What to know about sleep aids?

Sleep aids refer to any medicines or herbal remedies that aid people’s sleep. Many ways sleep aids can assist people to get more rest. Certain drugs alter the body’s regular cycles of circadian rhythms. Others stop certain chemicals from the brain that cause the person to feel sleepy.

Sleep functions as a reset for several organs and systems in the body. It is among the most vital elements of general health. Insufficient sleep can lead to various long-term health issues.

The over-the-counter (OTC) or prescription sleeping aids usually use chemical substances or medications to aid people in getting to sleep. Natural remedies could contain natural ingredients and herbs.

Sleep aids on their own aren’t sufficient to maintain the healthiest sleep pattern. People who use them should explore other options for controlling their sleep patterns.

Sleep aids available over the counter

OTC sleep aids are sold without a prescription at numerous pharmacies and stores. They include:


The Melatonin is a hormone that produce by the body naturally.

Melatonin signalizes to the body and brain that it’s time to sleep. It also plays an important role in the body’s circadian rhythm, the 24-hour sleep-wake cycle that allows humans to adjust day and night.

So Melatonin can also help those who suffer from sleep disorders to fall asleep more quickly. The authors of the review trusted. Source note reported that research suggests that melatonin could help people with sleep disorders, like sleeping disorders, insomnia, or delayed sleep-phase syndrome.

 It could also aid those who are blind and have trouble controlling their sleep cycles.

The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health Trusted Source mentions that melatonin could assist with other sleep problems like jet fatigue.

So Melatonin is believed to be safe for short-term use by people suffering from sleep problems. But there isn’t much research into its long-term safety.


Glycine is a naturally occurring amino acid that aids in the regulation of the central nervous system. It can also aid in controlling sleep and improving the quality of sleep.

Research Trusted The research has proven that taking glycine before sleep improves both subjective and subjective indicators of sleep.

The research team found that glycine can help lower the body’s temperature. This is an indication that it’s time for the body to go to sleep. It also regulates our circadian rhythm.

 But, researchers do not know exactly how it causes these effects. Further research is required to verify the effectiveness of glycine as an aid to sleep.


Diphenhydramine is a significant component in the majority of allergy medicines. However, it may also cause a person to feel tired and aid in sleep.

It is often a component because of this. It is a common ingredient in OTC products designe to assist people in sleeping like evening cough syrups.

However, the substance is known to significantly decrease mental alertness. That is why someone must be only taking it when they’re ready to fall asleep.

One can rapidly develop a tolerance to diphenhydramine and make it less effective over time.


Doxylamine is another antihistamine it has similar effects to diphenhydramine. It may cause drowsiness or induce sleep in certain people. However, its primary purpose is to treat symptoms of allergies or cold.

Sleep aids prescribed by a doctor

These are some of the sleeping aids that you can take with a prescription.


Benzodiazepines are primarily for anxiety disorders. However, they can also help promote sleep.

They are a kind of sedative-hypnotic medicine and are not recommend for long-term use because they could become habit-forming or cause dependence.

They also rapidly cause resistance in the body, which means that they’ll decrease effectiveness over time.

These prescribed drugs can be potent and come with the risk of abuse and other adverse consequences. This is why doctors only prescribe them under particular circumstances, like those suffering from frequent sleep disorders.

Benzodiazepines include:

  • diazepam (Valium)
  • alprazolam (Xanax)
  • Lorazepam (Ativan)

Sedative-hypnotic sleeping tablets

Other prescription medications that are soothing and hypnotic can also purchase. They include:

  • Zaleplon (Sonata)
  • eszopiclone (Lunesta)
  • zolpidem (Ambien)

These can be helpful for a slightly longer duration that lasts up to 6 months. But, they pose a risk of dependence. A lot of people suffering from insomnia notice that their symptoms recur once they stop taking these drugs.


Ramelteon (Rozerem) can be described as an agonist of the melatonin receptor prescribed by a doctor.

