What You Need to Know About Sleeping Pills

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You Can Experience Side Effects
There are several side effects to different sleep aids, and some may be severe. The most common ones are: prolonged drowsiness the next day, ... more 
Photo by: ThinkStock
You Can Experience Side Effects
There are several side effects to different sleep aids, and some may be severe. The most common ones are: prolonged drowsiness the next day, confusion, forgetfulness, dry mouth, headache, muscle aches, constipation, dizziness, unsteadiness, and rebound insomnia. Sedative-hypnotic drug products (benzodiazepines and non-benzodiazepines) can cause severe allergic reactions -- facial swelling, memory lapses, hallucinations, and complex sleep-related behaviors. These may include sleep-walking, sleep-driving (driving while not fully awake, with no memory of the event) and sleep-eating (eating in the middle of the night with no recollection, often resulting in weight gain). If you experience any unusual sleep-related behavior, consult your doctor immediately. less 
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Thu, Jan 26, 2012 11:36 AM EST

Lately, my routine is to drift quickly off to sleep, and then around three in the morning, I'm wide awake and worrying about everything: my son in college, bills, the laundry, work, and ironically, not being able to fall back to sleep. It's tempting to reach for a sleeping pill my doctor prescribed, but is it really a good idea? The biggest problem with sleeping aids, both over-the-counter and prescription medications, is they won't uncover the cause of sleeplessness. In fact, research shows taking both OTC and prescribed sleeping aids may make the problem worse. Here's why:

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