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What Are Some Commonly Used Sleep Aids?

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Getting an adequate amount of sleep is an important part of maintaining good health. Sadly, many people struggle to go to sleep or stay asleep and this leaves them feeling tired and fatigued on a daily basis. However, there is a variety of different sleep aids available that can help people get back on a regular, healthy sleep schedule. These are some of the most commonly used sleep aids available on the market today.

Natural Sleep Aids

Many people prefer natural sleep aids because there may not be any unwanted side effects when taking them. Among these natural sleep aids are melatonin, valerian root, passion flower, and lavender. Melatonin is normally taken as a tablet or capsule. Valerian root and passion flower are often made into a tea that is consumed at bedtime. The scent of lavender is what normally triggers sleepiness. This natural sleep aid may be used in the form of a cream or lotion that is applied to the skin where the scent can be enjoyed and help the person doze off into restful sleep.

Over the Counter Sleep Aids

If natural sleep aids do not help one get to sleep, there is also the option to try over the counter medications designed to promote sleep. These medications may contain either diphenhydramine or doxylamine succinate as the ingredient that causes sleepiness. The products that contain diphenhydramine may also be classified as allergy medications because diphenhydramine is an antihistamine. Some pain medications, such as acetaminophen, may have diphenhydramine as an ingredient and have PM added to the name because they are to be taken at night when one wants both pain relief and help getting to sleep. The over the counter medications that contain doxylamine succinate are marketed specifically as sleep aids only.

Prescription Sleep Aids

Some people suffer from sleeplessness due to a chemical imbalance in their brains, depression, or severe anxiety. They may need a prescription-strength sleep aid in order to be able to achieve adequate rest. There are various types of prescription sleep aids that may alter the chemicals in the brain so that sleep occurs regularly. Some of these medications also help treat depression or anxiety as well as helping the person be able to sleep again.

Regardless of which type of sleep aid a person uses, it is best to discuss this with a physician first. This is especially true for those who are on other medications or have other health conditions that may be affected by taking the sleep aid.

For more information about sleep medicine, talk to your doctor.