Both doctors and patients have their own list of the most effective drugs to help fall asleep. These can be narcotics, sleeping pills or hypnotics, but what is certain is that no matter to which class they belong, they represent the solution for this increasingly common problem.
To list all these medications is a difficult task. For this reason, this article will focus on those medications that patients will find in any list of recommendations.
However, before presenting the selected drugs, here are some things you need to know about these drugs.
When it’s time to take sleeping pills
An uncomfortable night, a time lag or the total inability to fall asleep may be valid reasons for taking an occasional pill. However, if these tribulations extend beyond three months and occur at least three times per week, a chronic sleep disorder may be experienced.
The most common diagnosis is insomnia – total lack of sleep – but there are also cases of restless legs syndrome or nighttime sleep intervals; that is, the patient manages to sleep but wakes up every one to two hours.
If these symptoms are occurring too often, the first thing to try is to change the effects of routine, diet, and exercise. If it persists, visit the doctor to prescribe sleeping pills.
To avoid collateral damage that adheres to the consumption of these drugs, it is common for the specialist to prescribe a sleeping pill in the short term.
In that sense, mild antihistamines and sedatives always appear as an alternative to consider, If, on the contrary, sleep problems are related to some trauma or psychological shock or, if the above pills have no effect, the doctor will prescribe narcotics/opiates, non-benzodiazepine hypnotics or pure benzodiazepines.
Which is better?
Measuring the quality of a sleeping medication depends on several factors, but it is almost always linked to its effectiveness in combating the sleep disorder that is occurring. In that sense, for mild and common problems, sleeping pills such as Diphenhydramine or Valerian are planted strong.
Meanwhile, for chronic inability to sleep and the symptoms associated with these disorders, benzodiazepine hypnotics are an alternative that always enters into collision.
What are the differences between the two?
Among the aspects to consider, the most pronounced differences are the dosage time of administration. In the case of sleeping pills and natural remedies, the doses can be administered in presentations between 10 and 50 milligrams, while benzodiazepines, at most, are prescribed in presentations of 10 milligrams.
In the case of antihistamines, the recommendations always focus on consuming them between 72 hours and five days, but if the problem persists, the term extends even 30 days. Benzodiazepines, in contrast, are prescribed at lower intervals and, eventually, the doses are reduced, this in order to avoid addictions or withdrawal syndrome.
The most recommended medications are:
- Zolpidem (Ambien)
- Extended action Zolpidem (Ambien XR)
- Valerian and Hops