What To Consider Before Taking A Sleeping Aid
Sleep aids can be a good option for short-term use, but its best to get your doctors input and guidance before trying one.
Consider the other supplements and medications you are takingeven if they are OTC. Pairing a sleep aid with a cold medication, such as Nyquil, or certain antidepressants can cause dangerous oversedation.
People taking stimulants like Adderall, used to treat attention deficit disorder and narcolepsyan overwhelming daytime sleepinessoften complain of sleep problems. Your doctor may advise a sleep aid or change the timing of the stimulant to minimize nighttime effects. In other words, your doctor may need to tweak your medications and their dosages.
Ask if your age or a condition raises your risk. A lot of sleep aids work on hormones and brain chemicals, so women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, children, and the elderly should be particularly cautious. Even if you fall into one of these categories, you may still be able to take a sleep aid.
There are a multitude of options available, says Dr. Kutscher. The key is understanding which medications have the least interaction with the things already being taken and to make sure the patient is aware of the potential side effects. With the right treatment, youll be sleeping better soon.
A Guide To Sleep Aids: What Are Your Options
Its 3 a.m. and youve been tossing and turning for hours. Its the third time this week youve been ghosted by sleep and youre getting desperate for some solid slumber.
Youre not alone.
80% of people say they have trouble sleeping at least once a week, according to a 2018 Consumer Reports survey. With so many struggling with shut-eye, it should come as no big surprise, then, that sleep aids are a booming business. U.S. customers spend tens of billions of dollars each year on everything from herbal supplements to prescription sleep medications in the quest for better sleep.
Lack of sleep is a serious problem, but experts caution that there are pros and cons to every sleep aid marketed. Many dont have a lot of scientific data proving their effectiveness. Still others work, but with side effectslike morning grogginess. And many times the sleep aid acts like a Band-Aid, masking, but never getting at the real root of your sleep problem. It could be a health issue such as obstructive sleep apnea or restless legs syndrome . Some sleep disorders need a medical evaluation and, usually, a medical intervention targeted to the problem.
Clearing Up Confusion About Blood Thinning Meds
If information about your anticoagulant has your head spinning, your health care provider and a new anticoagulant patient toolkit can help.
Anticoagulants, sometimes known as blood thinners, could be the most misunderstood medications on the market.
Anticoagulants tend to be affected by other drugs, vitamins and certain foods, making the drug therapy somewhat confusing for patients and their caregivers. To help, anticoagulation clinics and experts in Michigan created an Anticoagulation Toolkit to address frequently asked questions and concerns.
Warfarin, for example, competes with vitamin K, so patients taking warfarin should consult with their health care provider about possible dietary restrictions. Prescription drugs can make some anticoagulants either stronger or weaker.
Certain anticoagulants also require regular blood tests to ensure the correct dose. A weak dosage increases the risk of stroke and heart attack, and too much puts a person at risk for bleeding.
With newer versions being added to time-tested varieties, its hard but not impossible to keep things straight.
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Melatonin For High Blood Pressure
Melatonin is a natural sleep supplement often used for those with jet lag or other disorders related to circadian rhythms. However, it is possible that in addition to regulating sleep, it may be a useful treatment for some chronic conditions, including high blood pressure. While there is some evidence that it may be effective for blood pressure symptoms, melatonin can also interfere with some blood pressure medications. Be sure to check with your doctor first.
Side Effects Of Melatonin And Possible Signs Of Overdose
At usual doses of 0.1 mg to 10 mg per day, melatonin doesnt usually cause serious side effects. The most common side effect is the usual intended effect: drowsiness. So, it is best not to drive after taking melatonin. Other common side effects of high doses of melatonin may include :
- Nightmares or vivid dreams
- Daytime sleepiness that occurs the day after taking melatonin
If any of these side effects become severe, it could be a sign that youve taken too much melatonin.
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Melatonin And Blood Pressure: Everything To Know
12/22/2021 | 6 min. read
Melatonin is the go-to supplement when it comes to natural sleep aids.
In terms of overall health, getting a good nights rest ranks at the top. But, when counting sheep doesnt work, many turn to natural sleep aids, such as the one mentioned above.
Melatonin is the bodys master sleep hormone and is produced naturally by the body. It plays a regulatory role when it comes to the bodys sleep-wake cycle.
The efficacy of melatonin when it comes to sleep health is proven. But, many are unaware of the effects it has on another important function blood pressure.
Is Eliquis Hard On The Kidneys
Since only about 25% of Eliquis is broken down by the kidneys, several top heart doctors claim its a better alternative to other blood thinners. While this could be good news for older patients with kidney problems, the FDA is still looking into Eliquis to determine all of the effects it has on both the liver and kidneys. Refer to the FDA for more drug information.
