Insomnia Medications - Non-Prescription

Medications are among the most commonly used treatments for insomnia and can be quite effective. However, medications should always be used judiciously and in conjunction with the non-pharmacological approaches as discussed previously.

There are several classes of medications used for sleep, including:

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Sleep Aid Guidelines

Most experts recommend taking medications for insomnia only as a “last resort” after the behavioral techniques discussed previously have been attempted. The National Sleep Foundation suggests the following guidelines for use of medications to treat sleeping disorders:

  • The cause of the sleep disorder has been identified and is best treated with medication.
  • Sleeping difficulties are causing problems in daily activities.
  • Behavioral approaches have not been completely effective.
  • Treatment with medication should “begin with the lowest possible effective dose.”
  • Be short term if used nightly.
  • Be intermittent if used long term.
  • Be used only in combination with good sleep practices and behavioral approaches.
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