Getting a good night’s sleep aids is critical to your health. It provides a necessary reset for the body and is important for several long term health conditions. Unfortunately, sleeping problems can be caused by a variety of factors, including stress, illness, medications and other lifestyle choices. If you are having trouble sleeping, it is important to discuss your symptoms with a medical provider, as the right treatment may include behavior therapy and short-term use of prescription sleep aids.
The use of prescription and OTC sleep medications is widespread in the United States. Using these medications can lead to dependence or tolerance, and the use of them is not recommended in cases of chronic insomnia or sleep apnea. However, many people find that the occasional use of a sleep medication can be helpful in improving their ability to get a good night’s rest.
Solving Sleep Troubles: A Comprehensive Guide to Different Types of Sleep Aids
Sleep medications can be taken by mouth or injected (in the case of intravenous melatonin). These medications are most commonly used to promote sleep by altering circadian rhythms or decreasing activity in the brain. Many of the most commonly used sleep medications also have some degree of sedative effects. Taking these drugs with alcohol can increase the sedative effect. People who are pregnant or breastfeeding should avoid most herbal and OTC sleep supplements due to the potential for fetal harm and passing of the drug to the infant through breast milk.
In the case of prescription sleep medicines, most should be taken on an empty stomach. It is especially important to talk with a doctor before trying any new type of sleep medicine. These medications are not effective for everyone and can have serious side effects if not used properly.