Are Over The Counter Sleep Aids & Non Prescription Sleeping Pills Effective?

In a recent article published in Harvard Women’s Health Watch OTC sleep aids were challenged for their effectiveness.

In 2017 the American Academy of Sleep Medicine officially recommend against treating chronic insomnia with common over-the-counter antihistamine and analgesic aids. Antihistamines are used in sleep aids because they effect the histamine receptor sites in your brain which help control wakefulness. Anti-histamines therefore are anti-wake, and make a person feel sleepy. But here is the problem, the compounds were built to last for 12 hours! This is why so many people experience a hangover effect (i.e., brain fog) the next day (this can also be common in some benzodiazepines used for sleep). Not only that, many of these drugs are known as anticholinergics which have been linked to Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease with heavy, long-term use.

To be fair, this article also spoke about the lack of research for natural supplementation. Here is where I will respectfully disagree. There is more data on Valerian root and Melatonin than just about anything else, and the new data on CBD and inflammation looks very promising.

Remember any sleep aid should be used to “break the cycle” of insomnia. While I know that there are a certain percentage of people who will require a sleep aid nightly, these are easily identifiable circumstances: mental health issues, pain problems, cancer, high stress, etc. I created Aktive Sleep Booster with CBD for both sets of people, those with chronic conditions and those that need a little help breaking the cycle.  I also offer my sleep course for free with every bottle. I want you to use the booster to sleep, break the cycle and then use the course to teach you how to sleep! If you purchase the product before 12/15/18 and use the code SleepXmas you’ll get 25% off your complete order and I’ll give you my sleep supplement course, free.

In another story, I was delighted to see that my technique I call the Nap-a-Latte was highlighted in the news. CBC News is a Canadian News outlet and they did a great job of explaining the technique. If you remember I gave this out to everyone along with a few other non-alcoholic recipes for better sleep and energy a few weeks back in my previous blog post.

It is important to practice good self-care as the holidays bring a lot of stress for many and stress often leads to disturbed sleep. I hope you’ll use this information along with the information in the other links I shared to make this a restful holiday season.

Sweet Dreams,
Dr. Breus

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Michael Breus, Ph.D - The Sleep Doctor is a Diplomate of the American Board of Sleep Medicine and a Fellow of The American Academy of Sleep Medicine and one of only 168 psychologists to pass the Sleep Medical Specialty Board without going to medical school. Dr. Breus is a sought after lecturer and his knowledge is shared daily in major national media worldwide including Today, Dr. Oz, Oprah, and for fourteen years as the sleep expert on WebMD. Dr. Breus is the bestselling author of The Power of When, The Sleep Doctor’s Diet Plan and Good Night!

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