Why You Should Steer Clear Of Sleep Meds
Sleeping pills and other sleep-promoting pharmaceuticals can offer a short-term solution to a temporary bout of insomnia. And plenty of people use them. But often, prescription sleep aids come with unpleasant side effects like headaches, sore muscles, constipation, dry mouth, daytime fatigue, trouble concentrating, dizziness, and more. Add them all up, and theyre about as badif not worsethan your garden variety sleep deprivation.
Still, even if youre one of the lucky few who dont experience side effects from taking sleeping pills, you likely wont benefit for long. Most people quickly build up a tolerance to the sedative effects of sleeping meds. This either means that you have to take higher and higher doses to get the same effect, or they stop working altogether.
Taking sleeping pills is a lot like crash dieting. Sure, both might work in the short term. But if you want to up your odds of achieving longer, more restful sleep for a lifetime, youve really got to build healthy, pro-sleep habits.
Either way, it doesnt add up to a healthy sustainable solution. Taking sleeping pills is a lot like crash dieting. Sure, both might work in the short term. But if you want to up your odds of achieving longer, more restful sleep for a lifetime, youve really got to build healthy, pro-sleep habits.
Natural Remedies For Sleep
If conventional sleep meds might be bad for you, does that mean all-natural herbal ones are a better choice? Sure, theres evidence that they can be. But theyre not a substitute for practicing good sleep hygiene. Instead, think of them as potential tools to make your smart sleep habits work even harder.
OK, glad we got that out of the way. Here are some sleep-promoting herbal remedies that could make it easier for you to nod off:
How Much Sleep Do Seniors Need
The average senior needs seven to nine hours of sleep each night in order to feel well-rested and alert the next day. Sleep disorders like insomnia can greatly interfere with your sleep schedule. If you experience sleep difficulties, try one of the following to ensure you get enough rest and feel refreshed in the morning:
- Impose strict bedtimes and waking times, and stick to them even on the weekends or when youre traveling.
- Avoid napping close to bedtime. If you need a few minutes of shut-eye, try to isolate your naps to the morning or early afternoon.
- Establish a routine that will help you wind down each night. Reading or listening to calming music can be effective.
- Do not use electronic devices such as televisions, cell phones, or computers in your bedroom. These devices emit a blue light that can make it harder to fall asleep.
- Maintain a balanced, comfortable temperature and low light levels in your bedroom.
- Exercise during the day but avoid working out within three hours of your bedtime.
- Do not consume caffeine in the late afternoon or evening.
- Do not drink alcohol as a sleep aid. While alcohol has sedative properties, it can actually cause sleep disturbances.
If you still experience problems with sleep onset or duration despite taking these measures, then you may have a sleep disorder. Consult with your physician about diagnosing the problem and treating it in accordance with your medical history.
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He Even Tried Electroconvulsive Therapy To See If The Sharp Electric Shock Could Knock Him Out
Despite these successes, Daniel still faced regular relapses that became more intense as the disease progressed. When the symptoms reared themselves, he couldnt do anything, says Schenkein. There were times when he lost the whole day it takes over your consciousness. He could sit there without the initiative to move; hed be frozen in time. Once, he tried electroconvulsive therapy to see if the sharp electric shock could knock him out; it did, but he suffered such bad amnesia afterwards that it seemed a far from ideal solution. After a few years of this struggle, he too finally passed away.
Clearing the debris
Although none of the treatments provided long-term relief, Daniel lived years longer than his diagnosis might have predicted. Schenkein points to recent evidence showing that slow-wave sleep triggers currents of cerebrospinal fluid to wash through the channels between brain cells, carrying away the debris and detritus from the days activity, and leaving it clean like the beach after high tide. Perhaps, by alleviating the insomnia, you can encourage this clean-up and forestall the brains further disintegration. Together with the Italian neurologist Pasquale Montagna , Schenkein wrote up the case study for a medical journal in the hope it may inspire others to look for measures to extend the life of patients with FFI.
Until recently, it looked like there was no escape from the genetic curse of fatal familial insomnia
Why Is Sleep Important
Sleep is essential for good health. During sleep, our bodies and brains repair themselves. Some research suggests our brains use the time during sleep to clear away toxins that build up during the day. Sleep is also important to our ability to learn and form memories. Not getting enough sleep puts people at risk for health problems, including high blood pressure, obesity, and depression.
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Using Sunlight To Promote Healthy Melatonin Production
The sun might force you awake in the morning, but its also essential for helping you achieve restful sleep at night. Thats because your body relies on natural light to figure out what time it is, and determine whether to pump out energizing hormones or ones that leave you feeling relaxed and sleepy, like melatonin.
In other words, daylight helps your bodys natural clockwhich is dictated by the 24-hour cycle of day and nightknow when to feel awake and when to feel tired. When our pineal gland is triggered by light, especially sunlight, it sends signals and releases wake-promoting hormones, says Michele Roberge, RT, RPSGT, a neurodiagnostic lead technologist at Parrish Sleep Disorder Center. A simple walk to the mailbox every morning could really benefit someone who is suffering from insomnia.
