Can a Family Doctor Prescribe Sleeping Pills


If you are wondering, can a family doctor prescribe sleeping pills, you have found the right source. We’ve gathered the most important information about sleeping pills. As we all know, some of these medications cannot be bought over-the-counter and you need a doctor’s prescription. And so many people are asking if their general physician can provide them with such.

A family doctor, also referred to as a general practice doctor, rarely prescribes sleeping pills. It’s because they are aware of its serious effects on one’s health. More often than not, these sleeping pills are prescribed for a few days, and only if the insomnia is severe, or if other treatments do not have an effect. 

Can a Family Doctor Prescribe Sleeping Pills - Tip Top Sleep

When to See Your Doctor

If you are already having a hard time sleeping and it affects your life in general, it is a must to seek help from your doctor. They could either prescribe sleeping pills or suggest behavioral therapy. Take note that in some cases, people could not sleep because of other medical conditions.

Who Treats Insomnia and Other Sleeping Disorders

Your family doctor can help diagnose and manage your insomnia. They will also evaluate your family history and your condition. If necessary, they will refer you to a specialist. You may be referred to a psychiatrist, psychologist, or neurologist, depending on your symptoms.

What is a Sleep Medicine Specialist

To date, the American Board of Medical Specialties offers certification for sleep medicine. With this, different doctors like pediatricians and even primary care physicians can become sleep medicine specialists.

When you have an appointment with your doctor, you might want to list down important questions to maximize the consultation. Here are a few ones that could help you.

  • What are the best ways to improve my sleeping habits?
  • Is it necessary that I take medications?
  • How long should I be under medication?

Likewise, you need to prepare answers for the following questions.

  • Are you experiencing stress?
  • Have you experienced something upsetting lately?
  • Are you under other medications?
  • What is your sleeping behavior?
  • Do you experience pain before going to sleep?

Different Types of Sleeping Pills

It’s important to remember that there are different kinds of sleeping pills. It can either make you fall asleep or you can stay asleep. To find the right medication for your condition, your doctor will need to discuss several things with you. Before providing a prescription, they will need to understand your sleeping behavior. They also have to rule out other medical conditions that could result in a lack of sleep. Likewise, they will provide specific instructions on how to take the prescribed medicine. 

What are the Side Effects of Sleeping Pills

Before you even take sleeping pills, always know its side effects. That way, you can manage your expectation and prepare accordingly. Most of the commonly reported side effects are the following:

  • Lightheadedness
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Allergic reaction
  • Performance problems

Can Everyone Take Sleeping Pills?

Sleeping pills are not recommended for pregnant women, older people, and those who are currently breastfeeding. Also, it is not encouraged for people with other health conditions such as kidney diseases, arrhythmias, or if you have seizures.

How to Take Sleeping Pills

By now, we’ve already made it clear that sleeping pills are not ordinary medications. It’s critical that you know how to properly take it. Otherwise, it could be dangerous for you.

After checking with your doctor the right sleeping pills, listen and take down notes of what you need to do. As much as you can, do not rely on your mental notes. Instead, write down what your doctor has to say. Apart from that, understand the guide from your sleeping pills. If you have further questions, reach out to your doctor.

Take Sleeping Pills Only When You Are About to Go to Bed

If you have work or you need to accomplish tasks, sleeping pills might affect your performance. It can make you less aware and that’s dangerous. For example, if you still need to drive or to finish some meals in the kitchen, do not take your pills just yet. It’s safe to take it when you are already done with your daily responsibilities.

Be on the Lookout for Side Effects

When you are taking sleeping pills, you must also be observant if there are changes in your body or even your emotions. It’s best to report all of these to your doctors. If the side effects are already affecting you in massive ways, then your doctor might give you a different solution.

Never Drink Alcohol

This is extremely dangerous, and we’re sure you’ve heard many stories about how deadly it is to mix alcohol and certain medications. If you must know, alcohol increases the sedative effects of your pills. You can even faint if you do this. And in some cases, it could slow down your breathing.

Here’s a video explaining the side effects of taking sleeping pills.

Best Products for People with Insomnia and Sleep Issues

Below are a couple of items that could help you if you wish to improve the quality of your sleep.

Spectra479 Red LED Dim Night Light for Bedrooms & Bathrooms

What Color Light Helps You Sleep

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They say that red light could help in the natural production of melatonin. Thus, we recommend this brand from Spectra479. What’s great about this light is it preserves night vision. You can be sure that there are no green or blue lights that could hinder a good night’s rest. Plus, the materials used are all safe.  It’s not surprising that many of its customers highly recommend the product. It works, and could certainly improve your sleep.

Muson Essential Oil Diffuser Sound Machine 

Can a Family Doctor Prescribe Sleeping Pills - Tip Top Sleep

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You’ve probably heard about the wonders of essential oil. If you are using it without a diffuser, then better get one so you can spread the benefits across the room. This one from Muson is highly recommended for several reasons. It has a 500ml large capacity water tank, and that means it can last for 13 hours. It also comes with a sound machine, which can make you feel relaxed even further. And lastly, it uses warm light, ideal if you want to meditate or practice yoga.

Conclusion, Can a Family Doctor Prescribe Sleeping Pills

Your family doctor could prescribe sleeping pills or may refer you to a sleep specialist. But take note that you can only take pills for a short period of time. You should never be dependent on medications, especially if you wish to go to sleep. It’s best if you improve your lifestyle and use natural sleeping aids first. Remember, sleeping pills should be your last resort.

By Michelle D.

Meet Michelle, founder of Tip Top Sleep, a website dedicated to helping you achieve the best sleep possible. With over 50 years of combined experience in the realm of sleep, Michelle and her team provide easy-to-follow tips and strategies to help you feel better, function better, and live better through optimal sleep. Let us help you prioritize your sleep and discover the power of a good night's rest.