Can Using Sleep Aids Promote a Good Night’s Rest?
Experts recommend people catch on seven to eight hours of rest every night. However, for many individuals, this is easier said than done. While many people cannot meet this requirement because they lack work-life balance, others fail to rest for the recommended hours due to sleep problems. Rest disorders like insomnia lead to trouble falling or staying asleep and lead to slow thinking or other impairments. In the long run, these sleep problems can even have serious physical and mental health implications.
Thus, patients with rest disorders turn to sleep aids to prevent long-term side effects. These include over-the-counter medications, dietary supplements, and prescriptive drugs. Typically older adults use them to get necessary rest for their bodies. Besides insomnia, patients with circadian rhythm disorders like jet lag and shift-work sleep problems can also benefit from their usage. If you are someone who suffers from sleepless nights and would like to know more about sleep aids, here is some information. Have a look!
Do people commonly use sleep aids?
As the number of people suffering from rest problems is increasing consistently, the use of sleep aids is also rising. Sleep experts claim that patients with insomnia or occasional sleeplessness take these drugs to catch on to good-quality rest. While many sleep patients opt for over-the-counter pills, some also choose dietary supplements like natural sleep aids to catch good quality rest.
How do sleep aids work?
Sleep aids are recommended to older adults because they are efficient. For those wondering how sleeping pills work, they sedate the consumer and make him sleepy. This might happen rapidly and make him drift off instantly or occur over a stretched duration and assist with staying asleep through the night. How a sleep aid affects the consumer differs based on its chemical composition. Depending upon how sleep aids work, pills are divided into several types:
1. Prescription Drugs
These drugs cannot be sold without being approved by the respective authorities. They are responsible for reviewing the data and determining their effectiveness and safety. After this step is completed, the patient can show a prescription from his doctor to obtain it from a pharmacy. Some examples of these safe sleep aids are antidepressants and melatonin receptor agonists.
2. Over-the-counter Meds (OTC)
It is slightly easier to obtain OTC meds since they can be bought without a prescription. These drugs are not required to undergo the same level of FDA testing as prescription drugs, but they must meet some standards before they are allowed to be sold. They are composed of antihistamines and are frequently used for managing allergies. But, since OTC meds also have a sedative effect, they are used as sleeping pills as well.
3. Dietary Supplements
Dietary supplements do not need to be approved. They include natural sleep aids like melatonin, valerian, or kava. While some of these are made of just one ingredient, others are a blend. This is why numerous sleep supplements are available in the market. Among these, melatonin is commonly prescribed for sleep problems like shift work disorder, jet lag, and other issues caused because of circadian rhythm misalignment.
What are the possible benefits of sleep aids?
1. Induces drowsiness
The use of these drugs is recommended when people cannot sleep well. Consuming sleep aids induces drowsiness that can help the user fall asleep and increases his likelihood of resting through the night.
2. Eliminate daytime sleepiness
Since these meds improve sleep in the short term, they alleviate problems like daytime drowsiness and impaired thinking. They reset the sleep schedule and help with catching consistent and good-quality sleep.
What are the potential risks of sleep aids?
1. Confusion or loss of coordination
The sedative effect of drugs can leave the user dizzy, confused, or unable to concentrate. It may lead to work or road accidents.
2. Lingering effects
Many users complain that the sedative effect of sleep aids persists even after they have woken up. This can lead to drowsiness and slow thinking when there is a need to stay alert. The problem is a concern for people who have to drive in the morning as it may put them at risk.
3. Abnormal behaviour
After taking sleep pills, some people engage in strange behaviour and do not remember what they did the next morning. Individuals report actions like talking in sleep or driving.
What are some other effective sleep aids?
Besides drugs, some other examples of safe sleep aids are devices that assist users with falling or staying asleep. These include:
When the user matches his breathing rate with the soft blue light pulsating on the ceiling, the body gets primed for catching on to a good night’s rest. The sleep wellness device slows breathing, soothes the mind, lowers BP, and brings down the heart rate to help with quickly drifting off to sleep.
Dreampad uses sound vibrations and plays music to help users fall asleep faster. The sleep aid promises a unique experience since only the user of the pillow can hear the tunes.
3. Eye Mask
Some users can’t drift off to sleep because of excessive brightness. Using a contoured eye mask can help block all the light while allowing the user to blink freely.
Not resting well at night because of sleep disorders or work-life imbalance can leave people drained and exhausted. Also, sleeplessness can have serious health implications in the long run. The use of sleep aids is recommended to prevent this from happening. They effectively sedate the user to help him quickly drift off to sleep.
Disclaimer: The information provided in the article has been obtained from reputed medical research organisations. The content is suggestive in nature and should not be taken as medical advice. The readers are recommended to contact their healthcare professional before trying any sleep aids to find one tailored according to their needs.