You’ve done everything you can to get enough sleep, including sleeping on a regular schedule, avoiding caffeine and daytime naps, exercising frequently, avoiding bright devices before night, and managing stress.
But still, you are unable to get a proper sleep, right?
Now, it might be the time for you to choose a sleep aid that you can buy over-the-counter!
Make an appointment with your doctor if you’re experiencing problems falling or staying asleep on a regular basis (insomnia). The type of treatment you receive is determined by the cause of your insomnia. An underlying reason, such as a medical ailment or a sleep problem, can sometimes be identified and addressed, which is a far more effective strategy than simply treating the insomnia symptom.
The best treatment for persistent insomnia is usually behavioral modifications learnt through cognitive behavioral therapy. Regular sleep patterns, regular exercise, avoiding coffee and midday naps, and managing stress are all likely to assist. However, there are situations when using prescription sleeping drugs can help you get the rest you need.
Sleep Aids: The Right Choice
Sleep aids are commonly accessible over-the-counter. The following are some common options and their potential adverse effects:
- Diphenhydramine:Diphenhydramine is an antihistamine that causes sedation. Daytime drowsiness, dry mouth, impaired vision, constipation, and urine retention are all possible side effects.
- Succinate of doxylamine (Unisom SleepTabs): Doxylamine is also an antihistamine that causes sedation. Diphenhydramine-like side effects are present.
- Melatonin is a sleep-inducing hormone: Melatonin is a hormone that aids in the regulation of your natural sleep-wake cycle. Melatonin supplements may be useful in alleviating jet lag or lowering the time it takes to fall asleep, according to some study, however the effect is usually minor. Headaches and tiredness during the day are possible side effects.
- Valerian:This plant’s supplements are sometimes used as sleep aids. Although a few research suggest a therapeutic advantage, others haven’t found the same results. Valerian does not appear to have any negative side effects.
When using over-the-counter sleep aids, make sure you follow these steps:
- Begin with your physician: Inquire with your doctor about the possibility of the sleep aid interfering with other prescriptions or underlying problems, as well as the appropriate dosage.
- Keep precautions in mind:Patients with closed-angle glaucoma, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, sleep apnea, severe liver illness, digestive system obstruction, or urine retention should avoid diphenhydramine and doxylamine.In addition, sleep aids may increase the risk of strokes and dementia in women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, as well as in persons over the age of 75.
- Take each day: Insomnia can be treated with over-the-counter sleep medications as a temporary fix. They’re not meant to be utilized for more than two weeks in most cases.
- Avoid consuming alcoholic beverages: Never combine sleep aids and alcohol. The sleepy effects of the medicine can be amplified by alcohol.
- Side effects should be avoided at all costs: While taking sleep aids, avoid driving or engaging in other tasks that need attentiveness.
If you are pregnant, breast-feeding, or an older adult, prescription sleeping drugs (and even some nonprescription sleeping pills) as well as certain antidepressants may not be safe. In older persons, sleeping pills may raise the risk of nocturnal falls and injury. To lessen your risk of difficulties, your doctor may recommend a lower dose of medication if you’re an older adult.
Your options may be limited if you have kidney disease, low blood pressure, heart rhythm disorders (arrhythmias), or a history of seizures. Prescription and over-the-counter sleep aids can also interact with other pharmaceuticals. It’s also vital to follow your doctor’s advice because taking certain prescription sleeping drugs might lead to drug abuse or dependence.
Taking Sleeping Pills
Prescription sleeping pills may be an alternative if your best efforts to get a good night’s sleep have failed. Here’s some guidance on how to utilize them responsibly.
- Get a medical evaluation: See your doctor for a full examination before using sleeping drugs. Your doctor may be able to pinpoint the source of your insomnia. If you’ve been using sleeping pills for more than a few weeks, talk to your doctor about setting up a follow-up appointment to chat about your drugs.
- Read the instructions for taking the drug. Read the patient’s medication guide to learn how to take your medication, when to take it, and what the greatest potential side effects are. Ask your pharmacist or doctor if you have any queries.
- When you can obtain a full night’s sleep, take your sleeping tablet. Only take a sleeping tablet if you are confident that you will get at least seven to eight hours of sleep. Short-acting sleeping tablets are intended for awakenings in the middle of the night, so use them only if you can stay in bed for at least four hours.
- Keep an eye out for side effects: If you start to feel tired or dizzy during the day, or if you have any other serious side effects, talk to your doctor about adjusting your dose or weaning off your medications. You shouldn’t try a new sleeping pill the night before a big event or appointment because you won’t know how it will impact you.
- Quit with caution. Follow your doctor’s or pharmacist’s instructions or the directions on the package when you’re ready to stop taking sleeping tablets. Some drugs must be tapered down over time. Also, be warned that if you stop taking sleep aids, you may experience some short-term rebound sleeplessness for a few days.