Dear Therapist:

I have a problem falling asleep so I take sleeping pills. They leave me feeling groggy throughout the day.

My question, dear panelists, is: is it better to lie in bed awake until I’d fall asleep naturally, if ever, and be tired the next day, or to sleep with the pills and be tired the next day?



As a non-prescriber, I cannot speak to the effects of various medications, whether over-the-counter or prescribed. That being said, there can be many reasons that you have trouble falling asleep. Some are environmental, some emotional, and others medical (ranging from allergies to neurological conditions).

Are you anxious? Depressed? Do you take medication that can cause side effects? Do you tend to have caffeine in the evening? Do you smoke? Are you in front of a screen shortly before bedtime? These are some things that can contribute to insomnia. If you can identify the point at which you began having trouble falling asleep, you might discover that a particular incident, issue, or change in circumstances began at about the same time.

You stated that you take sleeping pills. If these are over-the-counter and you began taking them without a professional recommendation, there are likely numerous possible causes for your daytime grogginess. Some of these may be specific to the pills that you’re taking or the dosage. Others causes may relate to the many aspects of your individual body chemistry.

Regardless, your physician—or a sleep specialist—can give you a better sense of possible reasons for your grogginess. A full assessment could be done, which would include all known causes for insomnia. A method of treatment would be designed specifically for your situation, taking into account your particular issues and needs.

-Yehuda Lieberman, LCSW

  psychotherapist in private practice

 Brooklyn, NY   |   Far Rockaway, NY

 author of Self-Esteem: A Primer / 718-258-5317


The contents of this blog, including text, graphics, images, and other material are for informational purposes only.  Nothing contained in this blog is, or should be considered or used as, a substitute for professional medical or mental health advice, diagnosis, or treatment.  Never disregard medical advice from your doctor or other qualified health care provider or delay seeking it because of something you have read on the Internet, including on this blog.  We urge you to seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health professional with any questions you may have regarding a medical or mental health condition.  In case of emergency, please call your doctor or 911 immediately.  The information contained on or provided through this blog is provided on an "as is" basis, without any warranty, express or implied. Any access to this blog is voluntary and at your own risk.