Sydney is a contributing health writer and editor who enjoys shedding light on health topics, making information available to anyone who wants it, and ending stigmas or lack of access to care and treatment.
Po-Chang Hsu, M.D.
Dr. Hsu received his medical degree from Tufts University in Boston, Massachusetts, and holds a Master’s of Science degree from both Harvard University and Tufts University. Outside of the medical profession, Dr. Hsu loves to write, learn new languages, and travel.
June 4, 2021
There are 5 main types of sleep aid out there:
Depending on the severity of your sleep issues, the sleep aid you require will differ. Just about everyone has experienced a night or two filled with tossing and turning that leaves you feeling completely exhausted the next morning. Still, some people suffer from diagnosable sleep disorders.
Sleeping issues can greatly affect how you perform daily activities. Studies have shown that continued deprivation of sleep can mimic the same effect of being intoxicated. This includes:
Luckily, there are plenty of sleep aids available that can have you go from counting sheep to sleeping like a baby. Whether you’re looking for a natural remedy, a quick over-the-counter fix, or a prescription medication, there’s a sleep aid out there that can help you get your sleep schedule on track and ensure that you’re operating at your best in the daytime.
As with most medications, the strongest ones out there are only available through prescription by a doctor. If you have a sleep disorder or believe you might have one, seeking advice from a medical professional is likely the best route for you.
Through our sister site, PlushCare, you can get an online appointment with a doctor, receive a diagnosis, and even get prescribed medication for sleep if necessary. Book your appointment now, and get a diagnosis and treatment for a sleep disorder.
While prescription medication is the strongest sleep aid, it’s not the best for everyone. Prescription medications usually come with side effects, so if you can get your sleep schedule on track with over-the-counter, natural options or lifestyle changes, your doctor might recommend trying those sleep aid options.
There are several different kinds of over-the-counter sleep aids available.
Some examples of sleep medication available over-the-counter include:
These common over-the-counter (OTC) options are sedating antihistamines, and while they will help you pass out, they have negative side-effects, such as:
Over-the-counter sleep aids should not be taken consistently. If you are constantly in need of sleep aid and reaching for these, you should consider making an appointment with a PlushCare doctor or your primary care practitioner.
Natural sleep aids have become more and more popular due to their lack of side effects, easy access, and safety. Some examples of natural sleep aids include:
In addition to the options of medications and natural remedies to take, you can also change aspects of your daily life to fall asleep easier. If you’re struggling to fall asleep, what you’re doing during the day and your environment could be the culprit. Some examples of lifestyle changes that can aid your sleep schedule:
With the FDA coming out with new warnings about prescription sleep aid and even OTC sleep aid options, more and more doctors suggest new treatments for sleep disorders or other sleep issues.
According to Harneet Walia, MD for the Cleveland Clinic, “Non-drug alternatives do exist — and may even be preferable to drugs,” she adds, “Cognitive behavioral therapy (called CBT-I) for insomnia is the gold-standard treatment,”
Luckily, our partner PlushCare also offers appointments with therapists online, so you can make an appointment and discuss therapy solutions for sleep issues.
Whether you’re looking for prescription medication for severe insomnia or other sleep disorders, advice on over-the-counter sleep aid options, information on natural sleep aids, or therapy, you can get a same-day appointment through our partner PlushCare, with a board-certified doctor.
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