Getting a good night’s sleep is super duper important.
No matter your age, gender, or other characteristics, we all need to sleep well to be our best every day.
But what happens when you can’t get good sleep?
Should you take a sleep aid to help you get some rest?
In some cases, that can be the right choice. But you also need to remember that some sleep aids can be addictive, and they can also be harmful if they’re taken incorrectly.
With that in mind, here’s what you need to know about sleep aids, so you can use them safely when needed and reduce your chance of side effects.
When should I use a sleeping aid?
Generally, sleeping aids should only be used sparing. If you get in the habit of using them every night, you’ll have a lot more trouble sleeping when you stop using them.
Some sleep aids also have addictive properties, meaning you’ll need to take larger doses of them over time to get the same effect.
That can lead to overuse of medications, and can also be harmful to your body. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use a sleep aid, but use them with care and only as directed.
If you take medications or have health problems, it’s a good idea to consult your doctor before taking a sleep aid, too.
What is the best over the counter sleep aid?
Over-the-counter (OTC) sleep aids are the most commonly used options. They’re easy to get, and they work well for mild, occasional sleep problems in most people. Here are the OTC sleeping aids used the most, and what you should know about them.
What is the most effective natural sleep aid?
If you want to take something for sleep but you’re looking for more natural remedies, there are plenty of options. Here are some of the most common natural sleeping aids used.
Prescription sleep aids
Over-the-counter sleep pills and natural options just aren’t enough. That can lead them to prescription options, which can be more effective.
The most commonly used prescription sleeping pills work well and can be used safely in most people. But understanding how they work and what they offer is important.
Best sleep aids overall
Some sleep aids are better than others. Here are our top three:
1. Sedatives/sleeping pills are the right choice if you need a prescription medication to fall asleep. Just make sure you take them as your doctor orders.
2. Melatonin can be a great option if you don’t want a prescription since it promotes sleep and can be safe and effective for almost everyone.
3. For light cases of insomnia, lavender’s calming scent and relaxing properties can go a long way without causing side effects and interactions.
Side effects of sleep aids
There are a number of side effects of sleeping pills, especially for prescription options. The main side effects include:
What to avoid when using sleeping pills
When you choose to use sleep aids, you need to be careful to avoid stimulants that could counteract their effects. As it gets close to time for sleep, make sure you do your best to avoid:
- Late-night workouts
- Spicy or hard to digest food
Is it OK to take sleep aid every night?
You’d obviously need to consult with a medical health expert, but I’d say no. Unless you’re taking natural sleep aids which many people do in fact take regularly, then it’s fine.
But taking prescription based over-the-counter sleep aids every single night would be excessive and most likely dangerous over a long period of time.
The bottom line is that sleep aids can work very well, and be generally safe, for the majority of people when used correctly.
If you have health problems or take medications, ask your doctor before trying sleep aids, though, and that includes natural remedies.
In most folks, sleep disturbances will resolve themselves. If you do need sleep aids, taking them sparingly and only as directed can help them be effective while reducing side effects.