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Is a lack of sleep interfering with your ability to get through the day? Sleeplessness can often be addressed with over-the-counter medications and supplements. CVS can help you find a product to promote restful sleep with a diverse assortment of sleep aids available for you to browse and buy online. Explore all of the options now or filter the products to find specific sleep aids.

In order to stay healthy, your body needs to sleep. Unfortunately, sleepless nights can cause a myriad of problems ranging from mood swings and fatigue to overeating and possibly even more serious long-term health effects. With the help of sleep aids, you can get to sleep fast and stay asleep all night. But which sleep aids are best, and how do you know which ones are right for you? Read on to learn more about some products that can help you get back to sleeping soundly.

Sleep Medications

Over-the-counter sleep medications may help you fall asleep and make it easier for you to stay asleep during the night. Typically, over-the-counter sleep aid medications contain antihistamines that cause drowsiness due to their effects on the nervous system. The most commonly used antihistamines in sleep medications are doxylamine succinate and diphenhydramine. Medicinal sleep aids come in a number of forms, including tablets, capsules and liquids.

Natural Sleep Remedies

Some people prefer to take a more natural approach to promoting sleep and use supplements instead of medications. Melatonin is a popular natural sleep aid. The substance is naturally found in the body, where it helps to control your sleep-wake cycle. There is some evidence to suggest that increasing levels of melatonin may promote more restful sleep. Other supplements taken to address sleeplessness include valerian root, 5-HTP and SAMe.

Sleep Aids For Relieving Pain

Pain from an injury or illness can make it difficult to rest at night. With nighttime pain relievers, you can alleviate discomfort that is keeping you awake and benefit from over-the-counter sleep medications. For pain, these products contain either acetaminophen or a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) like ibuprofen. In addition, the medicines include an antihistamine sleep aid.

Best Over The Counter Sleep Aid

Generally, over-the-counter medications for sleep are only intended to be taken for a short period of time. For chronic insomnia, you may require a prescription medication. Before using any type of sleep aid, you should consult your medical provider to find out if the product is right for you. This is true even for natural sleep aids, as their ingredients could pose a risk for side effects and may have the potential to interact with certain medications. Sleep aids cause drowsiness, so it is important that you do not drive or operate heavy machinery after using them. Alcohol can heighten the effects of sleep aids and can make a potentially dangerous combination. Only use sleep aids as recommended by the manufacturer unless your health care provider gives you other advice.

Diphenhydramine for Sleep

Diphenhydramine is an antihistamine that's commonly used for relieving the symptoms of allergies or the common cold. However, you may also use this product to help you sleep since it contains ingredients that may help you relax. You can find diphenhydramine sold exclusively as a sleep aid, or you may take cold and allergy medications that include it as a main ingredient. To use diphenhydramine for sleep, always follow the dosage instructions as indicated on the packaging. Never take this product more than a few nights and talk to your doctor if you find you're still having trouble falling asleep if the problem persists for more than a week.

Nighttime Sleep Aids

There are several over-the-counter nighttime sleep aids to choose from, and many of them are natural supplements. Melatonin is a supplement that can help your body reset its natural circadian rhythm for more restful sleep. Levels of this natural hormone decrease as we age, so taking it to supplement your nighttime routine may help you sleep better. Other sleep aids that are all-natural include valerian root, chamomile, and theanine. Doxylamine is another synthetic sleep aid you can try. This sedating antihistamine is found in products like Unisom Sleep Tabs and has the same or similar side effects as diphenhydramine.

Sleeping Pills Side Effects

While there are many benefits to taking a sleep aid, there are also some side effects to be aware of, including:

  • Feeling groggy, foggy, or "hungover" the next morning
  • Becoming addicted to sleeping pills so that you depend on them to sleep
  • The inability to drive or operate machinery safely if the sleep aid is still in your system
  • Nightmares, night sweats, or dizziness

The most extreme side effects of sleeping pills tend to be found in people who use prescription medications. As for over-the-counter options, simply take them as directed and try not to take a sleep aid more than two nights in a row. If you're still concerned about your insomnia or sleep troubles, consult with your doctor as soon as possible.

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