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Melatonin Use In Children
Although melatonin products exist over-the-counter for use in children, it is best to only use melatonin for your child under the direction of a pediatrician or other medical specialist. Doses for children vary in studies and should be determined by your child’s doctor.
Causes of insomnia should always be evaluated in children to determine if there is an underlying medical or behavioral cause. Melatonin should not be used to “force sleep” in otherwise healthy children. Use for children with developmental disorders should also involve behavioral interventions.
According to a meta-analysis published in Archives of Disease in Childhood, children with developmental disorders such as autism spectrum disorder, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, and intellectual disability can have sleep disturbances and may benefit from melatonin treatment when compared to placebo however, more study is needed, as noted by the researchers. In this study reviewing 541 children from 9 studies, the authors note that:
- melatonin significantly improved sleep onset latency, with a mean difference of 28 minutes
- melatonin increased total sleep time, with a mean difference of 48 minutes
- melatonin did not significantly decrease nighttime awakenings
- no serious side effects were reported.
Consistent Vitamin K Intake Is Key
I think all warfarin-treated patients would benefit from increasing their daily vitamin K intake, Ferland said in a statement.
She added that given the direct interaction between dietary vitamin K and the action of the drug, it is important that daily vitamin K intakes be as consistent as possible.
Our hope is that healthcare professionals will stop advising warfarin-treated patients to avoid green vegetables, she said.
Clinically, this may prevent patients on warfarin from having too many highs and lows on their INRs, the International Normalized Ratio blood test used to monitor how thick or thin the blood is, she said. This could give more consistency to the patients blood clotting ability.
But she cautioned that while the information in this trial is thought-provoking for physicians, larger studies will need to be conducted before significant changes can be made in patient care.
Apart from the findings of this clinical trial, there are other medications and vitamins that can affect how warfarin works. These include:
- prescription medications, such as the common antibiotics azithromycin and
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Is Melatonin Safe For Children
In addition to issues mentioned above, there are some things to consider regarding melatoninâs safety in children.
- Parents considering giving their children melatonin should first speak with a health care provider about melatonin use in children.
- Parents need to ensure safe storage and appropriate use of melatonin supplements.
- Use of over-the-counter melatonin might place children and teenagers at risk for accidental or intentional overdose.
- A 2022 study indicated that U.S. sales of melatoninâwhich is widely available in tablet, capsule, liquid, and gummy formulationsâincreased by about 150 percent between 2016 and 2020. The study authors said that the increase in sales, availability, and widespread use of melatonin in the United States has likely resulted in increased access to melatonin among children in the home.
- The 2022 study also showed that the number of reports to U.S. poison control centers about people 19 years and younger who took melatonin increased from 8,337 in 2012 to 52,563 in 2021. Over the 10-year period, the number of reports increased each year. Hospitalizations and serious outcomes from melatonin ingestion by people 19 years and younger also increased over the 10 years. Most hospitalizations involved teenagers who had intentionally taken melatonin overdoses, and the largest increase in hospitalizations occurred in children 5 years and younger.
- Increased bedwetting or urination in the evening
Does Melatonin Work For Shift Workers
Shift work that involves night shifts may cause people to feel sleepy at work and make it difficult to sleep during the daytime after a shift ends.
According to two 2014 research reviews, studies on whether melatonin supplements help shift workers were generally small or inconclusive.
- The first review looked at 7 studies that included a total of 263 participants. The results suggested that people taking melatonin may sleep about 24 minutes longer during the daytime, but other aspects of sleep, such as time needed to fall asleep, may not change. The evidence, however, was considered to be of low quality.
- The other review looked at 8 studies , with a total of 300 participants, to see whether melatonin helped promote sleep in shift workers. Six of the studies were high quality, and they had inconclusive results. The review did not make any recommendations for melatonin use in shift workers.
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Is It Safe To Take Melatonin
For melatonin supplements, particularly at doses higher than what the body normally produces, thereâs not enough information yet about possible side effects to have a clear picture of overall safety. Short-term use of melatonin supplements appears to be safe for most people, but information on the long-term safety of supplementing with melatonin is lacking.
Also keep in mind:
Interactions with medicines
- As with all dietary supplements, people who are taking medicine should consult their health care providers before using melatonin. In particular, people with epilepsy and those taking blood thinner medications need to be under medical supervision when taking melatonin supplements.
Possible allergic reaction risk
Safety concerns for pregnant and breastfeeding women
Safety concerns for older people
Melatonin is regulated as a dietary supplement
Products may not contain whatâs listed on the label
Is A Melatonin Supplement Something I Should Consider Taking
For individuals who take beta-blockers and experience trouble sleeping, taking extra melatonin could help improve their quality of sleep.
If you are curious if melatonin could help you, please stop by Sona Pharmacy 298-3636) and speak with one of our pharmacists.
We are more than happy to help talk with you to determine the best options for your personal needs!
