most dangerous sleeping pill side effects from benzodiazepines. Because benzodiazepines induce sleepiness by depressing the Central Nervous System (CNS) that controls the beating of your heart and breathing, too much depression can cause your heart to beat too slowly or, at overdose levels, to stop beating entirely.

Low Blood Pressure

When the heart does not beat frequently enough due to CNS depression, blood flow slows down. This reduces blood flow to the brain that can cause serious problems. If the CNS is too depressed, it can lead to permanent brain damage or death.

Slow heart rate (Bradycardia)

Bradycardia occurs for the same reason as low blood pressure noted above.

Passing out due to low blood pressure 

When the brain doesn’t receive enough oxygen because blood pressure is too low, it can cause faintness that results in fainting.

Blood dyscrasias (can be fatal)

Blood dyscrasias refers to an imbalance in the amount of blood, bile, lymph, and phlegm in the body.


Tachycardia is a disorder of the heart’s rhythm. During Tachycardia, the heart beats faster than normal and is not associated with exercise or a stress response, trauma, or illness.

Sleeping Pill Side Effects that occur in the Brain

Cognitive disorders including Confusion and Disorientation

These include amnesia (especially the inability to remember new information) which is discussed elsewhere and delirium, which involves confusion and disorientation. Cognitive disorders interfere with the ability to remember, learn, solve problems, and can lead to distorted perceptions. Decreased level of consciousness, headache, and hallucinations (auditory, visual, smell, and sensual) are also possible.


Nightmares are dreams that disrupt sleep because they are frightening or disturbing.

Psychological Side Effects

Abnormal thoughts

Abnormal thoughts can be disturbing thoughts that frighten the patient or even thoughts that cause paranoia or they can be thoughts at the other end of the spectrum that bring strong, positive emotions. The problem with abnormal thoughts is that they are distortions. For example, someone may feel convinced that the object of their affection returns their feelings when the person they are focused on is a celebrity who doesn’t know they exist. Terrifying abnormal thoughts can be thoughts that someone is out to harm you.

Aggressive behavior

When a patient exhibits aggressive behavior, it is usually unexpected, impulsive behavior that is an overreaction to the situation. The behavior can be violent and violate social norms as well as the law. If the person had an unexpected reaction to the legal use of benzodiazepines, they might be able to defend against legal charges but if they’ve mixed them with alcohol or taken them not as prescribed, they could be in serious legal trouble after exhibiting aggressive behavior.


One way to describe agitation is “not calm.” There is nothing calm about someone who is agitated. They will demonstrate their agitation physically, perhaps by pacing or wringing their hands. Their words will reflect their emotional state and can include annoyance, irritability, biting reactionary remarks, and even anger that all reflect their racing thoughts. They may talk excessively, a form of vocal fidgeting.


At its essence, anxiety involves feeling more stressed than the situation warrants. Someone who is feeling anxious feels worry or fear about situations that wouldn’t bother most people. These fears may be unfounded or simply blown out of proportion. Physical signs can include rapid breathing and heartbeat, sweating, and making themselves tired by the mental exertion of being worried.

Depression onset and Worsening depression including thoughts of suicide and completed suicide

Benzodiazepines can worsen existing depression and can also cause depression. The risk of suicidal thoughts increases.


Disinhibition refers to someone who doesn’t feel bound by normal socially required restraints relating to their behavior, words, and other actions. They may be highly impulsive, deciding to do things that aren’t socially acceptable or risky without giving thought to the potential consequences. Disinhibition affects the cognitive process the patient uses in decision-making, the emotions they feel, and their choices.


Euphoria is a state of happiness that lacks any sense of waiting for the other shoe to drop. This sense of happiness is intense, described as elation and an overall feeling of high positive energy.

Psychiatric disturbance

Psychiatric disturbances, up to and including onset of psychosis, have been reported as a rare side effects of benzodiazepines. Psychiatric disturbances cause changes in the way you think, how you feel, and your behavior. They can cause disability, and in some cases, loss of freedom or even death.


When your body and mind are stressed, biochemical and hormonal changes occur that produce adrenaline and cortisol. The fight or flight response makes your body ready for action and when you don’t act physically, the energy causes nervousness.

Withdrawal symptoms

It is critical not to stop taking benzodiazepines abruptly and to work with your doctor to stop taking them. Withdrawal symptoms, especially if done abruptly, can cause life threatening symptoms including seizures. Other withdrawal symptoms can include panic attacks, tremors, difficulty concentrating, muscle pain and stiffness, hallucinations, seizures, psychosis, heightened risk of suicide, insomnia, irritability, anxiety, and other cognitive and neurological impairments. Even short time medically supervised users can experience severe withdrawal symptoms.

Withdrawing use gradually reduces the risk of adverse withdrawal symptoms but does not eliminate it entirely.

Sleep Disturbances Side Effects

Rebound Insomnia (when sleeping pills are discontinued)

Stopping the use of benzodiazepines can cause insomnia or cause symptoms of insomnia to return.

Sleep related activities (sleep driving, sleep-cooking, sleep-eating, etc.) may occur 

Patients will sometimes drive, cook, eat, or have sex while they are asleep while taking benzodiazepines. These activities should be immediately reported to the doctor as they can be life threatening. In some cases, the patient doesn’t recall engaging in these activities during their sleep.

Allergic Responses to Benzodiazepines

Allergic reactions including anaphylaxis

Patients have had allergic reactions to benzodiazepines, including reactions that involved swelling of the throat and tongue.

Dermatitis (itchy dry skin or rash)

Dermatitis (itchy dry skin or rash)

Dermatitis refers to numerous skin conditions, from dandruff to dry, flaky patches of skin, swollen skin with a red tint, or even blisters that ooze. Dermatitis will often itch.


Hives are another reaction your skin can have to allergens. Hives are swollen bumps that are usually pale red, but they can also be plaques or wheals. They generally itch, sometimes almost irresistibly. They can also burn or sting.

Physical Damage from Benzodiazepine Use

Benzodiazepines can cause liver or gallbladder damage and should be monitored by the prescribing physician:

  • Increased liver transaminases (indicates potential damage to the liver)
  • Increase in ALP (indicator of liver or gallbladder problems)

Barbiturates Sleeping Pill Side Effects

Barbiturates also encourage sleep by depressing the function of the Central Nervous System (CNS), which means they have numerous sleeping pill side effects that overlap with benzodiazepines. They are only effective as a short-term solution since they tend to lose their effectiveness in as little as two weeks.

