You may have heard about or even used otc sleep aids at one time or another but why in the world would people need any form of sleeping aid? There are a lot of people nowadays who are having difficulty while trying to sleep which can affect their every day lives.
Having difficulty sleeping is also referred to as insomnia and this can be caused by several factors such as too much stress from work or situations at home, too much eating or drinking of foods with high caffeine content or taking stimulants that can cause insomnia.
The non-prescription medication which is specifically designed to treat this kind of condition are called otc sleeping aids . Sleeping aids are widely used by most people who have insomnia in this modern generation. However, there are certain details about these products that people need to know before using this product to avoid potential hazards in the future.
What Kind Of Person Uses OTC Sleep Aids?
This kind of medication is known to have depressant properties that can cause a person to feel sleepy when taken.
However, not all people should take them.
There are those people who are too conscious in their sleeping pattern that they easily think that they already have insomnia by just having difficulty sleeping in just one night.
OTC sleeping aids are only recommended for those people who have frequent difficulties of sleeping at night to the extent that they are experiencing abnormalities due to this condition.
People who carelessly take what they believe to be “safe sleeping pills” can worsen the situation such as getting “hypersomnia” which is the opposite of insomnia in which they fall asleep earlier than they would like because they have excessive sleepiness throughout the day.
Prescription Sleep Aids VS Over The Counter Sleeping Aids
First of all, the obvious difference between these 2 is that prescription sleep aids, being much stronger, require a prescription to be purchased and over the counter sleeping aids can be purchased at any drug store.
Distinct differences between sleep aids OTC and prescription sleeping aids:
Prescription Sleeping Aids – They are considered to be habit forming and should only be used by the person whom the physician has prescribed it to. This is because the physician knows the strength of medication that a specific person needs. There are various classes of medications that are used as sleeping aids such as antipsychotics, antidepressants and sedative hypnotics.
Prescription sleeping aids (like Ambien sleeping pill or Lunesta) may have a high risk of dependency but this is only because the doctor who prescribed it knows that the patient is suffering from severe insomnia and that patient needs a long term medication to treat it.
Over The Counter Sleeping Aids – Most of the OTC sleeping aids only contain antihistamines such as doxylamine or diphenhydramine which are used to induce sleep. These sleeping aids are taken 30 minutes before sleeping.
Unlike prescription sleeping aids, the OTC sleeping aids are known to have a lower risk of dependency. This is usually taken by those people who are only experiencing more suttle and mild insomnia.
Common Negative Side Effects of Sleeping Pills:
The most common negative side effects of sleeping pills are listed below but note that you may not experience all side effects, a single side effect or you may only experience a combination of certain ones.
- Dry Mouth and Throat
- Urinary Retention
- Muscle Ache
- Blurred Vision
When trying to decide on the best otc sleep aid or the best prescription sleeping pills a person should use, they should first double check if it is really safe for them and if it would be effective in treating their insomnia.
In regards to prescription sleeping pills, consulting a doctor is one of the best ways to do this especially if a person is possibly needing something stronger than the strongest otc sleep aid.