Do you have trouble sleeping? Over-the-counter sleep aid tablets may provide temporary relief, but for chronic insomnia, lifestyle modifications are usually the best option.
You’ve tried everything to get adequate sleep, including sleeping on a regular schedule, avoiding caffeine and midday naps, exercising frequently, avoiding bright screens before bedtime, and managing stress. Even yet, it’s been weeks and a restful night’s sleep has eluded me. Is it time for a sleep aid that you can buy over-the-counter? If you’re thinking about using medicine to help you sleep, here’s what you should know.
Sleep aids aren’t a panacea.
For a single sleepless night, over-the-counter sleep aids can be helpful. However, there are a few caveats.
Antihistamines are found in most over-the-counter sleep aids. Antihistamines can quickly acquire tolerance to their sedative effects, so the longer you take them, the less likely they are to make you sleepy.
Furthermore, certain over-the-counter sleep aid tablets can leave you sluggish and sick the next day. This is known as the “hangover effect.”
Medication interactions are also a possibility, and there is still a lot of unknown information concerning the safety and effectiveness of over-the-counter sleep aids.
Prescription sleeping medications have side effects.
Before picking which sleeping drugs to use, always consult your doctor about possible adverse effects. Prescription sleeping drugs can have a variety of negative effects, depending on the type.
- Lightheadedness or dizziness, which can lead to falls
- Diarrhea and nausea are symptoms of gastrointestinal problems.
- Drowsiness for an extended time, especially if you’re using medicines to help you sleep.
- Allergic reaction with a high level of severity
- Driving or eating while not fully awake are examples of sleep-related actions.
- Memory and performance issues during the day
Follow these measures while using over-the-counter sleep aid tablets:
- 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.
- Remember to take measures: People with closed-angle glaucoma, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, sleep apnea, severe liver disease, digestive system obstruction, or urine retention should avoid diphenhydramine and doxylamine. Additionally, sleep aids may bring dangers to pregnant or breastfeeding women, as well as adults over the age of 75, including an increased risk of strokes and dementia.
- Avoid consuming alcoholic beverages. Never combine sleep aids and alcohol. Alcohol can intensify the medicine’s sedative effects.
- Side effects should be avoided. While taking sleep aids, avoid driving or engaging in other tasks that need attentiveness.
- Obtain a medical examination. See your doctor for a full examination before taking sleep aid tablets. 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.
- Take a look at the drug guide. Learn how to take your prescription, when to take it, and what the most serious potential side effects are by reading the patient’s medication guide. Ask your pharmacist or doctor if you have any queries.
- Never take a sleeping pill unless you’re about to retire to your bed. Sleeping medications can make you less aware of what you’re doing, potentially putting you in danger. Wait until you’ve completed all of your evening activities and are ready to sleep before taking your sleeping medication.
- 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. Use short-acting sleeping pills only if you can stay in bed for at least four hours.
- Keep an eye out for negative side effects: Talk to your doctor about modifying your dose or weaning off your tablets if you feel tired or dizzy during the day, or if you have any other serious adverse effects. You shouldn’t try new sleeping tablets the night before a big event or appointment because you won’t know how it will impact you.