Short-term insomnia is a sudden, brief inability to sleep well, often brought on by troublesome events such as an impending divorce or a sudden medical ailment. In these cases, a short regimen of sleeping pills can help you get some good, quality restand work on better sleep habitsto avoid the process by which acute insomnia can become chronic.
Safety and efficacy
There don't seem to be any serious safety concerns in terms of taking sleep medication long-term: While most hypnotics are approved for short-term use only, many doctors prescribe them for longer. Among medications approved for long-term use (Ambien CR, Rozerem, and Lunesta), some have been studied for up to two years, with very little risk of abuse or tolerance.
Transitioning off sleep medication
Laura, 36, had been taking prescription sleeping pills every night for about a year and a half when she decided to end her dependence on medication. "It wasn't easy to get the same prescription month after month, but I went to a few different doctors and always managed," says the marketing executive from Atlanta. "It was incomprehensible to think that I could get to sleep without medication, and that worried me."