Drugs to help you fall asleep – if counting sheep doesn’t help

Drugs to help you fall asleep – if counting sheep doesn't help

Countless means are supposed to promote better sleep, but which methods work? Counting sheep, a glass of beer as a nightcap or watching TV to fall asleep – everyone has tried one or two old tricks to help them fall asleep, however, often without success. And that’s no wonder, as sleep researchers now know. Because many methods have the exact opposite effect: television tends to agitate rather than calm. Although alcohol initially helps to fall asleep quickly, it also makes for a less restful sleep. Counting sheep is a good approach, but it usually doesn’t distract enough to lead to switching off. Incidentally, the whole thing could work better if you count in steps of seven, say experts.

Natural tricks to help you fall asleep

But there are also snooze remedies that can help. This includes, for example, good old milk with honey: it contains the amino acid tryptophan, from which the sleep-promoting messenger substance serotonin is formed. The honey ensures faster absorption into the blood.

Music has also proven its worth. It should be calm and primarily appealing to the listener. Concentrating on the piece is also essential, thus stopping the merry-go-round of thoughts in your head.

Scientists from the University of Cologne have examined another type of music to fall asleep and found it compelling. These are sounds of a specific wave range corresponding to deep sleep. The meditative tones are barely audible throughout the night and are intended to prolong sleep. Corresponding CDs (Somnia) are available in pharmacies.

Experts confirm the benefits of light therapymainly when there are disturbances in the day-night rhythm – for example, in shift workers. Other alternative methods that can help with insomnia include hypnosis, acupuncture, and acupressure.


Herbal remedies to fall asleep

Drugs from the pharmacy are often an easier and quicker way to get a good night’s sleep. Herbal supplements are often beneficial. The most important medicinal plants include:

  • valerian
  • Passionsblume
  • hop
  • lemon balm

These can be used individually or in combination. In the case of difficulty falling asleep, valerian alone often helps. If there is nervous restlessness, combinations can make sense.

The unique thing about medicinal plants is that they only help you fall asleep when you are tired. During the day, they have more of a calming function.

Another advantage of the preparations is that they usually show no side effects. Only very few people develop allergies or gastric pressure. The latter can be easily prevented by taking the remedies after a meal. The medicinal plants are also unused so that they can be taken permanently. However, it would help if you took a break occasionally. In many cases, it turns out that the person concerned can find peace again without a snooze aid.

drugs to help you fall asleep

Synthetic antihistamines with the active ingredients diphenhydramine or doxylamine are more effective. These preparations are particularly recommended for acute sleep disorders, i.e. when someone needs short-term help due to travel fever or exam anxiety. The funds are also indicated when patients are struggling with more stubborn sleep disorders and are suffering from acute exhaustion.

In these cases, they can be taken for about two to three weeks. However, they should only be used for a short period, as you will get used to them and they will no longer work as well. It is also essential to plan eight to ten hours of sleep. Otherwise, a hangover can occur, i.e. the medication still shows ishowsect the morning after. However, the risk of morning drowsiness is lower with diphenhydramine supplements.


Attention side effects

In situations of high stress, such as a death in the family or other traumatic experiences, the doctor often prescribes sleeping pills. These usually belong to the benzodiazepine family. The preparations are highly reliable and also slightly mood-enhancing.

However, with long-term use, they create a physical dependency that is accompanied by withdrawal symptoms when you stop using them. These can even increase sleep problems. It is, therefore, essential to follow the dosage instructions and the recommended duration of use. Anyone taking such products for a long time should gradually try to reduce the dosage with their doctor.

Ibuprofen to sleep?

Now and then, one hears the recommendation to use ibuprofen to fall asleep. However, this drug is a pain reliever and is not considered to induce sleep. On the contrary, the possible side effects of ibuprofen can also include sleep disturbances.

On the other hand, if you suffer from pain, it can make it difficult to fall asleep. A painkiller can sometimes help relieve the pain and thus help you spend a peaceful night. However, this decision is best made after consulting a doctor.


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