Medicine to help you sleep

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

Since we are a mobile society with people traveling world wide, sleep has become a problem for everyone. Sleep disorders can also be caused by stress either at work or at home, clinical depression, uninviting sleeping area, too much light in the room, eating a heavy meal right before bedtime, drinking alcohol, drugs, muscle tension, too much caffeine, lumpy bed, pregnancy or any number of reasons. Insomnia can also be the symptom of a more serious medical problem. That is why most literature on this subject, recommends that if you suffer from insomnia for two or more weeks, you should see your family physician to see if some other medical problem isn’t going on.

There are several herbs that are known to be beneficial for people having sleeping problems. One common herbal sleep aid is Valerian which has been recognized for years in Europe as being helpful with insomnia. It is sold in the United States as a dietary supplement. There is no agreement on how this sleep aid works, but studies have shown that it does help with insomnia, as well as stress, and often as an aid in helping people who are trying to discontinue the use of benzodiazepines (a class of prescription medications for anxiety and panic attacks). There are side effects that have been reported, so before taking this herbal aid, a person should discuss taking Valerian with a pharmacist, especially if they are taking any prescription medications. The root is the part that is used in herbal sleep aids, and side effects of headaches and night terror, have been reported. The oil of this root is reported to have the odor of cat urine, so the most popular way to take Valerian is as a pill, rather than a tea made from the liquid.

Melatonin is a sleep aid to help people fall asleep — especially people who suffer from the insomnia caused by shift work or jet lag. Melatonin is a hormone found naturally in the body when serotonin, another hormone, is exposed to decreased light at night. It has side effects and most of the literature recommends it not being used by people with depression, schizophrenia, autoimmune diseases, or other serious illness. Pregnant and nursing women and children should also not use melatonin.

Other common OTC sleep aids such as Sominex, or Nytol can also be tried by adults but, again, a person should discuss with a doctor before taking any of these sleep aids especially if the person suffers from and is being treated for depression, or other mental health problems as well as persons being treated for Parkinson’s disease. Most of the OTC sleep aids contain antihistamines which are known to cause some lingering side effects such as dry mouth, and excessive drowsiness.

If your problems with sleep continue, it is best to see your physician to make sure that your problems sleeping are not a symptom of another medical problem. If not, there are prescription medications your doctor can prescribe for you as a sleeping aid,

The most commonly-used class of drugs prescribed for insomnia iInclude drugs such as temazepam, diazepam, lorazepam, and midazolam. These are a class of drugs in which Valium and Xanax belong to. There are also a class of new medications which includes drugs such as Ambien and Lunesta. These drugs have a cleaner side effect profile than benzodiazepines but do appear to cause psychological dependence and physical dependence. If your insomnia is caused by chronic pain, your doctor might prescribe Vicodin.

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.