Over The Counter Sleeping Aids...A Dangerous Night's Sleep?

I've been there.  Sifting through over the counter sleeping aids and trying to figure out which one was going to give me that fantastic night's sleep.  I didn't know that they were all pretty much the same.  I also didn't know they all carried the threat of serious side effects, unlike natural sleep remedies.

I guess I thought that because they were available without a prescription, they would be safe.  I think a lot of people think the same thing.  Unfortunately, I was wrong.

OTC sleep aids can be just as addictive as prescription drugs.  Instead of using them occasionally, most people use them night after night.  Pretty soon, they can't go to sleep without them.

Organ Damage?  Memory Loss?

Then, there's the disturbing research on the damage to the kidneys and liver.  In fact, the FDA is considering making Tylenol 1000mg a prescription medicine, so that people can be monitored when they use it.  I'm not sure why they think someone won't take two Tylenol 500mg instead....

Studies are now showing memory loss as a result of using over the counter sleeping aids.  This is happening more in senior citizens, but the younger generations aren't safe from this, either.

Stroke Dangers?  Yikes!

Who would have thought Nyquil could give you a stroke?  People as young as in their 20's have had strokes that were related to taking Nyquil.  That's scary.

Want to hear something even scarier? 

The side effects of Nyquil:

  • High Blood Pressure
  • Anxiety
  • Depression

Those are only a few, but they're enough to make me totally steer clear of that aisle.

After discovering the dangers of these over the counter sleeping aids, I decided my family would be just fine if we altered our lifestyle.  What did we do?

Quiet time before bed.  I used to lie in the bed and think of all the things I needed to accomplish.  My mind would whirl with ideas.  Reading something light or working puzzles helps to keep my brain from spinning like a top when I go to bed.

Light snacks.  No more pigging out on Oreos and milk.  I now opt for a low sugar, complex carb snack.  My favorite?  It might sound crazy, but I love to heat up a rice cake, then put peanut butter and cinnamon on top of it.

Of course, there are times when sleep still eludes me.  For those times,  I've discovered the safest, most effective sleeping aid...

Essential Oils vs Over The Counter Sleeping Aids

Essential oils.  So safe.  So effective.  So good to give me a great night's sleep...

I use essential oils for a variety of reasons, but sleep is at the top of my list.  When I was suffering through week after week of sleepless nights, I started experimenting with a variety of oils.  I used one or more to help me sleep every night for a month.  Now, I use them a couple of nights a week.

Vetiver,  Marjoram, Clary Sage, Lavender.  My best friends.

These live in the drawer of my nightstand.  I simply apply 2 drops of one or more to the bottom of my feet.  20-30 minutes later, I'm on my way out...

When I use Lavender, after I apply it to my feet, I swipe my hands over my pillow.  This seems to super-relax me.  Plus, I love the aroma!

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