Sleep Aids - Prescriptions and Over-The-Counter

August 26, 2019

Sleep Aids - Prescriptions and Over-The-Counter

I’ve already talked about different supplements that people have tried to help them sleep. From melatonin to valerian root extract to magnesium, and more. There are a plethora of supplements on the market aimed at helping people sleep. But what if supplements are not enough? What if you’ve already changed your pillows and your sheets, and you still aren’t getting your best night’s sleep? Before trying any medication, including those available over the counter, you should always consult with your doctor. Even easily accessible medicines can react with prescriptions, and it’s always better to be safe than sorry. And remember you should never try any prescription medication that hasn’t been directly prescribed to you.

 

Here are a few over the counter sleep aids that you might find, and a little bit on how they work:

Diphenhydramine

(found in Benadryl, Aleve PM, Tylenol PM, and others) - This type of antihistamine works by blocking histamine in the body. Found in many allergy medicines, it tends to make people drowsy. It’s no wonder that there are warnings such as “this product might cause drowsiness” on medications which contain this ingredient, even if the usage is intended to help with allergies, motion sickness, or something other than sleep.

Doxylamine Succinate

(found in Unisom and others) - With the ability to help treat a variety of allergy symptoms including watery eyes, runny nose, and hives, this is also an antihistamine.. It also is a short-term sedative that can assist with sleep and is often recommended for such.

What about prescription medications? Here is a shortlist of some prescription medications that your doctor might prescribe to you:

Benzodiazepine

(found in Valium and others) - Discovered in 1955 by accident, this mild tranquilizer is often prescribed to help people sleep. Valium is especially helpful to those who are suffering from insomnia. Benzodiazepine is also prescribed to assist with panic and general anxiety disorders, as well as being beneficial for seizures and alcohol withdrawal.

Non-benzodiazepine sedative-hypnotics

(found in Sonata, Ambien, Lunesta, and others) - With similar benefits of benzodiazepine drugs, these narcotics have been prescribed for many years. There are many families of these, including imidazopyridines, pyrazolopyrimidines, and cyclopyrrolones. These drugs are GABA-A agonists, which help people to sleep.

 

 

Both over the counter and prescription medications could have side effects, including but not limited to dizziness, headaches, and stomach issues. This means before popping pills, natural remedies are the best option to try. So why not check out the unbelievably comfortable pillows from Lavender & Chamomile (they have great sheets, too!) Making a simple modification, such as just replacing your pillow, might mean that you do not need any sleep medication after all?

 

Have you tried over the counter or prescription sleep medications? Did they work for you?






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