When Should I Consider Sleeping Pills To Help Me Fall Asleep?

Dr. Reena Mehra answers the question: 'When Should I Consider Sleeping Pills?'

ByABC News
December 22, 2008, 3:55 PM

— -- Question: When should I consider sleeping pills to help me fall asleep?

Answer: Sleeping medications really should be the last resort as far as treating sleep difficulties. When people have sleep difficulties, we oftentimes categorize it into sleep onset insomnia or sleep maintenance insomnia. Sleep onset insomnia can be due to a variety of reasons. Feelings of anxiety which we term psychophysiologic insomnia, also pain syndromes, medical disorders that can be causing problems with sleep onset.

So you want to target the specific issue at hand that's causing the sleep difficulty. In addition with sleep maintenance insomnia, whatever the reason is for the awakening, whether it be pain, shortness of breath related to an underlying medical issue, or whatnot, you want to target that specific symptom, although using a sleeping medication may be an easy thing to do, it's not always the right thing to do.