Choosing the Right Sleep Aid for You


Sleep is Essential for Emotional and Mental Well BeingGetting the right amount of sleep at night is crucial for your health. There is decades-worth of research showing just how sleep affects each and every part of our bodies, from those that govern physical health like the circulatory system to those that affect emotional and mental well-being. During sleep, our body has the chance to repair itself and build anew for the challenges the next day will bring, and without this vital period of regrowth and development, our bodies and minds are left struggling to catch up until the right sleeping-waking balance is achieved.

It’s easy to see and feel when we just aren’t sleeping enough through the night, but sometimes it’s hard to break the habit and start getting a good night’s sleep. If you find yourself tossing and turning for minutes or even hours before you can finally pass into dreamland, perhaps it’s time to start researching different sleep aids to help your body and mind get back on track.

There are dozens of different kinds of sleep aids, from home remedies, to simple over the counter sleep aid supplements to physician-prescribed sleep medications. Depending on your personal level of insomnia, you may need different combinations of sleep aids to achieve the proper amount of sleep. Consider your symptoms, consult your physician and pharmacist, and try out a few of the simpler suggestions on this list.

Sleeping Exercises at Home

It just might be that you can’t get to sleep because of what you’re doing right before you try to go to bed. If you find that your mind is focused on stressful problems in your life, like work issues or relationship troubles, your busy mind isn’t going to be ready to drift off into a restful slumber. Try any or all of these exercises before you shut your eyes and you might find yourself waking up slightly more rested than before.

  • Avoid looking at any screens for up to an hour before you lie down
  • Create a sleep routine, and complete the routine the exact same way before you lie down
  • Keep your bedroom cool — between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Turn out any and all lights, including flashing computer lights or blinking cell phones
  • Practice smart eating and drinking choices in the evening; this means limited amounts (if any) of alcohol, nicotine and caffeine, and try to stop eating heavy meals after 4 pm
  • Don’t force it — if you aren’t getting to sleep, go to another room and do something else

If you aren’t having serious chronic insomnia, but you do find yourself having sleep-related difficulties in the short term or in specific situations like travel, you can turn to over-the-counter sleep aids for help. There are many over-the-counter options available from Canadian pharmacies. If you follow the dosage suggestions for each medication, you’ll find you sleep troubles melting away. However, over-the-counter sleep medication does have a few caveats.

Most over-the-counter options rely on anti-histamines to send you to dreamland, which are extremely effective when they aren’t overused. If you rely too heavily on over-the-counter medications when you really need something stronger like a prescription sedative, you’ll find that the effectiveness of anti-histamines in helping you fall asleep starts to wane. This is because your body is becoming accustomed to the anti-histamines in the blood stream, making them less powerful and less able to induce drowsiness.

Most over-the-counter options rely on anti-histamines to send you to dreamland, which are extremely effective when they aren’t overused. If you rely too heavily on over-the-counter medications when you really need something stronger like a prescription sedative, you’ll find that the effectiveness of anti-histamines in helping you fall asleep starts to wane. This is because your body is becoming accustomed to the anti-histamines in the blood stream, making them less powerful and less able to induce drowsiness.

Over-the-Counter Sleep Aid Options

If you aren’t having serious chronic insomnia, but you do find yourself having sleep-related difficulties in the short term or in specific situations like travel, you can turn to over-the-counter sleep aids for help. There are many over the counter drugs available from Canadian pharmacies. If you follow the dosage suggestions for each medication, you’ll find you sleep troubles melting away. However, over-the-counter sleep medication does have a few caveats.

Most over-the-counter options rely on anti-histamines to send you to dreamland, which are extremely effective when they aren’t overused. If you rely too heavily on over-the-counter medications when you really need something stronger like a prescription sedative, you’ll find that the effectiveness of anti-histamines in helping you fall asleep starts to wane. This is because your body is becoming accustomed to the anti-histamines in the blood stream, making them less powerful and less able to induce drowsiness.

Over-the-counter sleep aids come in many forms, but here are the most common base ingredients you’ll find:

  • Doxylamine, an anti-histamine
  • Melatonin, a mild hormone
  • Valerian, a homeopathic plant

Prescription Sleep Aid Options

Prescription Sleep Aids

If you have chronic insomnia and have been unable to find relief using any sleepy-time practices or simple over-the-counter meds, it’s time to consult your doctor. Your general physician will be able to diagnose your sleep problem. It could be something serious like sleep apnea that you would be unable to discern yourself — and outline the appropriate measures to get you back on track to restful sleep. Like with over-the-counter measures, there are dozens of different types of prescription sleep aids, and each targets a different aspect of helping you get and remain asleep. The most common are as follows:

  • Lunesta (Eszopiclone).This drug will help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. You can take it for longer consecutive periods than other prescription or over-the-counter medications.
  • Halcion (Triazolam).This prescription just helps you get to sleep, but it may be habit-forming, so consult your doctor before you try to phase it out.
  • Ambien (Zolpidem).This is another drug that helps you both drift off and keep sleeping restfully. It is extremely effective in the beginning, but like some over-the-counter drugs, its effects can become less powerful over time.
  • Silenor (Doxepin).This medication will only help you maintain sleep, but it has fewer conflicts with other drugs or lifestyle habits than many prescription sleep aids.