Serious side effects can occur including:

  • Developing an addiction to the drug
  • Depression and suicidal thoughts or actions
  • Dangerous withdrawal symptoms that can include delirium, convulsions, and death

Butabarbital (Butisol)


Hepatotoxicity occurs when the liver is damaged by chemicals it attempts to clear, such as the chemicals contained in barbiturates.

The more serious side effects are not common, but they are serious and include symptoms described previously in this article including hallucinations, CNS depression, Bradycardia, and Ataxia.

Mephobarbital (Mebaral)


Hyperkinesia can involve uncontrollable muscle movements. It can include hyperactivity.


Hypoventilation occurs when respiration is decreased below the level where adequate gas exchange between oxygen and carbon dioxide occurs in the lungs as the result of respiratory depression.

Uncommon side effects that were mentioned previously because they overlap with benzodiazepines include Bradycardia, confusion, hypotension (low blood pressure), Ataxia, CNS depression, nightmares, agitation, impaired neurological coordination, and nervousness as well as non-serious issues such as nausea, constipation, and vomiting.

Pentobarbital Sodium (Nembutal) and Seconal (Seconal Sodium)


Paranoia is a type of abnormal thinking that reflects a distrust of others or thoughts that you are being targeted, persecuted, or watched by individuals with undesirable intentions toward you. Paranoid thoughts are not rational, but they tend to be persistent and difficult to dismiss by someone who is experiencing them.

Numerous potential adverse side effects of these two barbiturates are serious and may result in death. They include decreased breathing due to CNS suppression, suicide, hallucinations, impaired neurological coordination (gait, speech, eye movements), dizziness, memory impairments, anxiety, agitation that were all described earlier. Less severe side effects of these sleeping pills include skin rashes, nausea, vomiting, constipation, and nightmares.

Rare side effects of Pentobarbital Sodium include apnea, hypoventilation, Bradycardia, hypotension, dizziness, hyperkinesia, syncope (fainting from lack of blood to the brain), headache, abnormal thinking, psychiatric disturbance, confusion, nervousness, dermatitis, and, with chronic use, megaloblastic anemia and liver damage.

In addition to the side effects it shares with Pentobarbital Sodium, the following sleeping pill side effects have been reported for Seconal use: impaired mental and physical abilities, hyperactivity, headache, irritability, bleeding, and fever.  

Phenobarbital (Luminal)


This is an eye disorder that makes the eyes make uncontrolled repetitive movements that interfere with depth perception and vision. This condition can lead to problems with balance and coordination that can cause falls and other accidents.

Common side effects described earlier include impaired neurological coordination (gait, speech, eye movements), respiratory depression, dizziness, drowsiness, slurred speech, vertigo, fatigue, headache, irritability, excitement, confusion, depression. Less common side effects include mental dullness, constipation, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, Megaloblastic (folate-deficiency) anemia. Uncommon side effects include rashes, Hepatotoxicity, and decreased calcium in the blood (Hypocalcemia).

Side Effects associated with using Anti-depressants as Sleeping Pills

Doxepin (Silenor)

Doxepin has a Black Box Warning related to a heightened suicide risk.

In addition to the Black Box Warning, side effects include agitation, panic attacks, irritability, impulsivity, mania, hypotension worsening depression, psychosis, seizures, sleep-driving, sleep-eating, sleep-cooking, sleep-phone calls anxiety, tachycardia, dizziness, paresthesia, blurred vision, Tinnitus, confusion, urinary retention, blood disorders, insomnia, fatigue, weakness, lethargy, headache, dry mouth, nausea, vomiting, sexual dysfunction, sweating, and rashes.


Sleeping pills come with the potential of a wide assortment of side effects, some of the risks are life altering and even deadly. Researchers report that sleeping pills help patients go to sleep about 13 minutes faster than they would without the pill and only increase total sleep time by 11 minutes per night.  Given the serious potential consequences of taking sleeping pills, it seems attempting to improve sleep quality with improved sleep hygiene and increased stress management skills is a better choice from a personal risk management perspective.

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Sleeping Pills and Alcohol Wed, 20 Nov 2019 05:18:56 +0000 Mixing sleeping pills and alcohol can be as dangerous as driving while blindfolded. Whether you use over-the-counter sleeping pills or prescribed pills to help you sleep, alcohol should not be mixed with sleeping pills. When a baby has trouble sleeping, we don’t give them sleeping pills. We teach them how to sleep on their own. …

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Mixing sleeping pills and alcohol can be as dangerous as driving while blindfolded. Whether you use over-the-counter sleeping pills or prescribed pills to help you sleep, alcohol should not be mixed with sleeping pills.

When a baby has trouble sleeping, we don’t give them sleeping pills. We teach them how to sleep on their own. Yet adults who have difficulty sleeping often turn to dangerous drugs instead of adjusting their habits to improve sleep hygiene, anxiety, activities, and worries that interfere with their ability to sleep. Taking sleeping pills is a dangerous choice. Research who looked at almost 225,000 patients across a 4-year period revealed that just 18 pills a year was associated with a risk of death that was 3.5 times higher during the years of the study. Individuals who took sleeping pills more often had a 35% higher risk of developing cancer. Similar findings have been reported in multiple studies, including a heightened risk of cardiovascular disease.

Additionally, when mixed with alcohol and other drugs that diminish the responsiveness of the central nervous system (CNS), sleeping pills can be immediately lethal. Most sleeping pills are a form of sedative, tranquilizer, or hypnotic that slow your brain’s activity. Slowing the brain’s activity makes the drugs useful for easing the stress and anxiety that is frequently associated with insomnia and for relaxing an insomniacs body. The slowed processing of the brain makes your thinking foggy which makes it difficult to fan the flames created by worrisome thoughts.

Common sleeping pills include:


  • Alprazolam (Xanax®)
  • Clonazepam (Klonopin®)
  • Diazepam (Valium®)
  • Estazolam (Prosom®)
  • Lorazepam (Ativan®)
  • Triazolam (Halcion®)

Hypnotics (Non-Benzodiazepine Sedatives)

  • Eszopiclone (Lunesta®)
  • Zaleplon (Sonata®)
  • Zolpidem (Ambien®)


  • Mephobarbital (Mebaral®)
  • Pentobarbital Sodium (Nembutal®)
  • Phenobarbital (Luminal®)

Sleeping pills generally increase the activity of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) which, in turn, reduces brain activity, making the person calm and sleepy. If the person doesn’t go to sleep, they’ll be uncoordinated because of the drugs’ effects.

