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When to take a sleeping pill for insomnia?

Insomnia is defined as difficulty falling asleep, difficulty staying asleep, or waking up early in the morning and not being able to return to sleep. In general, people with insomnia sleep less or sleep poorly despite having an adequate chance to sleep. The poor sleep causes difficulty functioning during the daytime. Insomnia is not defined by the number of hours slept because the amount of sleep needed varies from one person to another.

sleeping pill for insomnia

In many cases, insomnia occurs when there is another problem, such as stress, pain, or a medical condition. In these cases, treatment of the underlying problem may help to improve sleep. In other cases, either the cause of insomnia is not clear or the insomnia does not get better when the co-existing problem is treated; therefore, the insomnia itself needs to be specifically addressed.

Sleeping pills can be an effective treatment for chronic insomnia. But like any other drug, sleep medications can have side effects. One potential side effect of sleeping pills is daytime drowsiness.

Sleep medications are powerful hypnotics. They can be helpful because they cause a strong urge to sleep. But you don’t want this sleepiness to persist after you wake up.

One way to minimize the risk of daytime drowsiness is to take a sleeping pill at the right time of night. Most sleeping pills – such as Zolpidem (Ambien) or Zimovane (Zopiclone) - should be taken right before you get in bed.

You should only take these sleeping pills when you are able to get a full night of sleep. This means that you should take the medication at least seven to eight hours before you need to wake up.

In every case you should follow your doctor's advice with regard to medication – starting, changing or finishing a course of medication can have serious effects. Ensure that you consult your GP if you have any questions on this.