In recent years we can observe a growing problem of insomnia, also among young people. Medicine defines this phenomenon not only as difficulties with falling asleep, but also with staying asleep. Frequent waking in the night, restless and shallow sleep, too short duration of sleep, all this negatively affects health and functioning during the day. No wonder that more and more people are reaching for various ways to fight insomnia.
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Symptoms and effects of insomnia
We have already become accustomed to the fact that modern life means constant haste and constant stress, to this we are often accompanied by anxiety and even fear. At the same time, we are not always aware of the adverse effects of such a lifestyle on the body. There is a direct connection between what and how we experience during the day and the quality of our sleep. Long-lasting problems with sleep result in intensified symptoms – disturbed concentration, slowed down thinking and acting, lowered mood, and even specific physical ailments – headaches, weakness, disorders of heart work and metabolic processes.
Bad mood and lowered mood caused by insomnia can lead to depression, and certainly do not contribute to good psychophysical condition and do not help us cope with the problems of everyday life. Therefore, it may not be surprising that various remedies and tablets for sleep are increasingly popular. We usually start off safely, by reaching for natural preparations, supplements or herbal sleeping pills without a prescription. However, if we notice that their use for a long time does not bring results, it is necessary to go to a sleep medicine specialist. Not infrequently, sleep disorders have a disease basis.
Prescription sleep medications
Unfortunately, both benzodiazepines and barbiturates have certain side effects. Because they do not induce physiological sleep, they can cause a feeling of dullness or fatigue upon awakening. Prescription sleep pills do not treat insomnia itself, they only make it easier to fall asleep and possibly improve the quality of sleep.
Barbiturates are particularly dangerous. They cause addiction relatively quickly, and their combination with alcohol or overdose can lead to respiratory center paralysis and death. As for the potential side effects of treatment with sleeping drugs, they are mentioned:
- immune weakness,
- chronic fatigue,
- impaired concentration, coordination and attention,
- personality changes.
On doctor’s recommendation, there are also new generation sleeping pills available – zolpidem, used in treatment of short-term insomnia, zopiclone with sleeping and sedative effect and zaleplon, recommended in cases of severe sleep disorders. They are safer than benzodiazepines or barbiturates and carry less risk of addiction.
Herbal sleeping pills without a prescription
People who have problems with falling asleep should first reach for preparations of plant origin composed especially for this purpose. They have a mild sedative effect, relaxing and calming, making it easier to fall asleep and improving the quality of sleep. And what is the most important, they are safe to use, do not stupefy and do not become addictive like strong prescription drugs.
Widely available in the form of tablets, syrups or infusions, supplements and sleep aids usually contain extracts from hops, melissa, valerian, hawthorn, St. John’s wort or peppermint. If you ask yourself how to sleep better, try one of the natural sleep remedies, especially the so-called combination preparations, which additionally contain vitamins, minerals and amino acids (e.g. tryptophan).
A good and effective remedy is also melatonin for sleep. It is a natural hormone produced in the pineal gland, responsible for the correct rhythm of wakefulness and sleep. It is taken for two to three weeks, in doses of 1 mg to 5 mg per day, one hour before bedtime. It is especially recommended for sleep disorders in the diurnal cycle.
An interesting and effective solution are also capsules and tablets, in the composition of which one can find both plant materials and melatonin. Such agents (e.g. Melatolin Plus), due to their availability without a prescription and optimal effectiveness, are becoming more and more popular among people struggling with various types of sleep problems.
Insomnia, treated today by medicine as a separate disease entity, can contribute to serious disturbances in body functioning. Therefore, it must not be underestimated. However, before we apply final measures in the form of synthetics, it is worth taking care of proper sleep hygiene and possibly help with herbal specifics.