Human nervous system

Alcohol also decreases brain activity. Combining alcohol and sleeping pills creates a dangerous polydrug situation where both substances reduce brain activity. When brain activity is reduced too much, it impedes its ability to carry out functions that are essential to life such as making the heart beat and the lungs breathe. When the brain slows too much that it forgets to breath or beat your heart, death is likely. If death doesn’t occur, brain damage from lack of oxygen or permanent psychosis are possible outcomes.

There are no good outcomes from suppressing the function of the brain so much that autonomic nervous system functions aren’t performed.

Call 911 for Help If Someone Experiences any of the following Symptoms


  • Severely impaired ability to think or reason (cognition)
  • Psychosis (may be permanent)
  • Seizures
  • Drowsiness
  • Panic attack
  • Impaired ability to remember
  • Dizziness
  • Hallucinations
  • Epilepsy

Heart and Circulatory System

  • Increased risk of heart attack (Cardiac arrest)
  • Increased risk of stroke

Respiratory System and Lungs

  • Respiratory failure
  • Respiratory depression
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Slowed breathing
  • Labored breathing


  • Liver damage
  • Kidney damage
  • Vomiting
  • Upset stomach

Accident Risk

  • Decrease in motor control of the body, loss of coordination
  • Dizziness
  • Inability to focus

 Erratic or Unpredictable Behavior

  • Unusual behavior
  • May cause brain lesions to develop that cause permanent behavior changes
  • Sleep walking that leads to fatalities (such as sleep driving or walking into traffic)
  • Increased risk of depression, psychotic disorders, clinically relevant anxiety, and bipolar disorder

Every package of sleeping pills should contain an admonishment not to consume alcohol or other CNS depressants including street drugs, opioid analgesics, some antidepressants, antipsychotics, and sedatives. Researchers in multiple countries report that patients often do not read the package inserts that come with their prescription medications. They rely on their healthcare professionals to prescribe safe drugs but if a patient hasn’t been honest about alcohol consumption, street drug use, or all the medications they’re taking, the physician can’t read their minds.

Also, patients should be aware that the physician burnout rate is high. More than half of all physicians have some symptoms of burnout. Burnout interferes with the ability to concentrate and increases the number of medical errors that occur. Patients who take responsibility for reading and following the label themselves may save their own life.

Patients who take responsibility for reading and following the label themselves may save their own life

Precautions that May Save Your Life

  • Don’t combine alcohol and sleeping pills
  • Don’t combine two or more drugs that advise against drinking alcohol while taking the drug without discussing the combination with your physician.
  • Read the package insert and if it doesn’t make sense to you, look the drug up online.
  • Online drug interaction checker:

Here are examples of warning information about combining three commonly prescribed sleeping pills with alcohol from the AARP Drug Interaction checker:




Note that the combination of alcohol with each of these drugs is considered a severe risk.

70% of all overdose deaths are attibuted to polydrug abuse

Medscape also has a drug interaction checker, but it is not as user friendly as the one that is free on AARP’s website. It takes more work to navigate to the warnings.

  • Don’t stop taking a prescribed drug without talking to your doctor
  • If there are interactions, talk to your doctor
  • Check interactions for over-the-counter drugs including
    • Over-the-counter cold, allergy, and cough medications
    • Antihistamines
    • Decongestants
    • Benadryl (Contained in more than 100 over-the-counter drugs)
    • Tylenol PM
    • Advil PM
    • Nyquil
    • Any nighttime medicine should be checked using the drug interaction checker (if PM or ZZZ is in the drug name, be extra cautious)
    • Don’t take drugs from friends. They may say, “It’s just Tylenol” when it is actually “Tylenol PM” because they don’t know that you also take a sleeping pill. Take responsibility for your health.
  • Prescription pain medicines including but not limited to Vicodin and OxyCotin are also dangerous in combination with sleeping pills
  • If you don’t understand clearly when to take your medication or how much to take, ask for clarification
  • Read the patient information sheets that come with every prescription. If the print is too small to read, complain to the pharmacy and look it up using one of the online prescription drug checkers
  • Understand how long you should take the drug and what side effects indicate you should seek medical attention or call your doctor
  • Avoid all alcohol when you are taking prescription drugs and any over-the-counter medications that suppress the central nervous system. Seniors citizens need to be extra cautious because it may take their body longer to metabolize the alcohol

Don’t rely on the warnings on the bottle. When researchers ordered a prescribed drug that can have life threatening complications at five different national pharmacies, the warning labels varied at each pharmacy and one pharmacy didn’t include any warning labels at all! When they took the testing further and ordered the same drug from three different locations of the same pharmacy, the labeling and warnings were different at each pharmacy.

Despite strict regulations, warning label compliance is not sufficient to rely on pharmacy labels to keep you safe. Each year, 128,000 Americans die because they took drugs as prescribed. Five times that, 1.3 million, are injured by prescribed medications. Look every drug you take up using one of the drug interaction trackers above. Each time you are prescribed a new drug or take a new over-the-counter drug, check for interactions among all the drugs you take. Set up a system to keep track of when you should take your pills and whether you took them. Make sure you understand whether or not you can drink alcohol when you take specific medications, including sleeping pills

Use a daily pill organizer to help you remember if you took your pills. If you’re not home when you need to take your pills, there are daily organizers with slots for morning, afternoon, evening, and bedtime that are easy to carry.

a week pill organizer on white

When you do something every day, it is easy to forget whether you did it on a specific day. Taking twice the dose of your sleeping pill can have serious consequences. If mixed with alcohol, those consequences can be deadly.

older people are great risk

Alternatives to Sleeping Pills if You want to Drink Alcohol

Solving the underlying problems that make you want sleeping pills and alcohol is the best choice.

The Importance of Good Nutrition

If you’re having difficulty sleeping to the point where you want to take a sleeping pill but are stressed because you regularly drink alcohol, better nutrition and some supplements may help you sleep better and may reduce your desire for alcohol. Metabolizing alcohol can deplete some the nutrients that maintain mental health, leading to physical and emotional problems.

