Sleep Aids
Overview of Prescription, OTC & Natural Remedies

sleep aids

Sleep aids have become big business because of the concerning and ever-increasing number of people suffering from insomnia and other sleep disorders.

Whether sleep deprivation is caused by lifestyle, illness, emotional trauma, life stage, or sleep disorder, people often resort to using sleep remedies to get the rest they need.

Prescription and over-the-counter sleeping pills are the sleep aids people consider most often. Yet, there are also a variety of natural and herbal approaches that may be just as effective in promoting restful, healthy sleep.

Many of these alternative remedies have the added benefit of having no drug-related side effects or dependency risk.

Only your doctor can evaluate your sleep difficulties accurately and recommend the best course of treatment to address your individual needs. There's no one size fits all approach and everyone responds differently to sleep remedies.

Sometimes trial and error may be the only way to find out what works best for you. Talk with your doctor about all available options and then plan a course of action to get you back on the road to better sleep. Following are the most common types of sleep aids.

Prescription Drugs

There are three categories of prescription drugs your doctor may recommend.

  1. Benzodiazepine hypnotics or BRAs can be highly effective. Yet, for some people they can be too heavily sedating making them feel groggy and exhausted the next day. BRAs also have a propensity to cause physical dependency. Drug names include Ativan, Xanax, and Halcion.
  2. Non-Benzodiazepines like Ambien, Lunesta and Sonata are a newer class of sleep medicine, which are less likely to cause addiction. People also report feeling more refreshed when the awaken after taking this type of medication.
  3. Antidepressants such as Aventyl, Desyrel, and Paxil are sometimes prescribed to help people sleep because these medications have a sedating effect.

Over-the-Counter Sleeping Pills

When you go to your neighborhood drugstore you will find a plethora of sleep medication and on the store shelf. The common ingredient in all these pills is an antihistamine, which causes drowsiness.

So whether you choose Nyquil, Sominex, Sleep-Eze or the store's generic brand, you are essentially getting the same type of medicine. Though, be sure to check the ingredients of any medication you are considering.

Always check with your doctor before taking over-the-counter medication. Even commonly available sleeping pills can cause side effects and interact with other medication you are taking. So exercise caution and take only as directed by your doctor.

Natural Approaches to Sleep

In your quest for a good night's rest, begin by examining your before-bedtime activities, eating and drinking habits, sleep schedule, and sleep environment. Ensure you are doing everything you can to facilitate sleep. Click on this link for tips on establishing healthy sleep habits.

Other natural approaches you may want to try include aromatherapy, acupuncture, hypnosis, yoga, relaxation techniques, and meditation.

Drinking herbal tea before bedtime can put you in a calm, relaxed state for easing into sleep. Also, taking Melatonin has shown to be effective in helping people with sleep they require.

By using one or combination of theses sleep remedies, under doctor's supervision, should help you get the sleep you need so you wake up refreshed and at your best.

Related Information - Sleep Aids

Natural Cures For Insomnia
Insomnia Medications
Over-the-Counter Sleep Aids
Melatonin and Sleep
Sleep Hygiene
Aromatherapy Benefits
Establishing a Healthy Sleep Schedule

› Sleep Aids

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