If you want to know how to stay off sleeping pills then here are some suggestions for you. First of all you might want to figure out if you are actually addicted to the pills or not. Some sleeping medications are addictive and others are really not. For example, if a doctor has given you benzos to help you sleep (such as Valium or related drugs) then those can be very addictive and actually make for a pretty horrible sleep aid. Then there are several newer sleeping medications on the market and many of them do carry some risk of dependence with them. On the other hand, if someone is taking, for example, Melatonin over the counter, and they think they are addicted to it, they are probably just paranoid at that point. So it might be helpful to talk with a doctor or a professional about the potential for addiction with whatever medication you are actually taking.
Second of all, I would say that if you do stop taking your sleeping medications, you can expect some lousy sleep for at least a couple of days in a row. This is to be expected and there is probably not much to be done about it in the short term. The whole goal of quitting the medication is to get back to a normal sleep cycle without having to be dependent on drugs in order to sleep every night. You want to get to a place where you can sleep fairly decent without taking pills. Now there are a number of tips that you can read out there on the net about how to do this, such as by “going to bed at the same time every night” and so on. But I’m going to share with you from the perspective of a recovering addict what helped me the most.
My number one sleep tip is to exercise like a madman every single day. If you really are desperate to sleep then you will have no problem putting a solid hour of vigorous exercise, especially if you know that it will make you sleep like a baby that night. This works great for me and I assume that is works fairly well for most people. I am not a fitness expert but I do know that if you go out and walk fast and hard for an hour straight that this will probably be enough to help you sleep. I actually run quite a bit but that is not necessary in order to get the sleep benefit.
So talk with your doctor, get off the pills, and start exercising every day. Not easy to do and most will seek an easier solution. But it worked for me.