Magnesium helps your body get to sleep. A lack of magnesium increases anxiety and stress response which may increase the desire to drink alcohol as a way to reduce anxiety. If you regularly drink or occasionally drink to the point of intoxication, you should take a magnesium supplement to make sure your body’s stores weren’t depleted when your liver had to process the alcohol.

Alcohol use can increase mood disorders, depression, anxiety, and apathy because your body depletes nutrients that protect against those problems when it processes the alcohol. The decrease in your mental and emotional well-being this causes increases the desire to drink alcohol. Restoring the vitamins and nutrients to your system can restore your mental well-being and make it easier to avoid alcohol.

The best long-term choice is a well-balanced diet and consuming enough water. In the interim, supplements can help your body restore lost vitamins and minerals. Look for a supplement that includes B-complex vitamins which are often affected by alcohol consumption:

  • Thiamin (Vitamin B1)
  • Riboflavin (Vitamin B2)
  • Niacin (Vitamin B3)
  • Pyridoxine (Vitamin B6)
  • Cobalamin (Vitamin B12)
  • Folic Acid
  • Pantothenic Acid

Also look for these ingredients in a daily supplement:

  • Calcium
  • Chromium
  • Iron
  • Manganese
  • Magnesium
  • Omega 3 EFA
  • Potassium
  • Zinc

You may be amazed by how much easier it is to stop drinking when your body has the vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that help maintain good mental health.

Taking supplements doesn’t offset all the negative effects of regular alcohol consumption or binge drinking, but it can help you recover. It would not be wise to assume you can drink frequently or in large quantities without repercussions if you eat well.

You should drink 15 – 16 cups of water each day if you’re a male and 12 – 13 cups if you’re female. These recommendations are based on average body sizes so if you are unusually large or small for your gender, adjust your consumption accordingly.

The Importance of Stress Management Skills

When we don’t feel good, we want to feel better. Alcohol suppresses our emotions and provides temporary relief, but it doesn’t do anything to improve the situation and can make it worse.

When we feel negative emotions, it is an indicator that lets us know our mind and/or body are experiencing stress. In modern life, stress can usually be alleviated by changing our perspective about the topic we’re thinking about. When we shift to a more empowered perspective, we can feel better before anything else changes. Changing our perspective doesn’t require alcohol.

In other scenarios, we’re focused on something the media has brought to our awareness that is happening on the other side of the world and we don’t have any power to change it. Focusing on such things harms us and doesn’t help those who are suffering. If you want to send a donation, do it, and then put them out of your mind because thinking about things you can’t control and don’t have the power to change harms you.

We develop habits of thought that make us lean toward negative or positive thoughts that can keep our mind on unhelpful loops. It is possible to change our habits of thought so that our automatic thoughts are less stressful. Making this change can reduce the desire to drink alcohol because when you feel good, alcohol makes you feel worse. It also reduces the anxiety that causes insomnia in so many people, so it can reduce your desire for sleeping pills and alcohol.

Take care of yourself and sleep well.

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Best Prescription Sleep Aid Wed, 20 Nov 2019 04:57:52 +0000 The best prescription sleep aid is the one with the lowest risks that works for you. Sleeping aids are not a long-term solution for insomnia. Most prescribed sleeping pills are required to display a Black Box Warning due to side effects that have caused death in other patients. In addition to the serious and life-threatening …

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The best prescription sleep aid is the one with the lowest risks that works for you. Sleeping aids are not a long-term solution for insomnia. Most prescribed sleeping pills are required to display a Black Box Warning due to side effects that have caused death in other patients. In addition to the serious and life-threatening side effects required in the Black Box Warning, most sleeping pills have a long list of adverse reactions from their clinical trials and post-trial reports.

guide to drug safety terms at FDA

The few prescription sleep aids that don’t have a Black Box Warning are relatively new. That doesn’t mean they are safer. The only thing you can be sure of is that the adverse effects haven’t been reported yet. The FDA usually mandates Black Box Warning labels after a drug is being used by patients who are not part of a clinical trial report serious adverse reactions. In plain English, this means that some people experienced serious and life-threatening side effects before the FDA required the Black Box Label. With new drugs, the full range of side effects is often unknown.

Several classifications of drugs are used as prescription sleep aids. The most common include Hypnotics, Benzodiazepines, Barbiturates, anti-depressants, Melatonin Receptor Agonists, and Serotonin Antagonists. While some drugs were developed for use as sleep aids, some are off-label drugs that are prescribed as sleep aids. Off-label drugs refers to a drug that is approved by the FDA for a different use that also has a positive effect on the off-label use for which it is prescribed. Using off label prescription drugs as sleep aids is a common practice.

Let’s take a look at the warnings, side effects, and contraindicators for the most commonly prescribed sleep aids.

Hypnotics (Non-Benzodiazepine Sedatives)

Hypnotics are prescription medications prescribed to treat insomnia, Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS) and Periodic Limb Movement Disorder. Z-drugs is another name used to refer to this GABA-A agonist that induces a sedative effect which can cause sleepiness. Although they effect the body in much the same way benzodiazepines do, they create the effect through a different mechanism.

Use: persistent problems with insomnia or problems that interfere with sleep such as RLS.

Side Effects

Black Box Warnings

Complex sleep behaviors including sleep-walking, sleep-driving, and engaging in other activities while not fully awake may occur with therapy; some of these events may result in serious injuries, including death; discontinue therapy immediately if patient experiences a complex sleep behavior

All three hypnotics also include the risks of:

  • Worsening respiratory disease
  • Worsening clinical depression including suicidal thoughts and completed suicides
  • Psychomotor impairments the day after taking this prescription sleep aid including:
    • Impaired driving (especially if the patient did not sleep 7 – 8 hours after taking the dose)
    • When other Central Nervous System depressants (including alcohol) were also taken
  • Increased risk of falls including hip fractures and intracranial hemorrhage – especially among the elderly

Eszopiclone (Lunesta) and Zaleplon (Sonata)

The most common adverse effect was headaches, experienced by 38% of patients. Other side effects include amnesia, eye pain, dizziness, abdominal pain and less common side effects including tremors, hallucinations, and skin sensations with no apparent cause.

