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Do You Need Sleeping Pills to Get Through University?

Sleeping pills and university go together like Starbucks and coffee, right? Perhaps. Let’s see what the real deal is.


A recent report by the health care business of Thomson Reuters, the parent company of Reuters News, reveals that hundreds of university goers are turning to sleep meds to get some shuteye. The study found that the use of prescription sleeping aids has nearly tripled among 18 to 24-year-olds over the past 10 years.


Do you need sleeping pills to get through university? The short answer is, maybe. But there’s some stuff you need to know.


  • First, we understand the stress you’re under. Lack of sleep is crippling. The last thing you need is a lack of energy and a brain that won’t work. Also, know that legit stress can cause insomnia but so can bad habits. 


So, before you head for pills, check if you can kick the habit you got into watching TV to give yourself a break but keeps you up too late.


  • Second, always always always see a doctor before you grab some OTC (over the counter) sleeping pill variety for university. You could be suffering from depression and that should always be addressed separately.

Never, Ever Share Prescription Sleeping Pills at University or Anywhere

Carl Bazil, M. D., director of sleep and epilepsy at Columbia University, reminds us for one thing, that prescription pills are generally stronger than the over-the-counter variety.


“Yes, they’re a quick fix to help you get a good night’s sleep temporarily, but they’re not a long-term solution to sleep problems in general—and they can be dangerous if used incorrectly. Women tend to metabolize sleeping pills slower than men do, but many people—including some doctors—don’t know this… And when they take too high a dose, the effect is extra strong. If you take a high dose, or two at once, it could suppress your breathing.”  and that would mean a trip to the nearest ER for sure.

Never, Ever, Mix Sleeping Pills With Drink or Drugs at University or Anywhere


“It’s not a good idea to mix sleeping pills with other drugs, ever,” says Doc Carl Bazil. 


“What happens is it accentuates the effect of both of them—so you are more drugged off of both the pills and the booze or the stimulants. That means that the pill lasts longer, so chances are, you will feel more confused and groggy when you wake up.” 


Dr Akram Khan, a sleep medicine expert at Oregon Health & Science University in Portland, says; 


“God only knows what Red Bull and vodka – which is very popular on campuses – does. You can have all sorts of (seriously negative) interactions.” 


The takeaway is that sleeping pills are but a temporary solution for university goers. Actually, discovering the real cause of your need for them is the only way back to sweet dreams.