When your hypothalamusthe gland responsible for regulating sleep and energy levelssenses a change in light, it tells your body to ramp up or ramp down its production of the sleep hormone melatonin. During the day, you feel energized and alert because you dont produce much melatonin. At night, you produce more, so you feel sleepy.
One way to keep everything on schedule is by flooding your body with light as soon as you get out of bed, which sends a clear message to your body that its time to wake up. Try opening your blinds, exercising outside, or even going sans sunglasses on your way to work.
Media Technology In The Bedroom
suggests that using devices with screens before bed can cause a loss of sleep in young people.
These devices can also harm sleep patterns in adults. Recreational use after lights-out appears to
- over-the-counter sleep aids, some of which are available for purchase online
- melatonin, which is also available for purchase online
However, there is not enough strong evidence to prove that melatonin helps with sleep.
A number of remedies and tips can help manage insomnia. They involve changes to:
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How Is Insomnia Treated
If your insomnia is caused by a short-term change in your sleep/wake schedule, such as with jet lag, your sleep schedule will probably return to normal on its own.
Chronic or long-term insomnia can be treated with , , and .
If insomnia is a symptom or side effect of another health problem, your doctor may recommend treating the other health problem at the same time. When the other health problem is treated, secondary insomnia often goes away on its own. For example, if menopause symptoms, such as hot flashes, are keeping you awake, your doctor might try treating your hot flashes first. Research suggests that older women who use hormone replacement therapy, eat healthy foods based on a Mediterranean diet, and limit how much caffeine and alcohol they drink may have fewer sleep problems than women who did not do those things.
Talk to your doctor or nurse if you have symptoms of insomnia, and ask about the best ways to treat insomnia.
The Migraine Babble: Why Your Words Get Jumbled
One of the most noticeable signs of Migraine is what we call the Migraine Babble: the words just don’t come out the way you intended. Migraine speech problems can be attributed to Migraine aura.
Doctors refer to this symptom as “transient aphasia,” a temporary communication disorder characterized by word-finding difficulty.
Aphasia impairs one’s ability to process language, both in written and spoken words. People with aphasia have trouble putting words together to speak or write, understanding what others are saying, and comprehending what they read. When they try to speak, words come out garbled and unintelligible.
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What Happens When A Person Doesnt Get Enough Sleep
Not getting the proper amount or quality of sleep leads to more than just feeling tired. Sleepiness interferes with cognitive function, which can lead to learning disabilities in children, memory impairment in people of all ages, personality changes and depression.
People who are deprived of sleep experience difficulty making decisions, irritability, have problems with performance, and slower reaction times, placing them at risk for automobile and work-related accidents. Sleep loss can also adversely affect life by contributing to the development of obesity, diabetes and heart disease.
How Does Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Help Treat Insomnia
Research shows that cognitive behavioral therapy works as well as prescription medicine for many people who have chronic or long-term insomnia. CBT helps you change thoughts and actions that may get in the way of sleep.
This type of therapy is also used to treat conditions such as depression, anxiety disorders, and eating disorders. For success with CBT, you may need to see a therapist weekly for two months or more. CBT may involve:
- Keeping a diary to track your sleep
- Replacing negative thoughts about sleep with positive thinking. This includes linking being in bed to being asleep and not to the problems you have falling asleep.
- Talking with a therapist alone or in group sessions. This can help you identify and change any unhelpful thoughts and behaviors about sleep.
- Learning .
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What Are Sleep Disorders
Sleep disorders are conditions that impair your sleep or prevent you from getting restful sleep and, as a result, can cause daytime sleepiness and other symptoms. Everyone can experience problems with sleep from time to time. However, you might have a sleep disorder if:
- You regularly experience difficulty sleeping.
- You are often tired during the day even though you slept for at least seven hours the night before.
- You have a reduced or impaired ability to perform regular daytime activities.
There are more than 100 million Americans of all ages who are not getting an adequate amount of sleep. Sleep is very important. Not getting enough sleep can have untoward consequences on school and work performance, interpersonal relationships, health and safety.
Prescription And Otc Sleep Aids Can Help But They Are Meant To Be Short
Before turning to medication, your doctor should rule out other possible health issues. Insomnia oftentimes is a side effect of an underlying issue, such as depression or an anxiety disorder, in which case an antidepressantcould be more beneficial than a sleep aid. If theres something else going on, that issue should be addressed versus putting a Band-Aid on the problem with sleep medication, Aouad says.
If you try sleep hygiene and cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia, and youre not seeing the benefit, I would say see a specialist so they can rule out any other possible medical or mental health issues that could be contributing to the insomnia and help direct you to treatment, Aouad says.
