Given this, it may come as no surprise that 8.4 percent of U.S. adults take sleeping pills or over-the-counter sleep aids frequently and daily, according to 2020 National Health Interview data. got it. Additionally, the researchers found that women were more likely than men to take sleep supplements, and that the older women were, the more likely they were to reach for insomnia medications.
That said, while the use of sleep vitamins and natural supplements seems to be increasing year by year, a 2022 Consumer Reports survey found that nearly one in three U.S. adults took a sleep supplement. I answered that there is A recent study showed a significant 31 percent drop in prescriptions for sleeping pills.
Certainly lifestyle changes may be a contributing factor to this change (given behavioral therapy is often suggested as a means of treating insomnia), but another factor that has reduced prescriptions for sleeping pills is One main reason is probably because so many great natural sleeping pills are safe. There are now over-the-counter sleep aids available. The global sleep aid market is already valued at $76 billion in 2023 and is expected to grow to just over $103 billion by 2028.
How do over-the-counter sleep aids work?
Many over-the-counter sleeping pills rely on the hormone melatonin as an active ingredient. “Destruction of cortisol as a result of chronic stress can interfere with the production of melatonin, making it difficult to fall asleep, stay asleep, or both,” says an ambassador for the vitamin. Dr. Taz Bhatia, an integrative medicine physician, said: Brand “Oli”. “Sleep aids containing the natural hormone melatonin help regulate the body clock that controls the sleep cycle.”
Melatonin not only shortens the time it takes to fall asleep, but it also increases REM sleep (REM sleep), Dr. Bhatia says. REM sleep is a stage of the sleep cycle characterized by vivid dreams, increased brain activity, and rapid eye movements. It is during this period that most dreams occur. This is why some people have more vivid dreams when taking sleeping pills. (Intrigued? OLLY Sleep Gummies, $10 are my personal favorite.)
However, melatonin is not the only type of over-the-counter sleep aid. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over-the-counter sleeping pills can take the form of antihistamines, including allergy medications such as diphenhydramine found in ZzzQuil Nighttime Sleep-Aid LiquiCaps ($5). A side effect of these drugs is drowsiness, so they are effective at bedtime.
What is the OTC equivalent of Ambien?
While sleep gummies and other sleep aids are effective in helping you get a restful sleep, it’s important to note that over-the-counter sleep aids are not equivalent to Ambien (aka Zolpidem). Ambien (also known as Zolpidem) is a prescription sleeping pill that acts as a sedative designed to help users fall asleep. Sleep faster and stay asleep longer.
Without a prescription, there are no true alternatives, but according to Sleepless in NOLA sleep expert Niron Vias, M.D., a medical review expert at SleepFoundation.org, Benadryl and Unisom are owing to their sedative properties. It is said to resemble Ambien. However, that doesn’t mean you have to swallow the medicine or swallow a double dose of pills.
Is it safe to take over-the-counter sleep aids regularly?
While the wellness industry has led us to believe that melatonin supplements and other over-the-counter sleep aids are necessary additions to our nightly routine, clinical psychologist Michael Bruce, Ph.D., founder of TheSleepDoctor.com, says: He says taking over-the-counter sleep aids every night isn’t a good idea. Not recommended.
“Very few people need it every night,” he says. “There are some extenuating circumstances, such as pain, certain mental health issues, medical diagnoses and medications, but I would never recommend it. [OTC sleep aids] For everyday use. ”
According to Dr. Bruce, this is due to potential side effects. “There is at least one study that shows how daily use is directly correlated with severe cognitive impairment like Alzheimer’s disease,” he says. (It’s worth noting, however, that this study specifically mentions pharmacological hypnotics, such as benzodiazepines. This is an important distinction, as OTC hypnotics are non-pharmacological drugs.)
That said, we found a possible association between over-the-counter sleeping pills (and prescription sleeping pills) and stroke in middle-aged to older adults with no history of stroke. There is another study.
In addition to the potential risks associated with long-term use of sleeping pills, there is the possibility of overdosing on over-the-counter sleeping pills, Dr. Bruce said. “In addition, many people consume and use alcohol, which only makes the situation worse,” he says.
How to fall asleep faster without over-the-counter sleep aids
Over-the-counter sleeping pills provide temporary relief from insomnia and sleep disturbances, but their potential side effects have not been studied extensively enough, indicating that regular use can pose serious health risks. Very little research. For this reason, many doctors and sleep experts recommend starting with lifestyle changes before reaching for sleeping pills, even over-the-counter ones.
“My clients who have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep have experienced amazing results in the area of lifestyle changes,” says Kia, a certified therapist who is an OLLY ambassador as well as Dr. Bhatia. Gaines says “The three most frequent are cognitive-behavioral therapy.” [CBT], improve sleep hygiene and move your body. CBT is the therapy I practice. My client and I develop coping skills and explore how our thoughts, feelings and actions are connected. It is effective for anxiety and depression, which are closely related to insomnia. ”
To promote sleep and improve sleep, you need to be careful about the actions you choose. If you work out at night (even early in the evening), you might want to do a gentler sequence like yoga, tai chi, barres, or pilates. If you prefer high-intensity training such as HIIT, weightlifting, or endurance training, practice earlier in the day. You may feel tired after such an energy expenditure, but studies show that it takes longer to fall asleep and more difficult to stay asleep after strenuous exercise.
Sleep hygiene, on the other hand, may not be what you think. It’s all about how well your daily life and space is good for snoozing. Do you go to bed and wake up at a certain time? Do you fill your diet with the best foods for sleep? Do you have a relaxing bedtime routine before you fall asleep? $42) are both natural sleep aids.) Does your lighting feel warm and soothing? Are your sheets comfortable and breathable? Is your bed positioned with a view of the window so you can benefit from the sunrise? If not, is it beneficial to our circadian rhythm? Do you have a proven natural phenomenon mimicking sunrise alarm clock (like the Hatch Restore 2, $200)?
These are all small changes you can make on your own that can have a big impact on how well you sleep and how fast you fall asleep.
Over-the-counter sleep aids can temporarily help you recover from jet lag and return to healthy sleep habits, but they shouldn’t be used every night in Dr. Vias’ view. If you feel the need to keep a bottle of melatonin gum by your bedside all the time (guilty), call your doctor to see if you may have other underlying medical conditions. If you can’t find anything, it may be helpful to consult a sleep coach.
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