How to Wean Yourself Off Sleeping Pills

Learn how to wean yourself off sleeping pills from sleep specialist Janet Kennedy, Ph.D. in this Howcast video.

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Can't sleep? There's nothing worse -- except maybe being up all night because your baby won't settle down. That's why we asked sleep specialist Janet Kennedy, Ph.D. to explain what causes insomnia and other sleep problems and how to overcome them. The road to a good night's sleep for you and your family starts here.

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Hi, I'm Janet Kennedy. I'm a licensed clinical psychologist and sleep specialist in New York City. You can find out more about me and my work on my website, nycsleepdoctor.com. If you're taking sleeping pills on a regular basis, before you do anything talk to your doctor. Some medications need to be tapered, and so you wanna make sure that you're doing that under the guidance of you physician. When you're ready to stop, you're probably going to be anxious about whether you can sleep without them. And that's normal. You're used to taking medication, and you're probably unsure of whether you can do it without the medication. But you can. You just might just have to learn. When you're ready to stop make a commitment not to take the medication for several days in a row. If you have a rough night without the medication and then you take the medication again the next night, you're not gonna be benefitting from your bad night. What I mean by that, is if you have a bad night and you do what needs to be done to get through the next day, you're going to be tired the next night, and it'll be easier for you to sleep. So, the more nights you get under your belt in a row the easier it's gonna to be to stay off the medication. Another important thing is that you should eliminate for option of taking the mediation. Just having the option can create insomnia. So, give your medication to someone to hold for you, or lock it up somewhere, or get rid of it altogether so that you don't even have the option. You might struggle, but you'll eventually fall asleep without it. You need to include instructions on whether or not to skip the preroll ad. I skipped it.

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  • Janet Kennedy

    Janet Kennedy, Ph.D. is a licensed clinical psychologist with years of specialized experience in treating sleep disorders. Dr. Kennedy creates tailored treatment programs to help adults and young children resolve sleep problems and end the cycle of bad sleep. Dr. Kennedy also provides educational programs for new and expecting parents, teaching the foundations of raising a good sleeper from birth.