If you're having trouble sleeping, you might be considering taking an over-the-counter sleep aid. But with so many options available, it can be tough to know which one is right for you. Here's a look at some of the most popular over-the-counter sleep aids and what they have to offer.
Diphenhydramine is an antihistamine that has sedative effects. It's the active ingredient in many over-the-counter allergy and cold medications, including Benadryl. Diphenhydramine can make you feel drowsy and is often used as a sleep aid. However, it can also cause daytime drowsiness, dry mouth, and other side effects.
Melatonin is a hormone that helps regulate your body's sleep-wake cycle. Your body produces melatonin naturally, but it can also be synthesized in a laboratory. Melatonin supplements are sometimes used to treat jet lag or shift work sleep disorder. But they can also be helpful for people who have difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep.
There are many options for over-the-counter sleep aids. Some people find that melatonin works well for them. Melatonin is a hormone that helps regulate the sleep-wake cycle. It is available in pill form and can be taken as needed. Others find that antihistamines like diphenhydramine (Benadryl) or doxylamine (Unisom) help them to fall asleep and stay asleep. Antihistamines can cause drowsiness and are sometimes used as a sleep aid. Diphenhydramine is also available as a cream that can be applied to the skin.
Valerian root is an herbal supplement that has been used for centuries to treat insomnia and other sleep disorders. Valerian root is generally considered safe, but it can cause some side effects like headache, stomach upset, and dry mouth. It's important to talk to your doctor before taking any supplement, especially if you have a medical condition or are taking other medications.
Some people find that herbal supplements like valerian root or chamomile help them to relax and fall asleep. It is important to talk to your healthcare provider before taking any supplements, as they may interact with other medications you are taking. Some people find that changing their sleep habits, such as going to bed at the same time each night and avoiding caffeine in the evening, helps them to sleep better.