Home » Be Careful: Sleeping Pills Come With These 10 Side Effects

Be Careful: Sleeping Pills Come With These 10 Side Effects

Sleeping pills are regularly prescribed for short-term management of sleep disorders. They can be a lifeline if you are struggling to achieve restorative sleep due to conditions like insomnia.

However, like all medications, they come with potential side effects. Understanding these side effects, and the potential consequences of a sleeping pills overdose is crucial for anyone considering or currently using sleeping medications.

Here are ten known side effects of sleeping pills:


One of the most common side effects associated with sleeping pills is drowsiness or daytime sleepiness. These symptoms can persist into the day following ingestion.

This can have a detrimental impact on your ability to perform tasks that require alertness, such as driving or operating machinery.

Dizziness and Lightheadedness

Sleeping pills can cause feelings of dizziness or lightheadedness. This increases the risk of falls, particularly in the elderly.

These sensations may also contribute to accidents or injuries.


It is possible that you may experience headaches as a side effect of taking sleeping pills.

These headaches can range from mild to severe and may occur for various reasons, including changes in sleep patterns or the direct effects of the medication.

Gastrointestinal Issues

Sleeping pills can lead to gastrointestinal problems such as nausea, vomiting, constipation, or diarrhea.

Not only can these symptoms be particularly distressing but they may lead to further complications if not managed properly.

Allergic Reactions

As with any medication, there is a risk of allergic reactions to sleeping pills. These can include symptoms such as swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat. You might also get hives or have difficulty breathing.

If you experience any one of these reactions you should seek immediate medical attention.

Memory and Cognitive Impairment

Some sleeping pills have been linked to memory issues or cognitive impairment, particularly in older adults.

This can manifest as short-term amnesia or confusion and can have a significant impact on your daily functioning.

Behavioral Changes

Sleeping pills can cause changes in your behavior or mood. These include increased agitation, aggressiveness, or depression.

These changes can be alarming to both the person taking the medication and their loved ones.

Dependency and Withdrawal Symptoms

There is a potential for dependence on sleeping pills, especially with long-term use. Withdrawal symptoms include insomnia, anxiety, tremors, and sweating. These can occur if the medication is abruptly discontinued.

Increased Tolerance to Sleeping Pills

Over time, your body can develop a tolerance to sleeping pills, requiring higher doses to achieve the same sedative effects.

This can increase the risk of side effects and dependence.

Complex Sleep-Related Behaviors

You may be someone who experiences complex sleep-related behaviors while using sleeping pills, such as sleepwalking, sleep-driving, or engaging in other activities while not fully awake.

These behaviors can lead to dangerous situations or legal consequences.

Although sleeping pills can provide much-needed relief if you are struggling with sleep disorders, it’s important to be aware of the potential side effects.

If you are considering sleeping medications you should consult with a healthcare provider to thoroughly understand the risks and benefits. It is also well worth exploring alternative treatments for sleep disorders, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy for insomnia.  

Always be alert to the dangers of sleeping pills and have a good understanding of how to best manage the potential risks.

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