Using sleep medication without becoming addicted

Poor sleep occurs among many Dutch people. It’s frustrating not being able to fall asleep after a busy day. It is even more frustrating to lie awake all night and get up without energy to do the daily work. Poor sleep can have a very negative effect on your life. Sleep medication is not immediately recommended, but if you want to use it, this article describes how you can do it without becoming addicted.

What is the reason for poor sleep?

First of all, it is important to find out the reason why you sleep poorly. Poor sleep is usually a symptom of an underlying problem. It is important to identify the problem and find a solution for it. Do you experience a lot of stress at work or in your household? Then it is important to see how you can reduce stress. Do you lie awake because you worry a lot? Then it is important to see how you can go to bed and have a clear head. Identify when you sleep poorly and look for the underlying cause of that problem. By solving these problems, peace can return and the nights can be carefree again.

What if you lie awake without a cause?

There can also be no direct reason to lose sleep. Your biorhythm may be upset by previous poor sleep, but since the problems have disappeared you continue to have difficulty falling asleep. Sleep problems make it increasingly difficult for you and when you end up in the vicious circle it is difficult to get out. Every night can be a problem, because you know that you will probably sleep poorly the next night. This means that you have less and less energy for your daily activities and that you also deteriorate psychologically. Poor sleep reduces your performance and makes you irritable to your fellow man. Living around with sleep problems for too long brings danger!

When to go to the doctor?

If poor sleep causes problems with daily activities, it is advisable to see your doctor. Poor sleep can affect your behavior in traffic, your ability to concentrate and your mood. It can also get to the point where you can become depressed from not sleeping well for a long time. Keep a diary of how much sleep you got and how you feel. Show your doctor that it is a major problem and that you are putting in the time to find a solution.

Using sleep medication without becoming addicted

The most important thing when using sleep medication is to look for the underlying problem and solve the problem. If the problem is not solved, you are only treating the symptoms and you will not be able to work on the sleep problem. A GP can prescribe various medications for sleep problems. The biggest problem with this medication is that it is addictive! So you have to be very careful when using these medications. The advantage is that these medications can help with a new biorhythm and give the body the rest it needs. It is advisable to use the sleeping medication for two weeks to allow your body to get used to a new rhythm. If you use it for longer, addiction lurks and you only need more to fall asleep. If things get a little worse or very bad after a few weeks, you can repeat it. Make sure there is a good number of weeks in between!

Important for a good night’s sleep

When using sleep medication, it is important to observe the following steps to be able to sleep well after using the medication:

  • Go to bed at the same times and get out of bed at the same times, don’t cheat on this!
  • Take melatonin before going to sleep and you can continue to use it after your medication (it is not addictive)
  • Use a rhythm before going to sleep, for example tidying up, brushing teeth, washing and reading a book
  • Do not sit in front of a TV, computer, smartphone or other electronics two hours before going to sleep. The light emitted by these electronics and the images cause a lot of anxiety and prevent the production of melatonin.
  • Dim the lights and quietly read a newspaper, book or magazine, by dimming the lights you produce melatonin
  • Ensure sufficient darkness in the bedroom by, for example, wearing an eye mask
  • Make sure that sounds are muffled by, for example, using an earplug
  • Eat and drink little before going to bed, especially avoid sugars, caffeine and alcohol
  • Make sure you are physically tired by taking a long walk or cycling during the day
  • Use the sleeping medication for two weeks, then only stop the medication, but continue to maintain the other rituals


Are you still awake afterwards?

You may still be awake for a few hours every now and then. Then it is important to make an appointment with yourself to get out of bed after half an hour or 45 minutes. For example, go to the kitchen and drink a glass of milk with honey, read a book or newspaper and relax. Are you starting to get tired again? Then it’s time to try again. Usually it is much easier to fall asleep. Always avoid a computer, smartphone or laptop! These will keep you awake.

In short

If you have sleep problems, ensure Rest, Cleanliness and Regularity. Be strict with yourself and pay close attention to everything you do in the hours before you go to bed. Be careful not to become addicted to sleep medications! With addiction, it takes much longer to get a good night’s sleep again.

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