Zolpidem (Ambien, Edluar, Zolpimist, Intermezzo)

The following warnings should be considered in addition to the Black Box and other warnings:

  • Decreased level of consciousness
  • Risk of abuse – especially for individuals with a history of drug dependence
  • Severe anaphylactic and anaphylaxis in some patients
  • Behavior abnormalities including decreased inhibition, uncharacteristic aggressiveness and extroversion, bizarre behaviors, depersonalization, and agitation

Reported adverse effects also include hallucinations, and quality of life problems like headaches and less common side effects which include memory disorders, heart palpitations, depression, visual disturbances as well as some minor irritants.


hotel, travel, relationships, and problems with sleep concept

Physicians will generally try a hypnotic before they prescribe benzodiazepines as a sleep aid because the side effects from benzodiazepines can be more significant.

Benzodiazepines are also used to treat anxiety and seizure disorders.

Black Box Warnings

Concomitant use of benzodiazepines and opioids may result in profound respiratory depression, coma, and death; administer concomitantly when there are no alternative options; limit dosages and durations to minimum required; monitor for signs and symptoms of respiratory depression and sedation..

The duration of the drug’s effectiveness varies by type of benzodiazepine used. The bodies of senior citizens and women may process the drug out of their system more slowly. That means the effects may last longer in those groups, which can be dangerous. Individuals with impaired liver function may also be affected for a longer period. The higher the dose, the greater the risk that adverse side effects will occur.

Cautions and Contraindicators

Benzodiazepines can cause serious side effects in the healthiest patient. When a patient already has health impairments, the danger is even higher. Patients with the following conditions or histories may not be good candidates for benzodiazepines because of increased risks:

  • History of drug or alcohol dependence
  • Respiratory impairment ( COPD, Sleep Apnea, lung diseases, etc. )
  • Liver impairment
  • Patients with psychotic illness or depression

In addition, benzodiazepines include the following warnings:

  • May cause drug dependence
  • Central Nervous System (CNS) depression that impairs mental and physical abilities can occur
  • Hyperactive, aggressive, or paradoxical behavior may occur
  • Do not consume alcohol
  • Do not take other CNS depressants
  • May interfere with the ability to drive or operate machinery the next day

Researchers report that sleeping pills are prescribed when they should not be, due to contraindicators, so we strongly encourage you to read the package insert and look up drug interactions yourself to reduce the risk that your physician makes a mistake that you’ll end up paying a hefty price for.

Side Effects

The reported side effects for the various types of benzodiazepines have significant overlap and include numerous life-threatening reactions. We strongly encourage you to read the package insert, ask questions if you don’t understand everything, and avoid drug interactions. Each benzodiazepine has numerous potential side effects. The following list is for all benzodiazepines. For the specific side effects of the prescription benzodiazepine you were prescribed as a sleep aid, refer to the package insert.

Serious adverse effects of benzodiazepines that can directly or indirectly cause death include:

  • Blood dyscrasias
  • Central Nervous System (CNS) depression
  • Cognitive disorders
  • Confusion and disorientation
  • Allergic reactions including anaphylaxis
  • Decreased level of consciousness
  • Worsening depression including thoughts of suicide and completed suicide
  • Fall risk; especially in elderly patients
  • Slow heart rate (Bradycardia)
  • Hallucinations (auditory and visual)
  • Increased liver transaminases (indicates potential damage to the liver)
  • Increase in ALP (indicator of liver or gallbladder problems)
  • Impaired neurological coordination (gait, speech, eye movements)
  • Psychiatric disturbance
  • Sleep related activities (sleep driving, sleep-cooking, sleep-eating, etc.)
  • Passing out due to low blood pressure
  • Seizures
  • Tachycardia

senior adult had an collapse, a young woman do first aid

Additional adverse effects include behavioral changes, amnesia, and a long list of lesser adverse effects including trouble with urination, tremors, impotence, nausea and other quality of life issues.

Report any side affects you experience to your doctor.

Types of Benzodiazepines

Clorazepic acid (Tranxene)

Anxiety and anti-seizure medication (use for insomnia is off label).

Triazolam (Halcion)

Insomnia treatment. If increased daytime anxiety is experienced, call your doctor immediately.

Quazepam (Doral)

Treatment for insomnia.

Alprazolam (Xanax)

Prescribed for anxiety and anxiety associated with depression; use as a sleeping pill is off label. Xanax has a slow onset and continues acting for 11 – 20 hours in healthy adults. This period may be longer in elderly individuals and those with reduced liver function

Lorazepam (Ativan, Lorazepam Intensol)

Short-term insomnia treatment and anxiety medication. Off-label for chronic insomnia. This is a fast-acting prescription sleep aid.

Estazolam (Prosom)

Primarily used as a sleep aid.

Temazepam (Normison, Restoril)

Used to treat insomnia patients.

Chlordiazepoxide (Librium)

Prescribed primarily for post-operative anxiety.

Clonazepam (Klonopin)

Clonazepam has an intermediate onset. It is not fast acting. Used primarily for panic and seizure disorders, and off label use for REM Sleep Behavior Disorder.

Diazepam (Valium)

Off label use for insomnia; primarily used for sedation in hospitals, anxiety, and anti-seizure needs. This is a fast-acting drug and is one of the few benzodiazepines that doesn’t report amnesia as a potential side effect.

Flurazepam hydrochloride (Dalmane)

Proscribed as a sleep aid for insomnia or trouble staying asleep as well as waking up too early.



Barbiturates are sedative hypnotics that depress Central Nervous System (CNS) function, including depressing the sensory cortex and motor activity and altering cerebellar function. Even when a patient manages to sleep using a barbiturate, researchers report that the sleep they experience isn’t as healthy or restorative as natural sleep. When patients are observed in sleep laboratories, the amount of time in the REM (rapid eye movement) phase of sleep is reduced.

REM sleep is essential for health. Individuals who sleep but don’t get sufficient REM sleep experience increased inflammation, obesity risk, and memory problems. Patients who are inhibited from any REM sleep also have an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, depression, and diabetes.

Barbiturates lose much of their ability to induce and maintain sleep with daily use for as little as two weeks.

