Monday, October 31, 2011

Best Over The Counter Sleep Aid OTC

If you have read my articles at A Sleep Easy you know that keeping a sleep routine, eliminating caffeine before bedtime and taking a nap before 4pm are a few tips in getting a good night’s rest. Still for some people insomnia may not be that easy to overcome and you may consider taking an over-the-counter (OTC) sleep aid. But what is the best over-the-counter sleep aid for you? OTC sleep aides are meant to be taken on an occasional sleepless night because the more you take them the less effective they become. OTC sleep aides affects linger in your system the next day causing you feel listless which makes it difficult to stay focused at work or school. If you haven’t slept well for over two weeks I recommend that you talk to your doctor. There may be an underlying medical condition that is causing your insomnia. If you are considering OTC supplements it is important to know their side effects.

[caption id="attachment_1619" align="alignright" width="306" caption="Over-the-Counter Sleep Aid side effect: Dependency"][/caption]

There many OTC sleep aides to choose from and most contain antihistamines that cause drowsiness. If you are taking an antidepressant or other drugs for depression, psychiatric, emotional conditions or Parkinson’s disease talk to your doctor first due to a drug interaction. OTC sleep aides such as Sominex, Benadryl, Tylenol PM and others can cause dry mouth, dizziness, afternoon sleepiness and memory problem. They are not recommended for those that are pregnant, breast feeding, suffer from glaucoma, have heart conditions or an enlarged prostate.

Unisom can cause prolonged drowsiness and in addition that it may not be safe for those pregnant or breastfeeding, it is not advised to be taken for those that have asthma, bronchitis, glaucoma, peptic ulcer or an enlarged prostate.

Besides OTC sleep aides there are various supplements that say they are effective to treat insomnia. Even though they are not FDA approved it has been reported that they help those more effectively that are experiencing jet lag or work the late shift. The most popular supplements are Melatonin and Valerian. Melatonin is naturally produced in the body and regulates the sleep/wake cycle. When you age you produce less melatonin and flying through many time zones can cause your body’s internal clock to go out of sync. Taking melatonin at night is promoted to correct these issues and allow you to get a good night’s sleep. There have be some reports of side effects including; dizziness, headaches and afternoon sleepiness. Other side effects, although rare, are stomach aches, short-term depression, mild tremor, mild anxiety, irritability and confusion. Melatonin may interact with other medications, may not be safe for those under the age of 20 and should be avoided if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Valerian is made from a plant and may help you to fall asleep easy and deeper. Its potencies can vary from brand to brand due to the way it is prepared. The FDA considers valerian to be safe but side effects can include; headaches, excitability and heart disturbances. This herb may not be recommended for those that are pregnant or nursing and it may react with other medications and with alcohol.

With any OTC or supplement it is best to use it with caution. You don’t need your doctors approval to take them, but it is a good idea to check with your doctor first especially if you are taking other medications or have a medical condition. Your doctor can establish the correct dose and decide if your insomnia is caused by another reason, suggest further evaluation or refer a sleep specialist. Remember sleep aides are a temporary fix and shouldn’t be taken for more than three nights in a row. Never mix OTC’s with alcohol because it will increase the sedatives effects. Do not drive or operate heavy machinery when taking an OTC.

Note: Read the label! Numerous people die every year because they overdose themselves by taking multiple ingredients with different labels. The FDA has warned people that by taking an OTC sleep aid with a cold remedy that contains the same ingredients can result in kidney damage, liver failure and even death. Damage to organs can occur when drugs are not taken exactly as directed. If you want to check for a drug interaction there are various websites that offer this service, but make sure you read their disclaimer.

The content provided in Best Over The Counter Sleep Aid OTC is for information purposes only, intended to raise the awareness of different solutions for you or your families sleep problems and should not be considered medical advice. For medical diagnosis and treatment, please see your qualified health-care professional.

When purchasing a supplement on line it is recommended that you do not solely rely on the information presented. The information and statements regarding their products have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease or health condition. Therefore, they (the online distributor) and assumes no liability for inaccuracies or misstatements made about the products.

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1 comment:

  1. Hi! This post couldn't be written any better!

    Reading this post reminds me of my previous room mate! He always kept chatting about this.
    I will forward this page to him. Pretty sure he will have a
    good read. Thanks for sharing!