How to Use Sleep Aids Safely

Consider these factors to make sure you're using a sleep aid safely:

  • Consult with your doctor about which type to use, the proper dose, and the best treatment plan. Your doctor will take into account your age and other health factors, as well as the underlying cause of insomnia, if possible. All this information is important in using sleep aids properly.
  • Don't forget non-medical approaches: If you take a sleep aid, it's still key to use non-medical approaches, like cognitive behavioral treatments, relaxation exercises, and general sleep tips to establish healthy sleep patterns Multi-component approaches to facilitate sleep onset and maintain sleep is widely held as the best treatment approach.
  • Sleep aids can be very helpful, especially in providing initial relief for people with insomnia, but most doctors agree that they should not be used indefinitely. Your doctor will help you figure out how long to take a sleep aid (the goal being to take a sleep aid for the shortest duration that still provides you with the proper sleep benefits).
  • Over-the-counter sleep aids may help some people in the short term, but they are not intended for longer term use or as a comprehensive fix for insomnia.
  • Follow safety guidelines: It's important to follow all the safety guidelines of each sleep aid. Read packaging material carefully and talk to your doctor about any precautions you should be aware of, especially as they pertain to your personal health.