– To remain healthy, your body needs roughly 7 to 8 hours of sleep every night. As many as 30% of Americans sleep 6 hours or less, and nearly everyone will experience difficulty sleeping at some point in their lives. Sleep aids can be used for short periods of time to promote restful sleep, and at drugstore.com, we have many natural and medicinal solutions to help you get a better night's rest.
read more about sleep aids »
For some individuals, difficulty breathing makes it difficult to rest. Nasal strips are a possible solution to this problem and can help to open the airways to promote normal breathing and make it easier to fall asleep and remain sleeping until morning. These self-adhesive strips are worn on the nose and help to widen the nostrils. By increasing the size of the nostrils, nasal strips allow more air to flow through the nose. Nasal strips can also help to lessen snoring for some individuals, making it easier for people who share beds with snorers to sleep soundly. The strips come in various sizes. Be sure to compare products to find the right option for your needs.
Are there Over the Counter Sleeping Pills?
Short-term insomnia that lasts for 4 weeks or less can be addressed with over-the-counter sleep medications. These products contain FDA-approved medicinal ingredients that help to slow down the activities of the nervous system, so that you can relax and fall asleep with greater ease. One of the most commonly used ingredients in over-the-counter sleep aids is diphenhydramine hydrochloride. This medication may be used on its own in products or combined with over-the-counter pain relievers to help temporarily alleviate pain and make it easier to fall asleep.
Are there Any Natural Remedies for Insomnia?
If you prefer natural sleep aids, you'll find many products available on the market to help you address short-term symptoms of insomnia. Some formulas contain natural chemicals like melatonin. This chemical is produced by the body and plays a role in regulating sleep-wakefulness cycles. Research indicates that increasing levels of this chemical with supplements may help those with certain types of insomnia get more rest.
Herbal supplements are another natural sleep aid option. These products contain medicinal plants, such as valerian and chamomile, which have been used as folk remedies for insomnia over the centuries. You can also find homeopathic sleep aids that contain diluted amounts of natural herbs used in the alternative healing practice of homeopathy to address insomnia. Nux vomica, passiflora and acontium are some of the more commonly used extracts in homeopathic sleep aids. Scientists are still studying the benefits of natural sleep aids, and at this time, there is not enough evidence to know for sure that any product is safe and effective for everyone.
Important Information for Insomnia Sufferers
Prior to taking any sleep aid, be sure to check with your doctor or health care provider to verify that the medicine or natural product is safe for you. All medications and supplements have the potential to cause side effects. All sleep aids are only intended for short-term use. If your insomnia symptoms last for 1 month or longer, explore other treatment options with your physician. Do not combine multiple sleep aids unless told to by a doctor. Avoid drinking alcohol while using sleep aids and do not drive or operate heavy machinery after using a medicinal or natural product for promoting sleep.