Cautions and Contraindicators

Barbiturates may cause:

  • Dependence on the drug
  • Depression and suicidal tendencies
  • Withdrawal symptoms (including delirium, convulsions, and possibly, death)

Barbiturates are contraindicated for individuals who have a history of:

  • Severe respiratory disease
  • Chronic pain patients
  • History of drug abuse
  • Liver disease
  • Porphyria
  • Current pregnancy or nursing
  • Elderly

Butabarbital (Butisol)

The serious reported adverse effects all occur less than 1% of the time but include hallucinations, hepatotoxicity, CNS depression, Bradycardia, Ataxia, and numerous other side effects.

Mephobarbital (Mebaral)

Uncommon side effects include Bradycardia, confusion, hypotension, hyperkinesia, ataxia, CNS depression, nightmares, and nervousness as well as non-serious issues such as nausea.

Pentobarbital Sodium (Nembutal) and Seconal (Seconal Sodium)

The adverse effects can be deadly including suicide and impaired breathing that leads to death, memory impairments, and paranoia.


Doxepin (Silenor)

This anti-depressant is also used to treat insomnia.

Black Box Warnings

In short-term studies, antidepressants increased the risk of suicidal thinking and behavior in children, adolescents, and young adults (<24 years) taking antidepressants for major depressive disorders and other psychiatric illnesses

This increase was not seen in patients >24 years; a slight decrease in suicidal thinking was seen in adults >65 years

In children and young adults, risks must be weighed against the benefits of taking antidepressants

Patients should be monitored closely for changes in behavior, clinical worsening, and suicidal tendencies; this should be done during initial 1-2 months of therapy and dosage adjustments

The patient’s family should communicate any abrupt changes in behavior to the healthcare provider

Worsening behavior and suicidal tendencies that are not part of the presenting symptoms may require discontinuation of therapy

This drug is not approved for use in pediatric patients

Adverse effects include paresthesia, tachycardia, confusion, weakness, and other serious and non-serious risks.

Melatonin Receptor Agonist

Tasimelteon (Hetlioz)

This prescription sleep aid is designed to assist with a form of insomnia, a non-24-hour sleep/wake cycle, that affects people who are totally blind. The cost is over $15,000 for a 30-day supply and may take weeks or months to be effective.

It’s limited use and status as an orphan drug means it is not a good candidate for the best insomnia prescription sleep aid for sighted people.

Ramelteon (Rozerem)

Like other insomnia treatments, Ramelteon may impair the ability to function or perform hazardous tasks the next day.

While there is a potential for cognitive and behavioral changes, the reported adverse effects are not as numerous or life-threatening as many other insomnia treatments.

Adverse Effects include dizziness, headaches, fatigue, nausea, depression, and hallucinations – all common side affects of prescription sleep aids.

At a cost of $82 for a month’s supply, Ramelteon appears to be the best prescription sleep aid due to fewer potential adverse effects and a price that is affordable for many people.

Serotonin Antagonist and Reuptake Inhibitor

Trazodone (Desyrel)

Trazodone is primarily an anti-depressant that is used off label for insomnia.

Black Box Warnings

In short-term studies, antidepressants increased the risk of suicidal thinking and behavior in children, adolescents, and young adults (<24 years) taking antidepressants for major depressive disorders and other psychiatric illnesses.

Behavioral changes, including prolonged or inappropriate erections, increased bleeding, and suicidal ideation are a significant concern when taking Trazodone. There is a 5 – 40% risk of blurred vision, dizziness, and milder physical symptoms.

Additional side-affects, some of them serious, were reported with low frequency.

Selective, Dual Orexin Receptor Antagonist

Suvorexant (Belsomra)

In clinical trials, the adverse effects were not serious but after being used by the public, cardiac disorders, tachycardia, heart palpitations, and nervous system disorders were reported.

Additional Life-Threatening Risks of Prescription Sleep Aids

Prescription sleep aids should not be used for long-term relief of sleep problems. Regardless of which type you are prescribed; they provide only a dose-dependent temporary solution that carries substantial risks. Researchers report shocking health risks from the use of prescribed sleeping aids that are taken as directed. These risks include:

No difference in the risk of death was observed between the newer versions of sleeping pills that are marketed as safer because they are faster acting. Researchers who evaluated the effect of insomnia without medication on mortality determined that it was taking sleeping pills, not the insomnia, that was responsible for reduced life expectancy.

The increased risk of accidents and falls is partially responsible for the increased risk of death. The inability to focus well enough to safely operate vehicles and machinery is also partially responsible. Failing to address underlying physical and mental health issues that are causing insomnia also contributes to the increased risk of premature death.

Alternatives to Sleeping Pills

Alternatives to Sleeping Pills


Prescription sleep aids are not recommended as a long-term solution for sleep problems. The official recommendation is to look for a primary psychiatric disorder or underlying medical illness if insomnia is not eliminated in 7 – 10 days of treatment with a prescription sleep aid. They also should not be the first line of defense. Health care providers are advised to carefully evaluate patients for underlying physical or mental issues prior to prescribing a sleep aid.

Individuals with a healthy mind and body will be able to sleep naturally. Insomnia is a symptom of something else. In many cases, anxiety and depression are the underlying cause. Sometimes the cause has a physical basis.

One form of Cognitive Behavior Therapy (iCBT) is very effective on insomnia with benefits seen in as little as one session and complete remission of insomnia symptoms following six sessions. Although the cost of therapy is initially more than the cost of a prescription, across time, the cost is significantly lower from the perspective of dollars spent as well as wear and tear on the mind and body.

Stress Management Skills Development

Most insomnia, including the inability to get to sleep and back to sleep after waking, is related to stress and anxiety. When the mind repeatedly brings up troublesome thoughts, relaxing into sleep becomes difficult.

Learning and using stress management skills develops the ability to take control of your runaway thoughts and calm your mind so worries, guilt, grief, and anxiety doesn’t keep you awake. These skills can be developed with the assistance of a mental health professional or using self-help methods including books that teach you how to develop healthier habits of thought.

Sleep Hygiene

Improving sleep hygiene can help you go to sleep faster: How to Fall Asleep Faster

Importance of Sleep

There are three primary pillars of health: good nutrition, adequate sleep, and exercise. Of the three, sleep is the most important because lack of sleep can cause death in a short period of time, directly, or by causing a fatal accident. In as little as three or four days, lack of sleep causes hallucinations. There are no human reports of dying from lack of sleep since such experiments would violate ethical standards, however, there are animal tests where all the animals died when they were completely deprived of sleep.