In these cases, over-the-counter or prescription sleep medication can be helpful if used for a short period of time, as you simultaneously establish a healthier sleep routine by improving your sleep hygiene and forming habits that allow you to get the sleep you need. The ideal scenario is that you once you do get into a better sleep routine, you can stop taking the medication, but continue to sleep well.
If medication is prescribed, take it for as little time as necessary since it can be habit forming, Aouad says three months at maximum. And be sure to discuss the medications purpose and side effects with your doctor.
Types of prescription sleep aids include:
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What Is Restless Legs Syndrome
Restless legs syndrome is a sleep disorder that causes an intense, often irresistible urge to move the legs. This sensation is brought on by resting such as lying down in bed, sitting for prolonged periods such as while driving or at a theatre. RLS typically occurs in the evening, making it difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep. It can be associated with problems with daytime sleepiness, irritability and concentration. Often, people with RLS want to walk around and shake their legs to help relieve the uncomfortable sensation.
What Medicines May Help With Sleep Disorders
Your healthcare provider may recommend some of the following medications and supplements:
- Sleep aids may be helpful in some cases of insomnia, including melatonin, zolpidem, zaleplon, eszopiclone, ramelteon, suvorexant, lamborexant, or doxepin.
- Restless legs syndrome can be treated with gabapentin, gabapentin enacarbil, or pregabalin.
- Narcolepsy may be treated with a number of stimulants or wake-promoting medications, such as modafinil, armodafinil, pitolisant and solriamfetol.
What Sleep Aids For Insomnia Work The Best
Not everyone has the same reaction to a sleep aid, so theres no hard-and-fast rule about which one works the best. Instead, doctors suggest insomnia treatments based on their patients specific situation, including their symptoms and their overall health.
To make these suggestions, doctors may draw on guidance from expert organizations like the American Academy of Sleep Medicine . AASM organizes panels of sleep experts who review the existing research and make general recommendations about sleep aids.
In the latest AASM guidelines for sleep aids for insomnia, certain prescription drugs are recommended depending on whether a persons problem is with sleep onset or sleep maintenance. This is because certain sleep aids work quickly and wear off fast, and others start slowly and last a long time. AASM recommends against the use of over-the-counter sleeping pills and dietary supplements like melatonin and valerian.
Difference Between It And Is
It and Is both are used in English grammar and are used in many sentences by people around the globe. They play a very important role in the formation and meaning of the sentences, but at times people use them incorrectly while forming a sentence as both are third-person singular words. However, there are many points of difference between them.
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Taking Steps To Manage Stress
If you consistently find yourself lying in bed with your mind racing, stress could be stealing your ability to fall asleep. In fact, nearly 40% of Americans say that they often feel tired or fatigued because of stress, according to a2013 American Psychological Association poll.Verified SourceAmerican Academy of Pediatrics Professional society for pediatricians that aims to improve childrens health everywhere.View source
Nearly 40% of Americans say that they often feel tired or fatigued because of stress.
And it gets worse. When youre wiped out during the day from not getting enough sleep, you tend to feel even more stressed, anxious, and irritable. Over time, the whole stress-sleep thing can turn into a vicious cycle. Which is why taking steps to manage your stress is so critical for achieving deeper, more restful sleep.
So should you start sitting cross-legged and singing Kumbaya before bed? Well, sure, if you want to. But if thats not your style, dont worry. There are plenty of other effective ways to ease feelings of stress and promote feelings of relaxation. A few to try:
How A Pharmacist Can Help With Insomnia
You can buy tablets or liquids from a pharmacy that may help you sleep better.
Some contain natural ingredients while others, like Nytol, are an antihistamine.
They cannot cure insomnia but may help you sleep better for 1 to 2 weeks. They should not be taken for any longer.
Some of these products can have side effects, for instance, they may make you drowsy. This could make it difficult for you to do certain things like drive.
Check with your doctor before taking anything for your sleep problems.
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Recognizing And Diagnosing Insomnia In Seniors
Insomnia and age often go hand in hand. While many seniors experience sleep problems because of natural changes to their circadian rhythm and sleep-wake cycle, a diagnosis for insomnia must meet certain criteria. According to the International Classification of Sleep Disorders , a person with insomnia must report at least one of the following symptoms despite having enough time allotted for sleep and a relatively comfortable sleep area:
- Difficulty falling or staying asleep
- Repeated instances of waking up earlier than desired
- Feelings of resistance about going to bed at a reasonable time
- Difficulty sleeping without intervention from a caregiver
Insomnia must also include daytime impairments. These may include excessive daytime sleepiness, feelings of fatigue and malaise, mood disturbances and irritability, and trouble concentrating and paying attention. People with insomnia are at higher risk of accidents, and many struggle in social and family situations.
If these symptoms occur at least three times per week and persist for at least three months, then doctors may diagnose the patient with chronic insomnia. Until then, the condition is considered short-term insomnia.