We all know how important it is to get a good night’s sleep – especially if you have a chronic illness such as CFS and/or FM. If used occasionally, sleeping pills can be helpful. However, if used nightly, they can produce an abnormal form of sleep, robbing you of important and restorative REM sleep. Without REM, you’ll be deprived of dreams, a situation that eventually can cause nightmares.
Also, sleeping pills can carry the side effects of a next day “hangover” or grogginess, especially in older people who metabolize drugs more slowly. A newer sleeping pill called Ambien (zolpidem tartrate) may overcome some of these problems, as its effects only last for four to six hours and do not disrupt deep sleep. This medication should only be taken as prescribed by your doctor, who can take into account other medicines you may be taking.
(Source: Your Personal Guide to Living Well with Fibromyalgia, an official publication of the Arthritis Foundation.)