Inadequate sleep also reduces coordination, mood, and self-control which can cause life-altering behavior and accidents.

Insomnia puts individuals between a rock and a hard place. They need to sleep but the risks of most prescription sleep aids can be significant for healthy individuals and even worse for the elderly and people with pre-existing illnesses or a history of drug dependence.

Best Prescription Sleep Aid

Your physician will evaluate your medical history, pregnancy and nursing status, age, and any issues with drug or alcohol dependence before making a decision on what to prescribe. Your doctor will also evaluate other drugs you may be taking for drug interactions.

If your doctor prescribes Ramelteon (Rozerem), you will be taking the prescription sleep aid with the lowest risk of adverse side effects.

Regardless of what your physician prescribes, remember that sleeping pills are not a cure for insomnia – they are only a dose-dependent way to get some sleep on a temporary basis. The risks associated with long-term use are high. There are other methods of addressing insomnia that do not require you to take dangerous prescription sleep aids.

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What Is The Difference Between A Queen Bed, Double Bed And A Full Bed? Wed, 25 Sep 2019 07:08:35 +0000 Believe it or not, do you know your bed can determine how your mood will be like throughout the day? If you are well rested and had a comfortable sleep at night, you will emit positive vibes whether at work, school or even in sports. Remember that whatever bed or mattress you choose, comfort is …

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Believe it or not, do you know your bed can determine how your mood will be like throughout the day? If you are well rested and had a comfortable sleep at night, you will emit positive vibes whether at work, school or even in sports. Remember that whatever bed or mattress you choose, comfort is key. Of course, other factors also contribute to the quality or otherwise of your sleep.

Whether you like to sprawl out or snuggle, you have to find the right bed size. What is the difference between a queen, a double, and a full bed? Why is it important to make the right choice when it comes to these beds?

Full Size vs. Queen Beds

Full-size beds are larger than small twin beds, but smaller than queen-sized beds. Their main difference lies in the surface area, width, and length. Most people are unaware of the actual dimensions, and they are not to blame because there are many names and dimensions.

Full beds are 54 inches wide and 75 inches long while queen beds are 60 inches wide and 80 inches long.

These bed sizes are popular for people who like sleeping alone. A great part about owning a full bed is that it provides you with much more sleeping space without taking up a lot of room. The size will fit in most bedrooms comfortably and still allow you enough space to maneuver.

Full beds are also more popular because they are cheaper. Additionally, their spare parts are easily accessible. Queen size beds require larger duvets, sheets, and comforters. Compared to full-sized beds, queen-sized ones are relatively costlier. If you toss and turn at night, the latter are perhaps the best choice.

Their extra space will keep you from falling off the bed. While they are not ideal for couples, they still offer 30 inches of space per person, which is quite significant. The beds are the perfect solution for couples who do not have much space in their bedrooms for bigger beds.

Non-Standard Dimensions

Each manufacturer has different sizes depending on the frames and springs they use. There are full XL beds that are extra-long. These measures 54X80 inches, which is just like a queen bed.

There is also the Olympic queen or the expanded queen whose mattress is 6 inches wider than the standard queen mattress. However, these maintain their length. There are the California queen beds, which are obsolete since they are waterbed mattresses. They are usually 4 inches longer than the standard size.

Full vs. Double Beds

Full beds and double beds are the same thing. These terms are used to refer to mattresses measuring 54 by 75 inches. While the name double bed suggests that the bed is twice the size of the twin or single bed, it is not.

It is only 15 inches wider than the twin bed and maintains the same length. It only offers couples 27 inches of space per person. This is equivalent to a crib space. It is not ideal for quality rest.

Useful Considerations When Choosing The Right Size Bed For You

What Is The Difference Between A Queen Bed, Double Bed And A Full Bed

Do You Really Like To Cozy Up To Your Partner?

If you love cuddle time with your partner, you may want to consider getting a full bed. This will give you enough space to sleep and still be as close as possible to your partner. Statistics show that the happiest couples are those who sleep only a few inches from each other, snuggle or spoon at night. This type of bed will make your relationship healthier. However, you must consider your height and that of your partner. Full-size beds are only recommended for people who are less than 5 feet tall.

Do You Want Some Personal Space?

While you do love your partner, some people are normally uncomfortable being too close to their partners. In this case, consider getting a queen-size bed. It will still give you the chance to be close to your partner, but you will also have 30 inches all to yourself when you need it.

Queen size beds are also good for people who have infants and want to co-sleep with them. It will give you the chance to be close to both your baby and your partner.


You also need to consider how much money you have to spend on your bed. Both beds and mattresses will have a varying price range. Remember to always go for quality over quantity. A bad queen size bed could be a health hazard in any home. Besides, how much sleep can you get knowing that your bed could crumble into pieces with you in it?


The difference in size between these beds impact comfort and quality of sleep. However, you also need to choose the right mattress firmness and sheets. Even with a good amount of space between you and your partner, if the mattress is uncomfortable, none of you will be sleeping well.

The choice on which bed is perfect for you is an extremely personal one. However, you need to ensure that the bed is comfortable and allows you to rest well at night.

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How Long Can Bed Bugs Live In An Empty House? Wed, 25 Sep 2019 06:43:11 +0000 Finally, you have found a new house/apartment, and you are planning to move in. However, the house you are about to move in was initially infested by bed bugs, and that keeps you wondering … Mmmhhh, how long can beg bugs live in an empty house? Bed bugs survive on blood. They need blood as …

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Finally, you have found a new house/apartment, and you are planning to move in. However, the house you are about to move in was initially infested by bed bugs, and that keeps you wondering … Mmmhhh, how long can beg bugs live in an empty house?

Bed bugs survive on blood. They need blood as often as possible to not only maintain their body weight but also live longer. Does this mean that they will die once their food supply is removed or the house is empty? No!

The tiny parasites can survive up to over one year in an empty house without feeding. Nonetheless, several factors such as temperature and age determine their survival.

Temperature Changes

Unlike other pests in your home, bed bugs can thrive both in cold or hot temperatures. Conversely, if the temperature is extremely hot or cold, their body will not have enough resistance to keep them alive past a period of about one month. When the condition is somewhat slightly cold or slightly hot, then, these pests will not even notice that they do not have any food supply. Warm weather allows them to continue living comfortably in an empty house as they wait for a fresh food supply.

