What is the Best Over the Counter Sleep Aid?
If you are struggling to sleep, you may be feeling frustrated, exhausted, and unhappy. This is because sleep plays an important role in your health and wellbeing, so without it, you will start to suffer.
Sleep is an essential function of the body that recharges your mind and body. It will boost your immune system, strengthen your heart, improve your mood, increase your motivation and productivity, improve your memory, increase your performance at work and while performing the exercise, and so much more. A lack of sleep can be detrimental to your health. Everyone should aim for at least 7-9 hours of quality sleep per night. If this seems impossible, it might be time to seek support.
If you have tried everything but still can’t sleep, perhaps it is time to move to over-the-counter sleep aids. There are a variety of different sleep aids available that are specially designed to promote rest. Some of these include patches, gummies, vapes, tea, liquid, and over-the-counter medication. It is always a good idea to speak to a professional to ensure you are taking the right aid, and there are no underlying causes.
Here is some more information to help you make an informed choice and find the best over-the-counter sleep aid.
Melatonin is a hormone naturally produced by the body to make you feel relaxed and tired before bed. It does this as it receives signals from your environment, such as the absence of natural light, to keep your body regulated. In some cases, such busy work schedules, or exposure to light at night, can impact your body's natural production of melatonin. Some people may also suffer from sleep disorders, such as insomnia, experience jet lag after a long flight, or work night shifts, which can all impact melatonin production.
This confuses your brain and messes up your circadian rhythm, which is supposed to keep your body in its healthy sleep and wake upcycle.
In these cases, melatonin patches may be a positive sleeping aid for you. These typically contain melatonin, as well as gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), which is a neurotransmitter that occurs naturally to relax the nervous system. The patches should be placed on your body 30 minutes before sleep and removed after 8 hours. Melatonin patches are known to help you regulate your sleeping patterns by getting you to sleep quicker, and for longer.
Sleep gummies are a form of supplement that is an easy and convenient way to help you sleep. They are especially helpful for anyone who dislikes taking capsules and tablets and instead can eat a yummy sweet. Sleep gummies are a great way to provide your body with vitamins, minerals and extracts that promote better sleep.
They are essentially a herbal remedy in a tasty treat for adults to supplement before bed. The herbs used are typically a combination of vitamin B6, L-Theanine, Chamomile, Lavender, Lemon balm, and other similar ingredients that are good for promoting stress relief, relaxation, and better sleep. They should only be taken before sleep, as the ingredients will react quickly. They don’t work to knock you out, but they will start to encourage positive bodily processes that will help you sleep.
A vape is an electronic cigarette that enables you to inhale the vapor from your chosen liquid. These are most commonly known amongst cigarette smokers, however, they can be used in a variety of different ways. You can use different liquids in your vape that promote better health, including sleep. Some of the most popular liquids that are used in vapes to help with sleep, are CBD and lavender. You can also find vapes that contain melatonin. The different herbs and formulas can relax your mind and body, as well as reduce stress and anxiety, which will help you get to sleep, and sleep for longer.
Herbal teas are a great supplement to have before bed, to support your sleep. Not only can you consume herbs that promote relaxation and better sleep, but the simple act of sitting down and enjoying a hot beverage is a mindfulness task in itself, which can help you slow down and tell your body it is time for bed. They are also a great alternative to coffee if you like to drink caffeine in the afternoon or at night. Caffeine will significantly hinder your sleep and should be swapped with herbal tea where possible. All herbal teas will have a positive impact on your health, but there are a few in particular that are great for sleep and relaxation. These include valerian root, chamomile, lavender, lemon balm, passionflower, and more.
You can purchase the herbs and make your own, or try premade tea sleep drink by Blue Bear. You can also purchase a variety of infusions and herbal combinations from local retailers.
There are a variety of other drinks that you can consume before bed. These are a combination of age-old remedies or special formulas created by scientists that have been known to work wonders. Some of the most common drinks consumed before bed to help you get a better night's sleep are:
- Warm milk
- Almond milk
- Malted milk (Ovaltine, Horlicks)
- Coconut water
- Banana smoothies
Over the counter medication
Over-the-counter medication is available to temporarily help you with sleep disorders. These are usually taken when lifestyle changes such as creating a regular schedule, exercising regularly, and avoiding screens before bed have been tried, but are not enabling you to get a good night's sleep.
There is a range of different medications that are available, these include diphenhydramine, doxylamine succinate, melatonin and valerian. These have a therapeutic and sedative impact on your body, to promote sleep. It is important to seek medical advice before taking any medication to ensure that they are safe for you to take, and ensure you take the correct quantity, to give you the desired effect.
Getting a good night's sleep is vital for good physical and mental wellbeing. If you have trouble sleeping, try these different methods to help you get a better night's sleep.