Q:

Are over-the-counter sleeping pills effective?

A:

Quick Answer

According to the Mayo Clinic, over-the-counter sleep aids can be effective in helping one sleep. However, these medicines should only be used short-term, as there are risks and side effects involved with prolonged use. Those with chronic insomnia or other sleep difficulties should check with their doctor to ensure that there are no underlying conditions affecting their ability to get proper rest.

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Are over-the-counter sleeping pills effective?
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Full Answer

The Mayo Clinic states that the body can build up a tolerance to the antihistamines used in most sleep aids. The longer one takes them, the less affected they will be by the medication. Also, antihistamines often leave one feeling groggy after waking up. Other options, such as Valerian supplements, are available, however, not much is known about the active ingredients and potency can vary significantly. Additionally, most over-the-counter sleep aids carry the risk of side effects, including dizziness, headache or dry mouth.

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