How Do Sleeping Pills Help With Insomnia And Anxiety In Older People

As an individual approaches old age, they may struggle to fall asleep at night. Due to the lack of nighttime sleep, they may develop a strong urge to sleep during the daytime. Lack of sleep can make them feel dizzy and fatigued throughout the day. These sleeping difficulties may arise due to several reasons such as sleep disorders including sleep apnea, insomnia, restless leg syndrome, narcolepsy, physiological health conditions, illnesses, mental health disorders, interference with medications, or surgery.  


Insomnia is a sleeping disorder that is commonly observed among older individuals. It causes them to stay awake the entire night. Even if they somehow drift to slumber, it might get interrupted, making it challenging for them to go back to sleep. Their cranky and irritable behavior the following day can be attributed to the sleep deprivation of the night, which can also make them feel anxious. One can relieve their sleep difficulties with the help of sleeping pills. To know how sleeping pills work, continue reading.   

How do sleeping pills work?  

Sleeping pills are drugs that are known by different names such as sedative-hypnotics, sleep aids, or tranquilizers. These drugs work by making you feel completely relaxed. They target the brain receptors that are responsible for controlling your sleep-wake cycle. The effects of these pills slow down your nervous system function. You may slowly start feeling drowsy. The drug may cause you to feel such a way by lowering your alertness. Thus, they impact the particular area of your brain that is responsible for keeping you alert and active.     

Are sleeping pills effective?  

According to several studies, sleep aids are not that effective to provide you with guaranteed results. They might cause you to fall asleep quickly, but it does not ensure satisfactory sleep. It might make it easier for you to fall asleep, but you may still wake up n the middle and struggle to go back to sleep. Also, these sleep aids can be helpful for minor sleeping troubles, and they must be used on a short-term basis. They are not recommended for long-term usage due to their detrimental side effects, which can affect your brain function and even the spinal cord.  

Which sleeping pill is the best?

There is an availability of a range of over-the-counter (OTC) sleeping medications. They can be easily bought from pharmaceutical stores. They usually do not require a doctor’s prescription, which is why they pose a higher risk of side effects. Lack of adequate clinical backing makes these drugs more dangerous to be used for alleviating sleeping difficulties.

Some people buy melatonin supplements for getting rid of insomnia. Melatonin is nothing but a hormone, which is released by your brain, that makes you fall asleep. When you experience sleeping troubles, your brain might not be releasing adequate melatonin, which is why some people think about using these melatonin supplements to their aid. But it is not wise to blindly place your trust in such easily available medications.

These supplements may also contain several other ingredients that might be hidden. Such ingredients might interact with the medications that you are already using, and thereby give rise to health issues. The possibility of such OTC medications delivering their required function is quite low. Its consequences must be taken into consideration before getting your hands on such quick options.


Moreover, older individuals may resist visiting their healthcare provider for seeking appropriate treatment for their sleep disorders. This is why some of them may opt for such non-prescription options. Prescription medications are more safe options comparatively. Your doctor may examine your condition and based on various factors relating to you, such as your age, physical or mental health conditions, medications, etc. they may recommend you some natural remedies.

They may even prescribe you sleeping medications like antidepressants, benzodiazepines, etc. These antidepressant drugs improve your sleep by calming your anxiety and increasing relaxation throughout your body. In this way, these medications can help you to have a sound sleep.    

Do sleeping pills cause any side effects?

When it comes to using prescription medications, older individuals are more prone to the side effects of such sleep aids. They might experience side effects more intensely. The effects of sleeping pills can make them feel confused, dizzy, and lose their balance. Their ability to focus may get hugely impacted, which can make it difficult for them to drive, focus on a particular task, and perform day-to-day activities.    

In addition, over-the-counter sleeping pills or supplements can potentiate the risk of headaches, constipation, diarrhea, digestive issues, and weakness. Therefore, it is better to opt for prescription medications, which will require you to visit your doctor and get yourself examined to find the perfect medication that is suitable for your condition.  

Some safety precautions

  • Avoid combining sleeping pills with alcohol. Their interaction can cause severe side effects.
  • Never mix sleeping pills with other sedatives. Their combination can lead to detrimental side reactions.
  • Do not take more than the recommended dose, otherwise, overdosing can be poisonous.
  • One must take the sleeping aid only when they are about to rest for 8 to 9 hours or so. One must never drive or operate heavy machinery after consuming the pill, as the risk of accidents is quite high due to dizziness and sleepiness.   
  • Individuals with chronic health conditions must consult their doctor before using such sleep aids. Since the pill might not be suitable for everyone.

The lowdown

The symptoms of insomnia and anxiety are quite common among older individuals. They may even struggle due to sexual disorders, among them, erectile dysfunction is the most common. However, ED medications like Malegra can manage such sexual difficulties well.   

Furthermore, lack of sleep can increase their irritability and they might even struggle to perform normal tasks. They can take the aid of sleeping pills to fall asleep. Several OTC options are available out there, but it is always advisable to go for prescription medications, which will help them to avoid the risk of side effects.

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