If you are trying to find out more about sleep aids, you are probably already at a point where your regularly interrupted or insufficient sleep has detrimentally affected your life. The way you moderate your emotions during the day, the way you handle stress , the way you perform at work or perhaps even your body’s immunity mechanisms are already affected by the much needed sleep you have been missing out on.
Base Your Selection of Sleep Aids on Sound Knowledge!
When selecting a sleep aid, you always need to base your choice on sound knowledge, since there are certain types of sleep aids, which when misused can lead to the development of severe medical disorders involving your heart, lungs, gastrointestinal tract or your emotions. Not to mention the fact that overusing certain sleep medications be life threatening.
To begin with, we strongly recommend that you try using natural sleep aids, therapies or strategies, which do not involve the use of medications. Research shows that when used correctly, most natural sleep aids – involving the use of herbs, plant extracts, home remedies and holistic therapies, such as aromatherapy, reflexology or massage – are just as effective as over the counter or prescription drugs used for inducing or maintaining sleep. However, they are considered to be significantly gentler on the body, since they are non habit forming and they do not cause any side effects or complications. Natural sleep aids and therapies in fact go way beyond just addressing the symptom of sleeplessness alone, which is only what sleep inducing drugs do.
Over the Counter Sleep Aids
There are several over the counter sleep aids available in pharmacies and supermarkets, which are considered to be effective for inducing sleep. The primary component in these medications is usually a type of antihistamine, such as diphenhydramine or doxylamine.
According to the leading authority websites, such as Wikipedia.com, MedicineNet.com, WebMD.com and others, these drugs are primarily used for the treatment of the common cold and allergy symptoms, such as watery eyes, blocked nose or itchiness. They are potent hypnotics, causing drowsiness or even strong sedation. Therefore they are certainly effective for inducing sleep.
On the other hand, it is also important to bear in mind that they can cause several serious side effects, which include irritability, confusion, short term memory loss or amnesia, dry skin, dry mouth, abnormal photo-sensitivity, irregular breathing, visual disturbances, erectile dysfunction, clinical depression and other serious side effects.
If you ever consider taking these medications, in order to protect your health and safety, research them carefully before you take them and be sure to exhaust all natural options before using them.
Prescription Sleep Aids
The most commonly prescribed sleep medications contain the dangerous psychoactive substance benzodiazepine. Besides being prescribed as a powerful sleep aid, this chemical compound is also a primary ingredient in many sedative, amnesic, anti-convulsant and muscle relaxant medications. Benzodiazepine-based medications work by binding to the GABA or gamma-aminobutyric acid receptors in the brain, enhancing the natural effects of these neurotransmitters, resulting in sedation and deep sleep.
Benzodiazepines are not recommended for long term use, since it is known that they can cause addiction and physical dependence. Thus, these drugs are considered to be one of the most prevalent drugs of abuse. The most common withdrawal symptoms of these medications include INSOMNIA, aggression, de-personalization, tremors, psychosis, depression, fearfulness, agitation and delirium.
Finally, the side effects of prescription sleep aids containing benzodiazepine include mental health deterioration, depression, liver toxicity, blurred vision, decreased libido, cognitive impairment as well as other serious unintended side effects.
Insomnia and other sleep disorders are not stand alone conditions. In fact, they are not medical conditions, but the symptoms of certain root problems. Most often they are related to stress or emotional problems. In order to eliminate any types of sleep disorders, the causes need to be identified, evaluated and treated. Unless and until these steps are effectively carried out, regardless of what medications you take, the effects of these medications will not be permanent and you will have to repeatedly rely on them.