Sleep aids are made of ingredients known for their sleep-inducing properties. Taking a sleep aid could be the last resort if other methods have failed to provide good results. Since insomnia can wreak havoc on the body, taking a supplement is better than doing nothing. However, to minimize the side effects, it’s important to consult your doctor.
Types of sleep aids
Sleep aids are classified into two categories, by prescription and over the counter. Meanwhile, if we have to classify them based on the way they work, these medications can be divided into two groups. The first group works by helping the body fall asleep, while the second group works by preventing us from waking up during sleep.
They also vary in safety. Some are considered safer for long-term use, while others shouldn’t be taken that long. Over the counter pills are effective, but they’re not recommended for long-term use. Apart from potential side effects, some can also cause dependency.
Using a sleep aid safely
The first concern is dosage. Even if you use an over-the-counter supplement, you still have to pay attention to the directions of use. Visiting the doctor prior to consumption is highly advised, so that you get the right medicine suited specifically to your needs. The length of use is another important thing to consider.
Despite the benefits, drugs still have varying degrees of side effects. Don’t take one for a long period of time without consulting your physician first. Read instructions on the package before you start taking the pills. There should be warnings there that you should never overlook.
Melatonin supplements can be a substitute if you prefer natural approaches. Melatonin is naturally present in the body, so getting it from the outside shouldn’t be a big deal. The thing is the level of melatonin decreases with age. Therefore, the older population will benefit from this supplementation given that their sleep issues may have to do with reduced melatonin production.
Besides melatonin, valerian root is another ingredient for natural sleep aids. It has been around for decades. Although very popular, it gets mixed reviews from those who have tried. Some said it was really beneficial for promoting sleep, while others said it was just a placebo effect. The good news is this herb is fairly safe to use and doesn’t have serious side effects.
There are also sleep aids that contain magnesium. This mineral is believed to help ease restlessness and help us sleep faster. According to studies, a lack of magnesium intake can cause several symptoms, one of which is trouble sleeping. For this reason, it makes sense to use it as a sleep aid.