More than one out of three Americans deals with some sort of sleeping difficulty, whether insomnia or otherwise. And this is a monumental challenge, because a good night’s sleep is absolutely vital to our wellness and productivity. So it isn’t really surprising that thousands of us turn to sleep aids, whether in the form of medication or supplements. In some cases, these can be quite effective toward helping you doze off and stay asleep. However, there are also a number of prominent sleep aid side effects that can greatly lower the appeal of this approach. Today, we’ll go over what they are and how best to avoid them.
About Sleep Aids
There are many different sorts of sleep support products out there, ranging from simple syrups available on convenience store shelves to pharmaceutical drugs that require a prescription. Obviously, the extent of sleep aid side effects can vary on the basis of which type you’re using. Differing formula compositions are going to yield different risk levels. We’ll outline some of the distinctions, with recommendations on how to avoid adverse outcomes.
Common Sleep Aid Side Effects
As you might guess, the biggest downside to using a sleep aid is that you it might be too effective. Sleeping peacefully through the night is of course beneficial. But those benefits start to erode when you continue to feel drowsy long after waking up. This is one of the most prominent and recognizable sleep aid side effects. Sometimes you have so trouble shaking off the sleep that even multiple cups of coffee can’t get you going. It’s often a matter of chemical imbalance. When sleepings pills increase the levels of melatonin (the sleep hormone) too much, the effects can linger for longer than you would like.
Among the other sleep aid side effects, this list covers some of the most common culprits:
- Diarrhea, constipation or other digestive problems
- Dry throat or mouth and hydration
- Unusual and vivid dreams or upsetting nightmares
- Mood swings or irritability
- Rapid changes in appetite
In order to avoid this, we advise taking natural sleep supplements that are more subtle in their approach. Sometimes drugs can cause significant shifts in hormones and bodily chemicals. However, natural sleep supplement ingredients such as valerian root, L-theanine and chamomile tend to trigger a softer and less harsh change. These can still get the job done, especially in conjunction with some other supporting practices. For instance, you can help your own cause by avoiding caffeine in the PM hours. Turning off all electronics before bed also does wonders. Sometimes people bypass simple considerations like this in search of an easy fix. But in many cases you’ll be better off taking an herbal product and adjusting your habits.
Now, we will add that plenty of people use sleep aids without any real issue. Some of the milder effects are fairly common but not too tough to deal with. The more severe issues tend to be quite a bit more rare. If you experience them, stop using that product and consult a physician. In general, we recommend starting with a lighter all-natural supplement, and working your way up to more serious sleep aids only if you deem it necessary.