Trouble Sleeping? 5 Traditional Over-The-Counter Remedies & Herbs For Insomnia

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Don’t Lose Another Night of Sleep

The occasional night with limited sleep is typical. Every once in a while, people might struggle to fall or stay asleep. But for any individual with insomnia, sleepless nights aren’t the exception but the rule. Some insomniacs may also suffer from waking too early and not falling asleep. Over time, insomnia can do more than mean a person wakes up tired. The sleep condition has also been linked to poor health, lowered performance at work or school, and reduced quality of life. Finding safe, non-habit-forming ways to manage insomnia can help individuals achieve better sleep.

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1. Natural melatonin

Melatonin is one of the go-to solutions for any individual needing a good night’s rest. While the body naturally produces melatonin, not all people make enough to fall asleep properly. The body produces the hormone throughout the day, but usually, levels increase roughly an hour or two before bedtime. Experts recommend melatonin supplements as a natural solution to help insomniacs fall asleep faster. Consider taking 1-3mg about 2 hours before bed for best results.

2. Valerian supplements

Similar to melatonin, valerian is a naturally occurring substance. While not made by the body, the herb has been used as a sedative across Europe and Asia for thousands of years. Valerian supplements are linked with helping people fall asleep faster and get improved restorative sleep. However, unlike melatonin, the herb doesn’t have a standardized dosage recommendation. But research suggests that using anywhere from 400-900mg 2 hours before bedtime can help insomniacs.

3. CBD

Formally known as cannabidiol, CBD has risen in popularity as a natural remedy for anxiety. While CBD is derived from marijuana, the product doesn’t contain THC, which induces the high component of the drug. CBD is available in various forms, including drops, pills, patches, creams, and even gummies. However, the product is still not well researched regarding efficacy as an insomnia treatment. But anecdotal evidence suggests that since many insomniacs also struggle with anxiety, CBD’s ability to regulate anxiety proves that the herb may be beneficial for boosting sleep.

4. Diphenhydramine

Diphenhydramine is an antihistamine with a known side effect of making people drowsy. The sedating effect of this antihistamine and be used for short-term sleep problems caused by coughing, colds or itching. While the ingredient is effective at helping people fall asleep, most experts don’t recommend using these over-the-counter (OTC) medications regularly. Using these medications for extended periods can cause the drowsy effects to be prolonged.

5. Doxylamine

Like diphenhydramine, doxylamine is an antihistamine that can be used as a sedative but is not recommended for extended use. Doxylamine has more than 30 known interactions even with other OTCs, including aspirin and acetaminophen.

Sleep soundly with confidence

If the idea of prescription sleep medications sounds unappealing, insomniacs don’t have to deal with another night of tossing and turning. While OTC medications that contain diphenhydramine or doxylamine should be used sparingly, evidence suggests that herb-based solutions are generally safe for long-term use. People with insomnia should speak with a physician to work towards a formal diagnosis and learn more about best practices to make falling and staying asleep easier.

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For added convenience download our app for Android or iPhone. RxLocal is an easy-to-use app that allows pharmacy customers to manage their entire family’s prescriptions, communicate with the pharmacy via secure messages, order refills, set medication reminders and find pharmacy location information.

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