It is designed to replicate how the body’s melatonin works and could assist people in falling asleep or adjusting their sleep routine.

Ramelteon may cause adverse reactions, but it comes with a lower chance of dependency than sedatives.

Natural remedies

These natural cures can aid in sleep:

Valerian root

Valerian roots are spicy, sour roots often sold by companies as an effective natural stimulant.

There isn’t much research to verify that valerian root helps insomnia. However, it could help improve sleep for some people.

According to a 2017 review article in the Trusted Source mentions, valerian seems to improve sleep quality, but not its objective quality.

At the same time, people who take valerian might say that they sleep better, but their brain waves throughout the night could not exhibit similar results.

There appear to be no significant adverse side effects associated with using valerian root in the short term. If one believes it can be beneficial, it’s likely to be no harm to them taking it for a brief period.


The lavender essential oil can make a person feel more relaxed and aid in sleep.

Lavender flowers emit the scent of calm. The essential oil that comes from the flower is used extensively in aromatherapy.

Many people have found that using lavender oil as a diffuser before falling asleep can help create a peaceful, relaxed and peaceful state that aids in sleep.

A few smaller studies have demonstrated the potential benefits of lavender with regards to sleep, for example:

  • Enhancing sleep quality
  • Improvement in the signs of insomnia
  • prolonging the time spent in bed
  • aiding those who temporary or stopped using sleep medications get back to sleep

However, these are usually smaller-scale studies, and further research is required to demonstrate its potential before making any general claims.


Magnesium is a crucial mineral in the body and plays a vital role in many bodily functions. So the Magnesium is a mineral that can relax muscles and help prepare the body to sleep.

A study published in The Journal of Research in Medical Sciences Trusted Source examined the effects of Magnesium on the severity of insomnia among older adults.

The study found that those who took Magnesium reported improved sleep quality than those in the placebo group. The Magnesium also helped improve indicators of insomnia, including the early wake-up, difficulty getting to sleep, and sleep quality.

Although the results look promising. The study was limited to older adults who could have low magnesium levels in their blood at the beginning. Magnesium could not be the same for everyone.

But, the short-term consumption of magnesium supplements will not be a health risk and may even assist some people in getting better sleep.

Alternative natural solutions for sleeping

Other natural remedies can help improve sleep, but there’s a shortage of scientific evidence that supports their usage.

Certain people might be able to feel like they fall asleep faster or awake feeling more refreshed following the use of:

  • Chamomile
  • Kava
  • CBD oil
  • Tryptophan
  • peppermint
  • GABA
  • tart cherries
  • passionflower
  • 5-HTP

Anyone considering using these food items or supplements as sleep aids should talk to a physician before doing so.

How can you get more sleep?

Whichever sleep aids a person selects. The use should limited to a short period. These devices are an aid to help the body return to regular routines and regulate sleep patterns.

Therefore it is not the sole solution to a better night’s sleeping. Sleep aids are only one of the components of a healthy sleeping routine.

To get better sleep, you must develop healthy habits for rest, which includes:

  • Beware of blue light sources before sleeping, such as light from phones, computers, or TV
  • getting up at the same time every day, as much as it is possible
  • eating a varied, healthful diet
  • Avoiding habits that could disrupt sleep, for example, drinking caffeine or alcohol in the evening
  • exercising regularly
  • Maintaining and achieving an ideal weight

Anyone who is struggling to sleep should consult directly with a physician to determine the cause. The most effective method of treating insomnia can be based on various factors, including the overall health of a person.


Sleep aids may help individuals relieve sleep problems, like insomnia, jet lag, or poor quality sleep.

Certain sleeping pills can cause dependence or tolerance, making it difficult to fall asleep without taking the drug. Certain sleep aides could result in undesirable negative side consequences.

No sleep aid can be a substitute for the complete evaluation as well as treatment for sleep disorders. Anyone thinking of using a sleep aid of any kind must do this under the guidance of a physician.

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