A sleep aid can be defined as an agent or drug with a soothing, tranquilizing or calming effect. As absurd as it might seem to most people, some people actually have trouble getting sleep. Sleep aids can be divided into three main groups namely; Over-the-counter, prescription and herbal sleep aids. It is important to note that some OTC sleep aids are a combination of antihistamines and acetaminophen (a pain reliever).
It is important to note that antihistamine OTC sleep aids are capable of producing side effects, some of which can become severe. Examples of herbal sleep aids include; chamomile, kava kava, valerian root, lemon balm, lavender, St. A number of vital tasks carried out during sleep help maintain good health and enable people to function at their best. Hypersomnia is a condition where a person has excessive daytime sleepiness and trouble staying awake during the day. Sleepwalking is a condition in which an individual walks or does other activities while asleep. Periodic limb movement disorder (PLMD) is a sleep disorder characterized by rhythmic movements of the limbs during sleep.
The most common active ingredient in OTC sleep medications is diphenhydramine, which is an antihistamine. While OTC sleep aids are generally safe and effective for managing occasional sleeplessness, it’s important to beware of potential side-effects that include grogginess and fatigue the next day, dry mouth, forgetfulness and confusion, and possible irregular heartbeat.

Before buying an OTC sleep aid, talk to the pharmacist, as certain medicinal ingredients can interfere with other drugs you may be taking. Although solving your sleep problems with a pill may sound tempting, it’s not the best option. Many publications are saying that fatigue due to insufficient sleep is one of the major issues facing Americans today. Sleep aids with Diphenhydramine HCI, Melatonin supplements and even counting sheep are used by many to help sleep. Most people prefer natural methods as opposed to using chemicals or hormones to aid in their sleep.
The design of GE Align™ wellness bulbs to help promote the sleep and wake cycles is based in science. These 10 over the counter anxiety medications can be purchased locally without a prescription. The main ingredient of OTC or over the counter sleep aids is an antihistamine commonly sold using the brand name; Benadryl.
Another common OTC sleep aid is Diphenhydramine sold under brand names such as; Sominex, Nytol, Sleepinal and Compoz.
Prescription sleep aids are classified under sedative hypnotics which function by slowing down nervous system functions. A large percentage of people prefer herbal sleep aids because they are natural thus they attract very few or no side effects.
OTC sleep aids should only be used for a short period of time in conjunction with changes in sleeping habits.

A leading ingredient in allergy medications, diphenhydramine is also known for its drowsiness-causing effect.
It is important to note that lacking sleep doesn’t always have to be a medical problem. For instance, herbal sleep aids are known to react dangerously with anticancer medication, birth control pills and medications like blood thinners. It is important to note that herbal sleep aids such as chamomile are associated with pollen or plant allergic reactions. The possible side-effects of melatonin include daytime sleepiness, confusion and dizziness, headache, abdominal discomfort and irritability. It is therefore advisable to consult a healthcare professional for examination as opposed to self-prescribing sleep pills and other forms of sleep remedies. Benzodiazepine pills are also known to cause drowsiness which can worsen sluggishness caused by sleep deprivation. Examples of Non-benzodiazepine sleep aids include; zolpidem (Ambien), zalepon (Sonata) and eszopiclone (Lunesta).

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