How to Find the Best OTC Sleep Aid

Sure, most experts will recommend natural solutions if you haven’t been sleeping well. Unfortunately for a lot of people, they need to find the best OTC sleep aid because natural solutions are not working for them. Fortunately for them, there are a lot of these solutions that they can simply buy over the counter. These medications are specifically formulated to help sufferers get that much needed shuteye.

Best OTC Sleep Aid for Travel and Other Needs

A good percentage of people are actually looking for the best OTC sleep aid for travel. This is mainly because they’re afraid of traveling especially by air so they’d rather get some shuteye through the whole flight. This is easier said than done if you’re afraid of flying so get something that can help you fall asleep effectively and efficiently.

There are other needs. For example, there are people looking for something that can help them fall asleep when they’re in pain. There are also workers needing to make a change to their sleeping patterns, probably because of a change of schedule at work, so they need something that can help them change their body clock.

Understanding your needs is actually the first step to find the best OTC sleep aid. Different solutions are offered for different needs, so this step is very important.

Tips to Find the Best One

Here are other tips that can be followed to buy the right sleeping pill:

  • Understand that they’re not for long-term effects.

Generally speaking, these options are weaker than the prescribed counterparts. This is why it’s important to note that the patient needs to go to a specialist for long-term needs. But as long as the patient is going to use the OTC option for the occasional sleepless night or for that 12 hour flight that they want to sleep through, then it should be fine. But if they keep on using these OTC options, their body will soon start to tolerate the main active ingredient which is usually antihistamine.

Most of these options can only be taken for a couple of weeks.

  • Know the available options.
  • Diphenhydramine

This is known for its sedating effects. Popular brands are Benadryl and Unisom.

  • Doxylamine

Like Diphenhydramine, this is also a sedating option that contains antihistamine. Unisom also has this option.

  • Melatonin

There are supplements that contain this substance that aim to regulate the natural cycle of sleeping and waking up. If you’ve been tossing and turning for hours every night, this might be a good option. This is also the best OTC sleep aid for combating jetlag.

  • Valerian

This is actually a plant that’s present in supplements that help people fall asleep. Just like Melatonin, it helps reduce the length of time required to fall asleep. In addition, it helps in improving the overall quality of the slumber.

This is popularly available in tea form. Those experiencing sleepless nights can drink a cup of Valerian tea just before going to bed.

  • Check with a doctor.

Sure, there are sleeping aids that are available to get without any prescription. But still, it’s a good idea to consult with a doctor. A good specialist should be able to recommend a good option that can be had without a prescription. He or she can also check your specific case to see if an over the counter option will work for your specific case or if a prescribed one is needed.

  • Know the precautions.

Stay away from these medications if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding. Also, check to see if you can use one if you have a condition. For starters, it’s not advisable to take Doxylamine or Diphenhydramine if the patient is asthmatic or has a chronic obstructive disease of the pulmonary system. Those suffering from a liver condition should also stay away.

Again, check with your doctor just to be sure.

  • Check for possible side effects.

Even the best OTC sleep aid has potential side effects. These include drowsiness, dizziness, memory issues and dry mouth. This is why you shouldn’t take them if you’re expected to work or be active.

On that note, never mix it with alcohol. You will be more sedated to the point that it’s not ideal anymore.

  • Check for reviews online.

Being over the counter, these are among the most popular options for those looking to improve their quality of sleep. This is why you can bet that a lot of people have tried these medications. Search for reviews online on the available choices so you can have a good idea as to what to expect.

Final Thoughts

Again, they’re not meant for the long-term. They’re good to have in your medicine cabinet for use every once in a while. If you require more than that, then book an appointment with a specialist.

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