Common over the counter and prescription sleep aids

There are many medications that can help a person sleep. Some of these are over-the-counter (OTC) medications as well as herbal supplements. And there are others that require a doctor’s visit for a prescription.

Since we are a mobile society with people traveling world wide, sleep has become a problem for almost everyone at some time during their life. Insomnia can also be caused by stress either at home or at work, uninviting sleeping area, depression, too much light in the bedroom, drinking alcohol, eating heavy meal before bedtime, muscle tension, drugs, caffeine, bad mattress, pregnancy or a multitude of other reasons. Insomnia can also be the symptom of a other medical condition. That is why it is important that if you suffer from insomnia for over 2 weeks, you should see your primary care physician to see if some medical problem is not going on. It is very important to find the cause of insomnia and this is often the hardest problem of all but it the most necessary important way to cure it.

There are several herbs that are known to be helpful for people suffering for insomnia. One herb used as a sleeping aid is Valerian and has been used in Europe for years for help with insomnia. It is sold in the United States only as a dietary supplement. It has shown that it help with insomnia and also stress. There are side effects that have been reported; therefore it is important that you discuss taking Valerian with your druggist especially if you take any prescriptions for other medical conditions.

Melatonin is an aid for helping people with problems sleeping. It is helpful for people who have insomnia caused by working the night shift, or from jet lag. Melatonin occurs naturally when serotonin in the body is exposed to decreased light.

Other over-the-counter sleep aids such as Nytol or Sominex can be tried but, again, a person should discuss with their doctor before taking any of these sleep aids especially if you suffers from or are being treated for depression, or other mental health problems as well as Parkinson’s disease.

It is advised that if you have trouble falling asleep and have tried all the natural tips in this article, then perhaps you need to see a sleep specialist. There are so many people currently experiencing sleep problems; that there is a new medical subspecialty for sleep problems.

There are prescription drugs which your doctor can prescribe as a sleeping aid. The most commonly ones prescribed for insomnia includes drugs such as Xanax or Valium. There are also a class of new medications which includes Ambien and Lunesta. These drugs have fewer side effects than Xanax or Valium and leave your body in about 4 hours. But all of these prescriptions can cause physical as well as psychological dependence. If your insomnia is caused by chronic pain, your doctor might prescribe Vicodin but here also is a medication that can cause addiction problems.
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There are many medicines to help you sleep. But it is best to only use them as a last resort, as the best way to sleep it to develop good sleep habits. Taking a pill for a problem is buying into the mindset of turning to a pill to solve a problem which can cause problems in other areas of a person’s life.