Therefore, instead of planning for a vacation while thinking of how to get rid of bed bugs, it is essential to start dealing with bed bugs. Unless you are sure you will expose them to extreme hot or cold conditions and your vacation will take approximately three months, they will still be around upon your return.

Bed Bugs Age Difference

Bed bugs have different age groups. They go through at least five stages before attaining maturity. When a bed bug hatches from an egg, the immature bug is called a nymph. A nymph goes through 5-stages before it reaches its full maturity. For a nymph to survive it mounts and feeds on every stage.

In other words, for a nymph to attain maturity, it will require to feed at least 2-4 times on every stage. However, even when there is not enough feeding supply, the young bug at its tender age still has the potential to live for a couple of weeks.

On the other hand, when the nymph attains its full maturity, its survival tactics enhance. Adults try to feed every 3-7 days. But when they are not lucky enough to feed all those days, they still have the strength to persevere.

Adults can survive scorching heat waves, hibernate in cold temperatures, and still have the fighting strength to push forward. Adult bed bugs can even lose approximately 1/3 of their body weight.

When there is food scarcity, they enter a semi-hibernation stage where they conserve their energy to prolong their life cycle.

If living in a controlled environment such as laboratories, adult bed bugs can live for up to 485 days without food. However, empty houses do not have the same settings as a controlled environment, hence limiting the survival of bed bugs infestation.

Will Bed Bugs Die When They Are Left In An Empty Room?

If left long enough, anything will eventually die due to starvation. Bed bugs are no exception. Although you may not be personally in the house, if there are animals and other living pests like mice, bed bugs are likely to keep living.

When you leave your household items uncovered, it also guarantees that the bed bugs are free to move around in search of food. Therefore, they will travel up and down to ensure they trace potential meals to keep living.

However, in the instances where there are no chances of finding any other source of blood, they will also try to conserve their energy and live pretty longer before dying of starvation.

Additionally, it is possible to hibernate them in a single room and seal all the escape routes completely. Even though there are still chances of surviving, when you do this long enough, you might be lucky to eliminate them in your home.

How To Trap Bed Bugs In An Empty House?

People often think that because a house is vacant, bugs cannot infest. Unlike other pests, bugs can comfortably survive in empty houses for the longest period. When there is a limited food supply, bugs go into the semi-hibernation state. At this stage, nothing will draw them out unless they sense carbon dioxide from a host.

However, you do not have to be the bait when trapping bugs from their hibernation. Instead, you can invest in traps such as active lures and SenSci volcano monitor, which mimics human skin chemicals. This trap will encourage bugs to leave their hiding nests and drive them directly to the trap.

There are also other tools like the bed bug interceptor that allows you to monitor infestation. These will lure the bed bugs and catch them when they try to climb on to furniture. They are also great because they tell you whether an empty house is infested.

You should always keep in mind that pesticide application will not always work when it comes to eliminating bed bugs in an empty house completely. Other elimination methods such as steaming, vacuuming, and laundering belongings are effective.

You should also consider sealing gaps where these pests can hide. You may also want to think about encasing mattresses, pillows, and bedsprings with bed bug proof protectors. Home remedies like kerosene also do an excellent job.

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How to Fall Asleep In a Car? Wed, 25 Sep 2019 06:35:28 +0000 Sleeping in a vehicle is inevitable sometimes. Even after you try your best to keep up and stay awake, your eyes can become heavy especially when you have been driving for many hours. During these instances, instead of punishing your body by trying to remain awake, it might be best if you sleep inside the …

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Sleeping in a vehicle is inevitable sometimes. Even after you try your best to keep up and stay awake, your eyes can become heavy especially when you have been driving for many hours. During these instances, instead of punishing your body by trying to remain awake, it might be best if you sleep inside the car for a couple of hours.

A car unlike like your home or a hotel with luxurious beds, will not guarantee you safety and comfort you would require to sleep. However, with some tricks, you can enjoy your slumber inside your ride.

Improvise On What You Have

Everyone has a special list of wants as far as sleeping is concerned. When you are sleeping in an unfamiliar environment, you are likely required to bypass your expectations or sleeping routine. When you are planning to sleep in a car, it is time to improvise on what you have to get what you need.

Fall Asleep In a Car? Position Yourself

While you have the luxury and liberty to sleep in comfortable pajamas and laying on a bed that is neatly spread with clean sheets in your house, that doesn’t happen when taking a nap inside your car. In a car, you have to mimic all these settings for you to have a peaceful rest. So, incline your car seat to a leaning position to minimize movement, especially on a rough road.

Secondly, ensure to have a comfortable and warm additional clothing to wrap yourself. Covering yourself with an extra jacket might do the magic. Remember to loosen your clothes and shoes to support proper blood flow across the entire body.

Related: How to Fall Asleep Fast

Eliminate Noise and Light

Noise and light are often the biggest challenges when it comes to resting or sleeping in a vehicle. Since you may not be able to completely switch off the lights or turn off the media player, you can put on a sleeping mask to shade off light as you sleep. In addition to that, you can wear a pair of earplugs or noise-canceling headphones to minimize noise.

Allow your mind to relax and rest completely.

Support Your Head

Sleeping in a car means your neck muscle might not relax completely as it has to support the head. If you do not have a pillow, improvise and support yourself with a jacket. If leaning backwards or sideways is not enough to keep you comfortable, lean forward and place your head on your laps.

Find a Convenient Place

If you have been driving for several hours and over a long distance, you are likely to experience fatigue. The last thing you want is to continue driving even when fatigue and lack of sleep are taking a toll on you. There is no crime in resting or giving in to your body advances.

Park your vehicle at a secure location, roll up the windows, and sleep. It is prudent to keep off the main road. If possible, have someone watch over the car as you sleep.

Accept the Amount of Sleep You Get

It is recommended for a person to sleep at least 7-9 hours every day. This amount of sleep will help you relax your body muscles and brain too. However, when sleeping in a vehicle, you may not have all these hours of rest. This is often due to a host of inevitable interruptions. Therefore, if you get at least one or two hours of maximum rest, keep a positive attitude, and be appreciative.


Sleeping is more than shutting your eyes and calling it a night. It takes more preparations to completely put your senses to rest and concentrate on your dreams. It gets more complex when you are trying to do it in a vehicle. However, with the above tips, sleeping in a car can be a walk in the park.

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