What are the long-term effects of sleeping pills?

I’ve had really bad insomnia for years and am considering using sleeping pills to help. However, I’m really worried about potential side effects or long-term effects. What are the effects I can expect? How likely is it that I will become dependent on them?

Doctors Answers (1)

Robert C. Jones, M.D.
Answered on: 1/27/2014

Rebound insomnia can occur as soon as 2-3 nights after use of sleeping pills. Long term use is safe by and large, but rebound insomnia can still occur, so it would need to be tapered slowly upon discontinuation. One possible issue with sleeping pills and severe insomnia is their ineffectiveness long term. Behavioral therapy for insomnia is much preferred by patients and doctors over medication. Help from a sleep psychologist, sleep professional, or even a regular psychologist should be obtained to go over the issues you are having.