Thoughts on Better Aging

Why Medication Isn’t the Best Solution to Sleep Problems

December 9th, 2017

Learn about alternatives to medication that can help you get deep, natural, restorative sleep.

Are you having trouble sleeping? Don’t reach for the sleeping pills. Aside from the potential for side effects, there’s one very big problem with prescription sleep aids:

They don’t actually give you quality sleep.

Medications designed to treat insomnia are technically called “sedative hypnotics.” In other words, they don’t make you sleep—they sedate you. Sedation is by no means the same as sleep.

When you take a sedative hypnotic, the medication targets a set of receptors located in your cortex and essentially stops them from firing. This results in the top of your cortex basically getting switched off. This creates a level of unconsciousness that is not the same as sleep and cannot provide the same benefits as normal, natural sleep.

So What Can You Do to Get More Sleep?

First, consider all the possible causes of your sleep issue.

For example, if you’re an older person, menopause or andropause could be the culprit. The hormonal changes that attend andropause and menopause can cause many sleep-disrupting symptoms like insomnia, sleep apnea, hot flashes, night sweats, and anxiety. In this case, you may be able to conquer these symptoms and start sleeping better by getting hormone replacement therapy.

Poor nutrition and/or bad eating habits can also cause or contribute to sleep problems. Magnesium is a key nutrient for healthy sleep—without it, your body will have trouble deactivating adrenalin so you can relax and go to sleep. You may want to try supplementing magnesium while avoiding stimulants like coffee, tea, caffeinated soda, and sugary foods before bed. In fact, try not to eat anything at all after 8 pm.

You should also try resetting your circadian rhythms by waking up and going to bed at the same time every day, avoiding naps, spending time outside or in natural light, and keeping the lights in your home dim after dark. These steps can help you use your body’s biological clock to go to sleep. Make sure you create an environment that’s conducive to sleep by keeping your bedroom dark, cool, and quiet and avoiding looking at any kind of screen (TV, computer, or smartphone) before bed.

If you still need help falling asleep, try remedies that work in a more natural way before you resort to medications. For example, you might want to try our Melatonin Spray. Melatonin is a hormone that is naturally produced in response to the sun going down. When it builds up to sufficient levels, you start feeling less alert, which paves the way for sleep. Our Melatonin Spray is fast-absorbing and allows for flexible dosing so you can use it when you need help falling into a deep, natural sleep.

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