Side Effects of Arbitrary use of Sleeping Pills

 Written by: Wahida Sabir

Sleep is a complex, normal, physiological process that a person needs throughout life. When a person sleeps less than the allotted time, it is considered insomnia. What are the symptoms and signs of insomnia, and if sleeping pills are used without consulting the physician, it might cause some other health problems or not?

AEPO’s writer/producer has talked to some patients and a physician about this issue.

Hanifa, a resident of Ahmad Shahbaba Mena, district 12, Kabul city says, “I do not go to sleep for a long time, I lose my interest in work and I feel bored.” Mohammad Farid fromMazar-e-Sharif city, Balkh province says, “When I felt insomnia for the first time, I bought some sleeping pills from a medical store and I got used to that pills. Now if I do not take a sleeping pill, I get a headache; I lost my appetite and peace of mind.”

Doctor Homayoun Mohmand, a neuropsychologist at the Central policlinic of Mazar-e-Sharif city, Balkh province says, “Insomnia damages nerve and causes to lose mental focus, impairs memory and mental activities. Arbitrary use of sleeping pills is led to depression, poor memory, and lack of mental concentration.”

What do some people think about the causes of insomnia?

Shamila, a resident of Kabul province says, “The main cause of my insomnia is anxiety. When I feel anxious, I do not go to sleep at night then I prefer to take a sleeping pill.”

Haroun, a resident of Kunar province says, “When I get tired of hard work during the day, I could not go to sleep at night.”

Doctor Mohmand says, “Many poor youngsters do not want to pay a fee to a doctor, they prefer to purchase sleeping pills from a medical store. They do not know about the dose of medicines. When they take sleeping pills for a long time, they get used to them and this time, one sleeping pill might not affect him/her and he/she has to increase the dose of it and this issue causes some other health problems.”

How could some patients treat their insomnia without sleeping pills?

Muhammad Riaz Stanakzai, a resident of Mosahi district, Logar province says, “I always suffer from insomnia. Sometimes I take a warm water bath and sometimes I study books and then I go to sleep.”

Brishna, a resident of Ahmad Shahbaba Mena says, “When I face insomnia due to stress or some illness, I drink hot tea or I read a book and thus I go to sleep.”

Doctor Mohmand says, “First we have to change the way we sleep, that is, if our pillow is high or low, we should change it;  we should avoid sleeping in a place full of noise; we should not eat heavy foods at night; avoid overeating instead eat simple and easily digestible foods and fresh fruits. Do not drink dark tea, coffee, and caffeine, do not smoke, avoid stress and, take a hot bath and read a book.”