Many people struggle to sleep on a regular basis, leaving them reaching for medical assistance to get and stay there. However, if you're taking over-the-counter sleeping pills, you should know that there are some potential risks attached to doing so, especially if you're taking them regularly. Here's why you should consider backing off on sleeping pills and trying something else instead.
One of the biggest short-term problems with sleeping pills is that they leave people feeling groggy and weird the next day. Even if you get an adequate amount of sleep, you may have noticed that once you wake up for the day, it's difficult to focus, and your memory may seem a little foggy. Usually, this wears off after a few hours, once the drug has been completely broken down by your body. However, the timing of this sleeping medication hangover is a problem. If you drive to work, use heavy machinery, or do anything that requires coordination and care in the morning, taking these medications could work against you or even get you hurt.
Unfortunately, the problems don't end there. Most sleeping pills bought over the counter contain drugs like doxylamine, an anti-histamine. This anti-histamine is used because it makes people sleepy, but it has potential drawbacks.
Specifically, studies have indicated that taking sleeping pills containing anti-histamines or other anticholinergic drugs may be at a higher risk of developing dementia later in life. While it isn't fully understood why, there currently isn't a cure for dementia, so doing everything you can to avoid it is ideal.
Thankfully, not all sleep aids contain antihistamines. One possible option for you that's much safer is a combination of CBD and melatonin.
CBD is a chemical found in hemp plants. It's been shown to help reduce anxiety and stress, which makes it a great choice if you're struggling to sleep for these reasons. If you're the type who gets more stressed out the longer you can't sleep, it can also be useful for that.
Melatonin, on the other hand, is a natural hormone produced by your own body to help you to sleep when it gets dark. However, as you age, your body may produce less of this hormone, so supplementing it with a sleep aid can be useful. Most importantly, no studies have indicated that there's any link between these two substances and dangerous side effects.
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