We humans are a strange bunch. We pack our lives full of so much chaos and stress and then, when we’re so stressed or sick we can’t sleep, we simply take some sleep medicine to knock us out.
Sleeping medicine isn’t bad in and of itself. It can be extremely useful for patients recovering from painful surgery. But too many of us misuse sleeping medicine, not realising that overuse can lead to serious side effects and long-term sleep problems.
If we take sleeping medicine for several days in a row, our bodies become dependent on it to get to sleep. When we stop taking the sleeping medicine, we suffer withdrawal symptoms like nausea and shaking. The more sleeping medicine we take, the more our bodies get used to it, and we need increasingly higher dosages. This increases our chances of suffering serious side effects like severe allergic reactions, hallucinations, headaches, dizziness, and sleep walking.
Before you take over-the-counter or prescription sleeping medicine, consider the many alternatives out there.
- Is your insomnia a symptom of a more serious health issue? Dealing with this health issue could cure your insomnia?
- Have you tried relaxation techniques before bed? You might benefit from yoga, meditation, a hot bath or listening to relaxing music.
- Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy is a form of psychotherapy that modifies destructive thoughts and negative emotions, which cause insomnia in many people.
- Try getting more exercise during the day (but don’t exercise for four hours before sleep). Jogging, dancing, aerobics, cycling and other aerobic exercises in the late afternoon can dramatically improve your ability to fall asleep.
- Is there a stress in your life that is keeping you awake at night? Removing or dealing with that stress could cure your insomnia.
- Try aromatherapy using oils like lavender, St. John’s wort, clary sage, ylang ylang and chamomile, which are known to promote good sleep.
Use herbal sleeping medicine. A sleeping medicine made with ingredients like kava, chamomile, lavender and passionflower can drastically improve your sleep without harmful side effects.
Before taking any kind of sleeping medicine – including herbal sleeping medicine – consult your doctor, especially if you take medication for another health issue. Some herbal sleeping medicine can react with other medicines.
Sleeping medicine isn’t a wonder cure for insomnia. If you overuse sleeping medicine, you could end up with worse sleeping problems than before. Don’t be so quick to take over-the-counter or prescription drugs before you’re tried other alternatives.
Avoid caffeine and alcohol as these substances can interfere with good restorative sleep. Reduce exposure to light at night as light supresses the release of melatonin the hormone which makes us sleepy and helps us fall asleep.
Take natural sleeping remedies from the SleepDrops range to help you fall asleep and stay asleep – SleepDrops for Adults and Essential Sleep Nutrients