Sleep medicines can be a great solution for people who are really struggling to sleep. However, as they can have some unpleasant side effects and are sometimes addictive, they are not for every patient or every situation. So, how do you know whether you should ask your doctor about sleep medicines or not? Well, if the following are true of your situation, then it's time to have the conversation.
You've already improved your sleep hygiene but to no avail.
The term sleep hygiene refers to the self-care practices around sleep. This includes things like putting on comfortable clothing, making sure your room is dark, creating a quiet space, and not looking at screens for an hour before bed. If you have not implemented these practices and given them at least a week or two to work, then try doing so before you pursue sleep medication use. If you have been working on your sleep hygiene for a while, but you're still struggling to sleep, then it's time to talk with your doctor.
You've tried natural remedies.
There are a few gentle, more natural remedies that can help with sleep, and that may work for you. These include melatonin supplements and chamomile tea. In some cases, a low dose of melatonin or a mug of chamomile tea may be all you need to drift off. But if you're still lying awake at night or waking up in the middle of the night even with the help of these treatments, then you probably need something stronger — a true sleep medicine.
Your lack of sleep is really affecting you.
What impact are your sleep problems having on your life? Are they leaving you too tired to work effectively during the day? Maybe a lack of sleep means your immune system is suffering and you're catching the common cold a lot. When you reach a point where your lack of sleep is really impacting your overall lifestyle and health, then it is time to take serious action and talk to your doctor about sleep medicines. It's best to intervene before your lifestyle and health are impacted any further.
If you're struggling to sleep, there are a number of solutions to try, from improving your sleep hygiene to taking natural remedies. But if these actions don't work, don't hesitate to talk to your doctor about sleep meds. While they do come with a risk of side effects, they are generally safe as long as you take them as prescribed, and they can be very effective.Share
24 March 2021
When my daughter began having academic problems in school and acting out, I knew that something wasn’t right. Her teachers wanted me to put her on ADD medications, but I didn’t think that that was the right course for us. I had serious doubts that ADD was what was causing her problems. I took her to several different specialists before discovering that her issues in school were actually do to a visual processing problem. The doctor recommended vision therapy, not medication, to help correct the problem and get her back on track. The exercises are really starting to pay off, and she’s showing great improvement.