This article will go over a few things that you can take to help with sleep

About ten percent of the population are constantly getting too little sleep. Sleep deprivation is more common with women than men. Most people need between six and nine hours of sleep per day and on average adults sleep eight and a half hour if they are allowed to sleep as much as their body needs. Sleep is very important, for body, mind and our general well-being. Long term sleep problems often contribute to a lowered quality of life.
If you suspect you have a sleep disorder, a sleep specialist can confirm if your suspicions are correct – and make a careful and detailed medical evaluation to find the source of your sleep problem. Insomnia is usually the most common sleep disorder and it means you have a hard time going to sleep or that you have a hard time staying asleep. Usually, you will know if you are experiencing insomnia because you will remember tossing and turning or being awake at night.

Insomnia can be caused by fear, stress, anxiety, medications, herbs, caffeine, depression, or other mental conditions and sometimes occurs for no apparent reason. An overactive mind or physical pain may also be causes. Finding the underlying cause of insomnia is usually necessary to cure it.

Medication that can be taken for insomnia are both prescriptions and over the counter.

Benzodiazepines – The most commonly-used class of drugs prescribed for insomnia. Includes drugs such as temazepam, diazepam, lorazepam, and midazolam.

Non-benzodiazepine prescription drugs -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.

Melatonin – A hormone that has proved effective for some insomniacs in regulating the sleep/waking cycle.

Over-the-counter sleep aids – Many of these sleep aids use the antihistamine diphen¬hydramine. The effectiveness of these aids often decreases over time and next-day sedation is common.

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.

Sleeping pills or aids should never be taken before speaking with your doctor about your sleeping problems.