OTC Sleep Aids That Keep You Asleep
Over-the-counter sleep aids can help you get to sleep and stay asleep. However, they can also be dangerous. For instance, they can interact with other medications or cause hangover effects. You should consult your doctor before taking OTC sleep aids.
Antihistamines are the most common ingredient found in over-the-counter sleep aids. These medications work by blocking certain chemicals in the brain that cause alertness. Many over-the-counter cold medicines and sinus medications contain antihistamines.
Studies have shown that the drowsiness and daytime grogginess of over-the-counter sleep aids can be harmful. They can also cause a number of side effects, including urinary retention, dry mouth, constipation, blurred vision, and peptic ulcer.
According to a recent survey by the National Health and Wellness Survey, 1.1 million adults aged 65 and older reported using over-the-counter sleep aids in the previous year. About two-thirds of these users used products less than a week at a time, and about a third used them for more than a week.
Long-term use of over-the-counter sleep aids has been linked to adverse effects, including a higher risk of dementia. This may be because they can lead to a tolerance for their sedative effects. Also, they are not intended for chronic insomnia.
In general, over-the-counter sleep medicines are safe, but you should discuss their use with your physician. He or she can provide you with information about potential drug interactions, explain how the medication works, and discuss possible alternative treatments.