Livonia Dentist Explains the Risks of Over-the-Counter Sleep Aids













Across the country, millions of people have difficulty sleeping. In fact, according to a BMJ research study, last year over 60 million Americans turned to over-the-counter sleep aids. Unfortunately, many people don’t realize that these drugs can actually make sleeping more difficult. In today’s blog, your Livonia family dentist, Dr. James Stewart, discusses the downsides of over-the-counter sleep aids and offers a few easy tips for getting the rest you need.

Drawbacks of Common Sleep Aids

Over-the-counter sleep aids can help you rest for maybe a day or two. But studies show that your body becomes immune to the effects of common sleep medications in just a matter of days. As a result, people frequently up the dosage, starting a dangerous cycle of drug dependency. Most sleeping pills contain the antihistamine diphenhydramine. This drug is found in allergy medications, and often causes drowsiness. People taking sleeping pills containing diphenhydramine often report daytime sleepiness, trouble urinating, and episodes of delirium. According to Milton Erman, the clinical professor of psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego: “It’s not a very good drug. Very little data show that it helps people get good sleep.”

Lifestyle Changes for Better Sleep 

In most cases, simple lifestyle changes can help patients sleep peacefully. First, patients should ensure their bedroom creates an environment conducive to sleep. The room should be dark and cool, with no TV. In the four to six hours before bed, avoid caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine. Patients who work out should complete their exercises at least two hours before bed. So, instead of seeking over-the-counter medications, try these easy steps for obtaining your necessary rest.

Schedule an Appointment with Your Livonia Family Dentist

Are you having difficulty getting a good night’s rest? Do you suffer form chronic snoring? Many patients with trouble sleeping may be experiencing a common sleep disorder known as obstructive sleep apnea. Make an appointment with family dentist Dr. Stewart for a diagnosis, and to discuss treatment options. Contact our 48154 dentist office. Schedule a visit today by calling (734) 425-4400. We serve patients from Livonia, Farmington, Farmington Hills, and surrounding areas.