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Is It Habit Forming
According to the National Sleep Foundation, experts do not believe that melatonin is addictive on a short term basis. Unlike other sleep medicines, it does not cause symptoms of withdrawal when people stop using it.
However, scientists need to carry out more long-term research to confirm that this sleep aid is not habit-forming.
Some people do become dependent on melatonin to sleep. They may find that when they stop taking this supplement, they have a harder time falling asleep.
As with any supplement, people need to check with their doctor before they take melatonin. Getting advice from a doctor can help prevent avoid adverse effects, dependency, and possible interactions between melatonin and other medications.
What Is The Best Over
Most over-the-counter sleep medicines are simply re-packaged antihistamines, sometimes with a pain reliever such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen . Antihistamines are drugs that are commonly used to treat allergy symptoms but that also have some sedating effects. They help promote drowsiness by blocking a chemical called histamine, which plays a role in regulating wakefulness. These OTC sleep aids are readily available at drugstores and supermarkets.
Most doctors say theres nothing wrong with taking an antihistamine occasionally to help you fall asleep. But, they caution that youre not likely to get high-quality sleep using one. You can suffer from side effects, including a next-day grogginess , dry mouth, feelings of agitation, sleep walking, and confusion, especially if youre elderly. Many people quickly build up a tolerance to the sedating effects of antihistamines, sometimes in a matter of weeks.
Some of the over-the-counter antihistamines more commonly used for sleep are:
- Diphenhydramine, found in Benadryl , Zzzquil, and Aleve PM, among others
- Doxylamine succinate, found in Unisom, Nyquil, and others
Antihistamines shouldnt be used by children under six or by anyone with breathing issues such as asthma, glaucoma, problems urinating , heart disease, high blood pressure, or thyroid problems. If you do opt to take an occasional antihistamine for sleep, steer clear of products with an added pain reliever unless you need one.
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Whats The Most Effective Natural Sleep Aid
Thats hard to answer. Large, well-designed scientific studies on natural sleep aidswhich mostly consist of dietary and herbal supplementsare few and far between. Many of the studies out there have inconclusive findings.
Its also important to note that natural sleep aids are not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration , which means they dont undergo the rigorous testing for safety and effectiveness as other drugs. And since theyre not regulated, formulations and potencies can vary from one manufacturer to another and even one batch to another.
The good news: Most natural remedies, which are easily found at drug, grocery, and health food stores, are considered safe to use for the short term, and side effects tend to be uncommon. When they do occur, they mostly come in the form of headaches and digestive issues, such as nausea, cramps, and diarrhea.
Many people may be able to use a sleep aid for a short period without side effects, says Dr. Kapur. But that doesnt necessarily mean that long term there arent any consequences. Long-term risks have often not been evaluated.
If you want to give a natural sleep aid a try, you should always talk to your doctor first, but here are a few popular options.
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The Benefits Of Melatonin Supplements
Under normal conditions, the body can produce sufficient amounts of melatonin. But, the normal production of melatonin does tend to . Other reasons for low melatonin levels might include: Not getting enough natural light during the day, excessive blue light exposure , and lifestyle factors .
Melatonin supplements can help improve sleep health by:
- Restoring a healthy sleep-wake cycle Using melatonin can help re-establish a proper circadian rhythm.
- Helping you fall asleep Taking melatonin an hour before bed can help prepare your body for sleep, helping you wind down and fall asleep faster.
- Reducing restlessness and nighttime waking Supplemental melatonin helps reduce restlessness by raising natural melatonin levels, improving your chances of staying asleep.
Is Melatonin Safe Common And Uncommon Side Effects
For those struggling with their sleep cycles, taking oral melatonin is one of the first ports of call. But in spite of its common usage and over the counter status, there are still a few question marks surrounding it. Taking melatonin, as with anything else, as a supplement comes with potential for side effects. Some of these are well-known and publicized, but other, rarer side effects are more obscure and unknown to the general public. So is the taking of melatonin to aid sleep safe?
Note: The content on Sleepopolis is meant to be informative in nature, but it shouldnt taken as medical advice, and it shouldnt take the place of medical advice and supervision from a trained professional. If you feel you may be suffering from any sleep disorder or medical condition, please see your healthcare provider immediately. Please seek advice from a qualified medical professional before undertaking any new sleep, diet, or supplement regimen.
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What To Know About Dietary Supplements And Safety
The FDA classifies melatonin as a dietary supplement, meaning that its regulated less strictly than a regular drug. For dietary supplements, label claims and product safety dont have to meet FDA approval before theyre marketed.
A 2017 study of 31 different melatonin supplements found that the actual melatonin content of 71 percent of the products didnt match the claim on the label. Additionally, 26 percent of products contained serotonin, which can be potentially harmful even in small doses.
When shopping for melatonin supplements, look for products that are USP verified. United States Pharmacopeia is an independent organization that works to ensure proper quality and dosing of dietary supplements.