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Sleep Aids / Anxiety

Anxiety is a normal human emotion that everyone experiences at times. Many people feel anxious, or nervous, when faced with a problem at work, or before taking a test or making an important decision. Anxiety disorders, however, are different. They can cause such distress that it interferes with a person's ability to lead a normal life.

An anxiety disorder is a serious mental condition. For people with anxiety disorders, worry and fear are constant and overwhelming, and can be crippling.

Medicines used to reduce the symptoms of anxiety disorders include anti-depressants and anxiety-reducing medications.

Sleeping pills have limited uses. They may help, for example, during an overnight airplane ride, and when taken in a crisis, they might prevent an acute problem from turning into chronic insomnia.

But doctors and patients have come to learn that long-term use of many sleep aids has more risks than benefits. Today, most insomnia patients are not given sleeping pills, and most insomnia patients who do take drugs use them briefly.