Getting an adequate amount of sleep is vital to one's health. Without proper rest, the body is unable to function properly and may become more susceptible to acquiring various health problems. Unfortunately, many people suffer from insomnia, chronic pain, or other conditions that prevent them from getting the sleep they need on a regular basis. These are some different types of medications that are often used to help people obtain restful sleep.

Natural Sleep Aids

There are some natural sleep aids that have been found to make getting proper rest much easier. These types of sleep aids contain only natural ingredients and may be safer to use because they are not made up of harsh chemicals. Among some of the commonly used natural sleep aids are chamomile, Valerian, passionflower, lavender, ginseng, and melatonin.  

Some natural sleep aids are used to make an herbal tea that is drunk to encourage drowsiness, some are taken in capsule or tablet form and some are made into essential oils that can be used in a diffuser or on the forehead, temples and around the nose to promote relaxation and sleepiness.

Over the Counter Sleep Aids

There are several different brands of over the counter sleep aids, but most of them contain the same ingredient that promotes sleep. This ingredient is diphenhydramine. It is also used in allergy medicines and when it was discovered to cause drowsiness, manufacturers began using it as the main ingredient for over the counter sleep aids. These medications have worked very well for helping some people get adequate rest, however, some also claim that morning drowsiness is an issue which makes it difficult to wake up within less than 8 hours. 

Prescription Sleep Aids

Prescription sleep aids are also available for those who suffer from severe sleep deprivation. These types of sleep aids affect different areas of the brain which normally control the body's natural modes of drowsiness and relaxation. Determining which type of prescription sleep aid is best for a patient, may require trial and error because it can vary depending on what other medications the patient may be taking. Some prescription sleep aids are also used for other conditions such as anxiety or depression, so, therefore, not all of these medications are suitable for every patient.

Regardless of which type of sleep aid a person uses, it should always be done under the advice of a physician. Certain types cannot be taken along with other medications, some may cause other health conditions to become worse and some can bring on new health issues the patient had not suffered with before taking them. Reach out to medical professionals near you to see if sleep medicine is a fit for your needs.