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Sleeping Pills- Know Everything About It

Sleep can play hide and seek with you when you desperately need it to get psyched up for the next day’s professional challenges. Nowadays, when people find themselves under the impact of any disease or disorder they scurry to the doctor’s clinic. As doctors are bona fide rescuers of mankind, patients seriously adhere to the instructions of the specialist and embark on the prescribed dose of medicines. In case of sleeping pills, the enigma about the medicine remains among even those people who have been using medicines of this class for years.

Know The Basics Of Sleeping Pills

However, it’s not imperative to understand the depths of this subject but a basic knowledge of the substance which you are swallowing each day can help you to make the right choices with clarity at some occasions. A sleep disorder patient would repeatedly visit the doctor to consult for the same ailment for months. And, in a sleep disease like insomnia, doctors mostly extend the cycle of sleeping pills as they produce relief to the patient (although the relief is temporary). With some basic knowledge of the sleeping tablets, you can perhaps independently deduce that what strength of which medicine you need to consume to alleviate the health complication.

In the following section of the article, we will shed light on all the basic concepts of sleeping aids which can help a layman to earn the rudimentary knowledge of relative medicines.

What Are Sleeping Pills?

Sleeping pill is the generic name used by laymen and the same is scientifically termed as sedative-hypnotics. Doctors across the world prescribe these medicines for the treatment of sleep disorders like Short-term insomnia, Parasomnia and Hypersomnia. However, the recommendation of sleeping pills in case of insomnia is more prevalent compared to other sleep disorders.

Sleeping pills usually work by manipulating the brain signals and by controlling the release of endogenous chemicals. At present, sleeping pills are classified into two scientifically known drug classes: benzodiazepine and nonbenzodiazepine. And, each class has its own benefits and harms as well.

Discovery of Benzodiazepines:

The new benzodiazepine class of drugs prove to be a perfect replacement of barbiturates. Initially, medicines under this class appeared to be safe to use. Leo Sternbach in 1955, accidentally discovered the first drug under this class with the name of Librium. Later, the formulation went under several revisions. Finally, it became available for the retail market with the contribution of another scientist named Hoffman-La Roche in 1963. And, Librium was renamed as Diazepam. Subsequently, Diazepam in UK became a very popular medicine shortly as the region had the most number of sleep and anxiety patients between 1960 to 1992.

 Even when benzodiazepine drugs were widely accepted by the medical society and the patients, the perseverance continued by the scientists to find the hypnotics which could treat spectrum of sleep problems without causing any side-effect.

Discovery of Non-benzodiazepine:

The strenuous efforts of the scientists paid off when they finally discovered the non-benzodiazepines. Contrary to the case of benzos, experts considered the non-benzodiazepine class much safer. Additionally, on analysing its mechanism of action, the effect of the compound never posed any threat to the delicate and sensitive receptors of the brain. With almost no or negligible side-effect found, the drug regulatory departments approved this drug class in the late 1980s. Zopiclone was the first official sleeping medicine enlisted in this class. Subsequently, the British National Health Service approved Zopiclone as the safest sleeping pills in UK. And, within the next one year FDA (Food and Drug Administration) green-flagged the use of Zopiclone sleeping tablets as well.

Soon after the acceptance of medicine like Zopiclone in UK and US, another compound called Zolpidem (known by the brand name of Ambien in UK). Till date, these medicines have proven to be very successful and doctors from around the world frequently prescribe the non-benzodiazepine drugs without any hesitation.

Difference Between Prescription Sleeping Pills and OTC Sleeping Pills

Prescription Sleeping Pills vs OTC Sleeping Pills

It’s very difficult for a common person to discern between prescription sleeping pills and OTC sleeping pills. But, working in a little smarter way, it’s viable to grasp the difference. Drug control body inspects the ingredients used in any sleeping pill. On identifying a high-risk potential for abuse of the ingredients, the authorised department enlist the medicine as a prescription sleeping pill.

On the other hand, OTC sleeping pills are those medicines which consist of those medical ingredients that do not fall in the list of controlled substances, prepared by the drug regulatory department. Additionally, due to the low risk of abuse, these medicines don’t face many restrictions on sales. And, medicine suppliers possess the rights to legitimately sell these medicines without a prescription.

List Of Safe Sleeping Pills in UK

People who don’t specifically pick a certain sleeping pill yet and buy sleeping pills from a random brand should ponder the following list of cheap sleeping pills which are clinically proven as the safe sleeping pills in UK:

  • Zopiclone
  • Ambien
  • Zaleplon
  • Lunesta