What is the best sleep aid?!
What is the best sleep aid?
If you are looking for something over the counter, every single product that claims to be a sleep aid is diphenhydramine, better known as Benadryl. So, I would recommend you try the cheapest store brand of Benadryl rather than any "pain med name here" PM (Tylenol PM, Advil PM) That way, you aren't taking more drugs than necessary. I would also suggest you get the liquid. This allows you to take a smaller dose if one is effective. For example, the OTC capsules are 25mg. Maybe 10mg of Benadryl would be effective for you. Then you could divide your dose accordingly with the liquid, you cant do that with a capsule.
There is also the dietary supplement Melatonin. I will describe its effects below, under Rozerem.
As far as prescription, there are lots of options. They all pose a threat to be habit forming, therefore are generally class 3 or 4 controlled substances. In the non-benzodiazepine class there are quite a few. Ambien, now available generically as Zolpidem (very cheap) is the most commonly prescribed. It claims it may help the individual stay asleep longer so it must be taken at bedtime and may be used when you have trouble falling or staying asleep. Sonata is not prescibed often, but it has a few years on it still. It is alot like Ambien, except with Sonata you can take it if you wake up inthe middle of the night as long as there are at least 4 more hours of sleep left. You've probably seen the commercial on TV for Lunesta, which claims it can help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. All the non-benzodiazepines have the advantage over the benzodiazepines of a more restful sleep, with out a "hang-over" feeling when you wake up. They are not approved for sleeplessness as a result of sleep apnea, chronic pain, or RLS.
The benzodiazepines are not commonly prescribed for sleep anymore, but are still prescibed for their other uses such as muiscle relaxant, anxiety, etc and are still sometimes used for sleep aids. These drugs include Klonopin (Clonazepam) Valium (Diazepam) Dalmane (Flurazepam) Ativan (Lorazepam) and Xanax (Alprazolam) There is also Halcion (Triazolam) and Restoril (Temazepam) that are prescribed for sleep. These medications are generally recommended only to be used on a short term basis since tolerance and dependence are likely. In addition, these medications often cause the “hangover” feeling the following day, as I mentioned before.
The last commonly prescibed drug is very new. It is Rozerem. It is different than any other sleep aid because it mimiks melatonin which is a naturally occuring hormone that regulates your sleep cycle. It is the first and only prescription sleep medication that has shown no evidence of abuse, dependence or withdrawal, where all the others are C3,4 or 5. It is also aproved for long term use and for use in patients with mild sleep apnea or COPD (not aproved with severe COPD)
There are also a few antidepressants sometimes used as sleep aids. Drowsiness is a side effect of these meds, so its kind of like the benedryl as far as class goes. They are Trazadone, AMitryptiline, and Doxepin.
I hope I have provided you with some answers. Good luck!