Insomnia afflicts around 48% of Americans at some point in their lives. Our lifestyles are most likely to blame with our lack of exercise, late-night eating, use of electronics, consumption of alcohol and propensity toward anxiety. Since so many people are struggling with trouble getting to sleep, we’ve compiled a comprehensive list of all the reliable sleep aid methods we could find from lifestyle changes and natural remedies to prescription sleeping pills.
Drinking chamomile or tilia flower tea has a sedative effect and can be helpful in getting to sleep. If you have an overactive bladder this may not be the best option, as consuming too much liquid before bed could cause you to wake up multiple times. However, chamomile and melatonin capsules are available and are also effective in inducing sleep. Melatonin can be purchased over the counter or online. HelpRx offers discounts of up to 75% off melatonin pills.
Most of us have heard about the lifestyle changes we should make before sleep time in order to get quality rest. These changes may not have instant effects but can lead to an improvement in sleep quality over time.
- Go to bed and get up at the same time every day.
- Cooler temperatures promote sleep. Turn down the thermostat in your bedroom, use a fan, or open the window on a cool night if you’re not allergy sensitive.
- Turn off those electronic devices. Light, natural or unnatural, disturbs sleep patterns.
- Use the bed only for sleep. If you go to bed and toss and turn, get up for a while and do something. When you start to feel sleepy, return to your bed and try again.
- Exercise between 6 and 8 pm, vigorously if possible.
- Don't eat 2-3 hours before bedtime. Digestion can disrupt your sleep more than you think.
- Avoid alcohol at least two hours before bed. When your body metabolizes alcohol, it can disturb sleep with sweating and an elevated heart rate.
Schedule a Worry Time
For many of us, lack of sleep revolves around anxiety. If this applies to you, schedule a time towards the end of the day solely to focus on your worries. Force yourself into that anxious state of mind where thoughts multiply after climbing in bed. Mull things over, pace the floor, make notes, and take action to prevent worry later. Then when you finally do go to bed, all of your worries for the day should be processed. For extra relief: keep a note pad and pen near your bed so that if something you forgot pops into your head, you can just reach over, write it down and get back to sleeping.
Set a Relaxing Routine
Doing the same thing every night before bed will eventually help your body to naturally prepare for sleep over time. Routines could involve reading a book, meditating or listening to relaxing music. Try taking a bath with Epsom salt. It relaxes the muscles in the body and provides a sedative effect.
Sleeping Medication When You Need It
Sleeping pills are not a direct cure to insomnia but have been shown to aid in insomnia management. However, some sleeping medications can promote dependency, and many develop a tolerance to them. Sleeping medications can be helpful on those nights when you have an especially eventful day ahead, and getting a good night’s sleep is mandatory. They may also be used as an aid while implementing lifestyle changes. HelpRx offers discounts on prescription sleeping pills such as Ambien, Lunesta and Restoril. Benzodiazepine drugs like Restoril or temazepam are helpful for getting a complete night’s sleep without waking, while GABA agonist drugs like Ambien and Lunesta are helpful for falling asleep and start to lose their effect after two or three hours. Rozerem is a sleeping medication that may be used long-term. Review our Sleep Help conditions page for more info about the sleep medication discounts available.