Sleep aids have had a bad rep for some time; many people consider them a poor crutch for a deeper problem. While, of course, insomnia should be addressed on multiple levels and any underlying causes should be dealt with, however, sleep aids can relieve problems on a temporary or long-term basis and could very well put an end to a condition causing you untold grief.
Trouble sleeping can have a wide-spread impact on your life. Not only is it unpleasant to lie awake and be unable to get to sleep, it can have serious effects on your day to day life.
For example, a lack of sleep will affect your moods. People suffering from long-term insomnia can really find themselves sinking into depression as a result. It can also make it difficult to behave professionally, and of course you will suffer a loss of energy meaning you won’t be as able to get everything done that you need to. This can put a strain on your job as well as your personal relationships.
Additionally, of course, it can have a negative effect on your health and in the long term, it can really become an issue in terms of mental health.
Many people find that insomnia comes and goes in waves, rather than being a constant presence in their lives. This may well be the case for you, and whether you suffer from trouble falling asleep or from early waking, beginning another cycle of sleeplessness can be a very dispiriting thing indeed. But medication is not the only option available to you.
An excellent way to tackle sleeping problems is by having a bedtime routine in place. The idea is that your brain will recognise this routine as signalling imminent sleep and begin to shut down, preparing to go to sleep as your routine progresses. A shower or bath, brushing teeth and reading a book could be a good example of such a routine; if you feel you need more time to prepare you can include a drink of hot chocolate or similar beforehand, so that you can begin to relax into your bedtime routine before heading to the bathroom or the bedroom. By carrying on with this routine throughout periods with or without insomnia, you will eventually train your brain to shut down enough to let you go to sleep. Meditation can also help, and fantasising about the same soothing idea could function in the same way as this routine.
However, medical options are also available. It is important to read the instructions carefully and never to exceed the maximum dosage as sleep aids can be dangerous if taken to excess. If you have any questions or concerns, you can ask your pharmacist or, if you’re taking a prescription sleep aid, your doctor. Natural sleep aids are also available, and a local natural health food shop should be able to help you figure out which could suit your needs. Again, though, you need to be very careful to use them only as directed.
Sleep aids can make a huge change to your emotional and physical well-being and can really improve your life. Don’t feel that trying them is a bad idea simply because some people have preconceived notions about them; whether you use a medical supplement, a natural solution or a more mental approach, you could well change your nights for the better.