I still remember those sleepless nights, though they were a while ago. Having sleep problems, especially with the emotional or physical problems that cause it is nothing you forget quickly.
When I found out there wasn’t a site that discusses the issue in a simple, non formal language and mentions existing solutions, I decided to start this blog.
Your bed misses you
Now I am sure all of you sleepless people wish for a one quick magic solution and this is where I have to disappoint you, I don’t have it.
There might be one for you but finding your best sleep aid is a journey, and you know what, even after you find it, it might not do the magic for the guy next to you.
This reminds me of something I read in Penelope’s Leach great book “Your Baby and Child: From Birth to Age Five”. She discusses the crying baby and how to make the crying go away. Her brilliant observation (proven to be true with my own kids) is that once you are done trying every method you can think of, your baby is done crying.
Sleeping is crucial to us. It affects every aspect of our lives, from how we feel to how we look. From how well our immune system functions to how active our metabolism is. Needless to say, it greatly affects our performance, in work and with our family.
To those who have kids, try to remember that morning, after a sleepless night, you went (totally) ballistic over a minor thing your kid was doing, something you might consider absolutely charming and irresistible in most other situations.
To those who don’t have kids (yet), the same applies to your partner, your boss, the guy in the store, your mom calling to nag you – the list is virtually endless.
By now you probably wonder how bad my problem was and what made it go away.
Well, I can say that I had a year of sleeping very little. It was part of a very hard period. I was having emotional issues and on top of that I had big back problems. The change was slow and gradual and involved getting better emotionally while having physical therapy for my back.
I wish that back then I had better access to anti snore pillow about sleeping problems and available sleeping aids. I am sure that at least part of the suffering could have been handled and reduced. Coming back to my base line was great.
Yet, it is not the normal base line, I still like to go to bed late and have a hard time falling asleep.
What helped with further improving my sleep was a more balanced life style (easier said then done) and the ultimate “cure” – having two young and charming kids around the house.
This article will help you find your best sleep aid. It will do so by collecting relevant information and listing relevant products. It will also be a place to discuss and see what other people are going through.
From my experience, knowing other people have the same problems and getting an advice or just sympathy from people who have been through the same problems is already half of the cure.
Classification of Sleep Disorders
If you do not know it by now, sleeping is a widely researched topic. Its importance keeps both the academic and heath system interest high and the research funding keeps flowing in.
One key result of this research is a well developed classification system for sleeping disorders.
I think it is both interesting to know the basics of it and could be beneficiary when looking for the best sleep aid. Below is a brief intro to this classification system, with some references.
Since I am not a researcher or and MD, this by no means intends to be a scientific review, merely a summary that can give you a general idea.
Sleeping disorders are classified by the “International Classification of Sleep Disorders” (ICSD). The ICSD is a resource created by a group of sleep research organization from around the world. One interesting way of classifying sleep disorder is:
- Sleep Disorders Associated with Other Disorders
Dyssomnias are problems associated mainly with the process of falling asleep and maintaining a good night sleep, I guess that most of you (and me) fall in this category.
The parasomnias are the problems that happen while we sleep and include anything from grinding your teeth while you sleep to sleep walking.
Teeth grinding while you sleep is more common than you imagine and besides the damage it does to the teeth and joint at the base of the jaw, it (badly) affects the quality of sleeping.
The last group disorders is associated mainly with mental, neurological and medical conditions, this group includes sleep disorders related wtih panic and anxiety disorders, alcoholism and mood disorders.
Another interesting grouping, mainly within the dyssomnias is to intrinsic and extrinsic sleep disorders. The intrinsic sleep disorders include:
- Posttraumatic hypersomnia
- Obstructive sleep apnea syndrome
- The itching restless legs syndrome
- And the well known psychophysiological insomnia.
The extrinsic sleep disorders include inadequate sleep hygiene, alcohol-dependent sleep disorder, nocturnal eating (drinking) syndrome and the self describing environmental sleep disorder.
Now you might wonder why this is important to you, the answer is quite simple.
As always, a good diagnosis is half of the solution.
For example, if you understand that your sleep problem is due to environmental sleep disorder, one that has to do with inadequate temperature in your sleeping environment, the fix might be simple and your obvious sleep aid will be proper heating (or cooling).
If it is noise, better isolation using the best earplugs for sleeping can do wonders. On the other hand, let’s suppose you grind your teeth, your first line sleep aid might be a mouth guard (also known as night guard) – a soft cover to your upper/lower teeth the reduces the damage and inhibits (to a limited degree) the urge to grind your teeth.
In the case of the way too common issue of inadequate sleep hygiene – the lack of persistent and effective sleep habits – a slow building of regular sleep habits, with a predetermined schedule will be a very good place to start.
Over the counter sleeping aids
Insomnia is one of the most common complaints when patients go to their doctors. While it is not a debilitating sickness in itself, insomnia may cause bodily harm in the long run, especially if you are sleeping on bunk beds with stairs.
This condition may cause huge amounts of stress to long-term sufferers which may further lead to stress-related diseases such as cardiac disorders. Furthermore, lack of sleep affects the overall performance of a person’s daily activities including his work, social life and personal life.
While there are many ways to prevent insomnia such as changing your daily habits, sometimes it just wouldn’t work enough for you to get a good night’s sleep. In this article, I will write about over-the-counter or OTC medications which may help you to sleep if you have short-term or transient insomnia. You can also read ZQuiet Reviews if your partner’s snoring is causing you insomnia.
These medications, which are most commonly used in cases of allergies, are the most common over-the-counter drugs for insomnia.
Histamine, a chemical messenger released by the brain during allergic attacks, is also a chemical that promotes wakefulness. By suppressing the action of histamine, antihistamine medications also promote sleepiness. This is why we feel very drowsy every time we take antihistamine medications.
Commonly, the antihistamines sold and marketed today as OTC medications for insomnia normally contains one of these two types:
- Diphenhydramine citrate or Diphenhydramine hydrochloride. Brand names include Nytol, Benadryl, Compoz, and Sominex.
- Doxylamine succinate. Brand names include Unisom Sleeptabs and Nighttime Sleep Aid
While these medications are effective in alleviating symptoms of short-term insomnia, it is not proven to be effective in patients suffering from insomnia for 2 weeks or longer. The main reason for this is the side-effects associated with the long-term use of these OTC best snoring mouthpiece.
Side Effects of Antihistamines as OTC Sleep Aids
- Prolonged drowsiness that may carry to the next day. This side effect depends on the people who take antihistamines, some of which may display none or severe daytime drowsiness.
- Headaches and feelings of dizziness
- Dry mouth and throat
- Reduced alertness and lack of focus, coordination and concentration. Driving is prohibited while you take this medication, as the activity requires you to have mental alertness and coordination.
- Gastrointestinal side effects such as vomiting and constipation
While the effects of antihistamine in pregnant or lactating women are still under study, medical practitioners discourage its use during pregnancy. Also, these drugs could be secreted into the milk of lactating mothers which may have harmful effects on the newborn.
Furthermore, it is not advisable for the person who is taking My Snoring Solution reviews sleep aids to drink alcohol because antihistamines add greatly to the sedative effects of alcohol. Taking these kinds of medications with medications that cause drowsiness is also discouraged.
Other Problems Associated with OTC Sleep Aids
For patients who have taken OTC sleep aids for a week or more, they will most likely develop a drug tolerance to it. This means that larger doses of this medication may be required to achieve the desired effect.
Another problem associated with taking OTC sleep aids is the eventual drug dependence of the person taking the medications. A person may not be able to sleep anymore without taking the medication. Abrupt stopping of drug intake may also cause withdrawal symptoms.