People who have sleep disorders – whether rare or quite common – know how frustrating it can be to not get a good night’s sleep. Sometimes it is true that the rarer the sleep disorder, the less that is known about it, and therefore treatment may be ineffective or hard to come by.
Many people who suffer from rare sleep disorders will wind up with a prescription for sleeping drugs while other people will turn to sleep and relaxation-inducing pills on their own.
Some people do need some help falling asleep and staying asleep, and there are plenty of drugs designed to assist people with these needs. Only a doctor can prescribe sleep assistance drugs that are of prescription strength, but there is a wide variety of sleep pills that can be purchased over the counter. Some herbal supplements are marketed as assisting in sleep.
The problem with turning to drugs as a first choice is that it may make it harder to diagnose a rare sleep disorder. The sufferer starts taking over the counter sleep aids because she can’t seem to fall asleep, stay asleep, or just feels like she isn’t getting a full night’s sleep and hopes that the pills will help her to feel better rested when morning comes. Instead, what she winds up doing is simply masking the symptoms, which makes her feel as though she doesn’t need to visit a doctor with her concerns.
Additionally, some sleep aides can be habit forming, so by the time the person heads to the doctor with concerns she still has a rare sleep disorder as well as an unhealthy reliance on sleeping pills. Obviously it is far better to visit a medical professional at the first signs of a sleep problem to rule out any sleep disorders while also finding out about the various medications available.
Even worse, some people will turn to drugs that are not even designed as sleep aides and which might also be illegal. Perhaps someone turns to alcohol every night in an attempt to get sleepy, or maybe a person smokes marijuana before going to bed in the hopes of relaxing enough to stay asleep.
Similarly to the previously mentioned scenario, these people are setting themselves up for some real problems. They’ll wind up seeking medical help for their chemical dependency, but it may not ever come to light that the root cause of it all is a sleep disorder.
It is true that people with rare sleep disorders will probably wind up sampling prescription sleep medications at some point, but it should be through the advice of a medical professional. The ultimate goal is to treat the rare sleep disorder to where no drugs are necessary in order for the person to get a good night’s sleep, but the treatment can be laborious and long.
While taking an occasional sleep aid isn’t necessarily dangerous, people with rare sleep disorders should not focus on one night’s sleep but instead look at the bigger picture and seek out help so they can start sleeping well consistently.
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