How Many Sleeping Pills Does It Take To Die?

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We have all been there staring at our ceiling as the time passes slowly and slowly towards dawn as you are caught in a cycle of insomnia day after day. It if makes you feel better, then you are not alone; insomnia has affected around 60 million Americans and is ruining their lives.

At one point even the sun gets into a recessionary state, or you can call it a state of rest in easy words and just like every other living thing present in the world, human beings need rest as well. The natural mechanism for making this happen is sleeping.

Sleep is a substantial part of our lives, and lack of sleep can lead to diseases such as diabetes and cancer. Even though most people find it very easy to get their daily dose of sleep every night, some people suffer from this and this when they start to look for alternatives. Most of the times the only alternative for these sleep-deprived people is resorting to sleeping pills.

People who turn to sleep pills no doubt function better due to health benefits, reduced risk of illness, increased energy, etc.. Despite the apparent benefits provided to us by these pills, they are also proven to be fatal.

sleeping pills
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It is no secret that these sleeping bills have been the choice of many suicidal individuals and they work by slowing down the body functions such as heart rates, brain activity, and breathing. Overdosing on these pills can cause your body to stop functioning while you are unconscious.

However, not all sleeping pills are suicidal, and there are other factors that contribute to suicide as well such as mixing substances and tolerance level. Today you are going to look at how many sleeping pills does it take to die. To answer that question, you must understand the types of sleeping pills and how they work.

Different Types Of Sleeping Pills And Their Functionality

First Type

These sleeping pills target the central nervous system and have an intense effect on your body. These include Zolpidem that lowers down your heart rate, muscular activity, and breathing rate. Apart from helping you sleep, these “Z-type” pills target the bodily functions controlled by the nervous system.

Second Type

These sleeping pills also work on the brain and have a weak effect on the nervous system. These pills are Benzodiazepines and include Valium and Benzedrine. They block the neurotransmitters by attaching themselves to the receptors in the brain. Unlike the first type of pills, these pills have a limited effect on your body, however, mixing them with alcohol can prove to be fatal.

Third Type

These are the rarest sleeping pills and can make your brain release a hormone known as melatonin. These drugs help in working alongside your natural hormone to help you sleep, and one example of this kind of drug is Ramelteon. These pills are less dangerous if you overdose on them.

When taken in their recommended dose, all these pills are at low risk of affecting you. These drugs are approved by FDA and are safe for consumption which is why they are readily available and readily prescribed by your doctor. However, keep in mind that your body can build a natural tolerance level for these pills if used for a long time.

To Start Sleeping Without Taking Sleep Pills Read How to Fall Asleep Fast?


As your tolerance for these sleeping pills increases, you will eventually have to increase the dosage in order to get the effect you desire. Long-term exposure to this drug leads to a decrease in the success rate. One of the main reasons for overdosing on these pills is because of patients taking too much of them in order to get sleep.

Different Types Of Sleeping Pills And Their Functionality
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Since this medication is prescribed to you by your doctor, then your dosage will be based upon your age and medical condition; if you are a victim of a weak heart, then you will be given a weaker dosage.

These drugs can be hazardous if used after an extended period without using this drug. A period without using these sleeping pills will lower your tolerance for it, and you may find that the dosage of pills you took previously has a life-threatening result.


The longer you are on a sleeping pill, the easier your body will find in countering the effects of these pills. Regularly using this pill can cause a reduction in the brains’ production of melatonin which is the sleep hormone.

A decrease in this hormone can cause you to stay awake and alert making you dependent on it which is why these pills should always be the last thing to try while sleeping rather than your first resort.

Mixing Substances

If taking alone, these sleeping pills are considered safe, however, if combined with other drugs these sleeping pills can be fatal. Drinking alcohol can prove to be very dangerous when combined with sleeping pills containing Benzodiazepines.

Alcohol along with these pills can be very dangerous as they can instead act as a depressant on your central nervous system. This interaction can even lead to shallow breathing, slower heart rate and starving of oxygen from the brain. To avoid this from happening you can inform your doctor of your alcohol intake and any other drugs you are using.

Already Existing Medical Conditions

Your medical conditions also play a role in the type of medication you are prescribed along with the dosage you should take. For example, if you have a weak heart then you will rule out “Z-type” pills since the risk on your central nervous system will be higher.

Sleeping pills can deteriorate your immune system which is why if you suffer from HIV or any other immune disease taking these pills can lead to catastrophic side effects.

How Many Sleeping Pills Does it Take to Die?

The answer to this question is very simple, any number of pills that is above the dosage recommended by your doctor can be fatal for your health. However, that is not all. The question should not be “how many sleeping pills does it take to die” instead the question  should depend on the precautions you must take.

How Many Sleeping Pills Does it Take to Die?
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Even if your dose is set within a certain limit, you can still die if you take these pills with other substance such as caffeine or alcohol.

The number of pills varies from one person to another, with this in mind, individuals with a high tolerance can be at a greater risk of dying via these sleeping pills and so are older adults or adults with pre-existing medical conditions.

The most common reason for death is respiratory failure. This occurs when the central nervous system shuts down, and the lungs have to struggle in order to get oxygen. At the same time, the heart will start to weaken, and this will reduce the blood flow to the body; if blood does not flow easily, it will not be able to reach the brain fast enough, and this can reduce the amount of oxygen it gets.

If the brain does not get the amount of oxygen it requires, it can cause death in four to six minutes.

However, the right answer to the question would be: any level of overdose can be fatal to you.

How Much Is An Overdose

Technically speaking, any number of pills that you take above the amount prescribed to you by your doctor is an overdose. Ignoring the advice that your doctor give you can increase the risk of side effect.

Every drug has a therapeutic range, and at this range, the drug gives you the desired effect. Any number of pills above this range is known as toxic range, and if you take your drug at this level, then these sleeping pills can have an adverse impact and even lead to death.

Some symptoms of overdosing on these sleeping pills are slowing down of mental process, attention loss, memory disorder, etc.

Some have even experienced unusual dreams and parasomnia. Parasomnia refers to a condition where a person may sleepwalk and do things that they are not aware of. These sleeping pills can even lead to a loss of consciousness, heartburns, diarrhea, constipation, stomach pain and changes in the appetite.

If you experience any such symptoms or if you think any of your loved ones has then it is advised that you visit the nearest hospital immediately. The doctor will then diagnose you, and this diagnosis will depend on the number of pills you have taken and how soon medical assistance is provided.

The sooner the victim is given help, the higher chances of surviving from these pills. So it is very vital that you remain cautious when using these pills as you might acquire life-changing deformity, cause organ damage or even unknowingly take your life.

Make sure to keep the usage of these pills as the last thing to try when suffering from insomnia and instead make use of all the natural remedies

William Smith

William brings over three years of experience to his role as the Lead Reviewer at, specializing in mattresses, bedding, and sleep accessories...Read more

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