London: Popping pills to overcome insomnia may not be good for your health in the long run.
For instance, eight out of 10 cases of insomnia were caused by underlying health problems, either physical or mental, that should be addressed, according to the Royal Pharmaceutical Society.
Attempting to treat sleeplessness without tackling its root cause was potentially dangerous. Causes of insomnia can include asthma, heart disease, anxiety or depression, the society said.
A survey of 2,077 adults found 51 percent of insomniacs had bought over-the-counter sleeping remedies without seeking advice from a doctor or pharmacist beforehand. Three in 10 said they had taken them for more than a month without advice, and a further 14 per cent for over six months, the Telegraph reports.
Paul Johnson, a community pharmacist, said: "It`s worrying that so many people are over-using sleeping remedies. They can be effective for short-term treatment of mild insomnia but should not be taken for long periods without advice because they can hide a serious health problem which could get worse if it remains untreated."
He said there were a number of simple techniques people could use to get a better night`s sleep, including going to bed and getting up at the same time each day, avoiding caffeine and alcohol in the evenings, and eating heavily late.