If you are like many otc sleep aids who have trouble sleeping, you have probably checked out the sleep aid section of your local pharmacy and wondered if any of these over-the-counter (OTC) sleep aids could help. Generally, OTC sleep aids fall into two categories: medications and supplements. While OTC sleep aids may help a person fall asleep, they do not address the root causes of insomnia, which usually require long-term treatment such as behavioral changes and limiting daytime naps, exercise and caffeine.
Most OTC sleep aids are antihistamines that make you drowsy, such as diphenhydramine (Benadryl) and doxylamine succinate (Unisom SleepTabs). These antihistamines are also found in combination products with pain relief such as Tylenol PM and Advil PM. These medications tend to work well in the short-term, but most people who use them will develop a tolerance quickly and may need to increase their dose beyond the recommended amount to achieve the desired effect. This can lead to grogginess the next day. Some of these medications can also cause dizziness and hallucinations.
Unveiling the Power of OTC Sleep Aids: A Comprehensive Guide to Better Sleep
It is best to use OTC sleep aids only as a temporary solution for sleep problems and always consult with a health care professional before taking them. This will ensure that the OTC sleep aids are safe and do not interfere with any underlying conditions or other medications you might be taking. In addition, most OTC sleep aids are not recommended for pregnant women and those who have certain health problems, including closed-angle glaucoma, peptic ulcers and urinary retention.