Most sleep experts agree that approximately one-third to one-half of all people experience some type of sleep problems at some point in their life. When you are suffering with insomnia or other sleep issues, the lack of sleep can begin to take its toll on the quality of your day-to-day life. However, finding a safe and effective solution that can help you get the sleep you need without causing additional problems is often more complicated than many people realize.
Over the counter sleep aids-Benefits, side effects and more
There are, of course, a wide variety of over-the-counter sleep medications to help you get your sleep. These medications can generally help you relax so that you can fall asleep naturally. However, there are also more powerful prescription medications that your doctor can prescribe for those who suffer with chronic insomnia or other sleep disorders. Unfortunately, many of these medications can have some very serious consequences, especially if taken on a regular basis. Fortunately, there are also some very effective all-natural herbal sleep aids that can be used to help you relax so that you can fall asleep and enjoy the benefits of sleep. The good thing with these natural herbal sleep aids is that they allow you to wake up feeling refreshed instead of groggy and in a fog.
While there are certainly many over-the-counter and prescription sleep products available, they tend to fall into the same type of category. You typically need to take these medications when you know you will be able to sleep for several hours. Trying to wake up can be difficult if you wait too long to take these medications. Additionally, many can have very unpleasant side-effects. One concern many people have when taking any type of sleep medication is that they do not want to make a short-term solution to their sleep problems turn into an even bigger problem with potentially addictive sleep aids. Fortunately, there are some newer medications that can produce drowsiness and are considered to not be habit forming. However, many of these products still come with unpleasant side-effects such as burning or tingling in your legs, arms, feet or hands, appetite changes, dizziness, heartburn, stomach pain, gas, headache, diarrhea, constipation and a host of other possible problems.
The side-effects of taking these prescription and over-the-counter sleep medications can range from mild to quite severe and you never know if you will be one of those individuals who will have problems with a particular sleeping pill. In fact, people with lung problems such as asthma and COPD may be at increased risk when taking some of these medications because they tend to create slow shallow breathing which can exacerbate an already precarious breathing problem.
Herbal Sleep Aids
Rather than rely on these harsh and unpredictable sleep aids, many people are turning to more natural and gentler methods to help them get the rest they need. Many herbal sleep aids have been used for years and have been shown to be extremely beneficial in helping people relax so that they can drift off to sleep naturally. Some of the most popular herbal sleep remedies include the following:
Herbal Sleep Aids-Chamomile
Chamomile – Chamomile is a soothing and relaxing herbal sleep aid that has been used for centuries for its ability to help induce a good night’s sleep. In addition to helping you relax, this herb is also effective for relieving a variety of stomach problems as well as skin inflammation. Chamomile is typically brewed in a tea and can be sipped shortly before bedtime to help you relax and enjoy a peaceful night’s sleep.
Valerian – this root has a long history as a natural sleep aid and can be used for occasional sleep problems, but it is especially beneficial when taken regularly. Many patients who use valerian as a sleep inducing herb report that it not only helps them fall asleep, but they feel less nervous and actually sleep more restfully. Valerian is an excellent herbal sleep product, for anyone who suffers with chronic insomnia or occasional bouts of sleeplessness.
Passionflower – Passionflower has been used for treating both insomnia and anxiety for many years. It is believed that passionflower increases the level of gamma-aminobutyric acid present in the brain. This chemical subdues cell activity to produce a calming and relaxing effect. This herb is often used in conjunction with chamomile to make a soothing tea that can naturally and effectively help you relax and drift off to sleep.
Melatonin – Melatonin is often called the “sleep hormone”. It is a naturally occurring hormone that our bodies produce at night to help induce sleep. When your body does not produce enough melatonin you will suffer with sleep problems. Fortunately, melatonin supplements are an easy way to help establish natural sleep/wake cycles and encourage your body’s natural ability to sleep. Melatonin can also be very beneficial if you are trying to wean yourself off other sleep medications. While Melatonin is not an herbal sleep product, it can be used in conjunction with these sleep aids to help promote a good night’s sleep and encourage a more restful sleep pattern.
Go natural and sleep better
While there are certainly other natural herbs that can be used either on their own or in conjunction with other herbs to help overcome sleeplessness, it is important that you understand the potential benefits and side-effects of any product you take. This includes natural sleep remedies as well as prescription and over-the-counter medications. However, natural herbal remedies and sleep aids have been used for centuries and many of them have been proven to provide a wonderful alternative to the expensive and often harsh over the counter sleep products and medications now on the market.
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