Over the counter, sleeping aids have their place but can only be used for a short period before they start affecting your internal system. You can also get them online without a prescription. But sometimes alternatives are a better option than putting a chemical into your body.
Best Alternatives To Over The Counter Sleeping Aids
In my opinion, they could be:
- Night Masks
- Anti-snore clips
- Or anything else which has to do with sleep
The traditional sense of the over the counter buying is mainly related to anything which refers to oral ingestion, but really anything can be bought over the counter. But now the counter has become our laptop.
So really how simple is that you don’t even have to leave your home, to buy what you want to get a good night’s sleep.
Over The Counter Sleeping Aids Alternative, We Recommend
1. Black Out Thermal Curtains
If you work the night shift, then you will benefit from having blackout thermal curtains. Most times, these curtains are great for light sleepers as well as insomniacs.
People who experience migraines and are sensitive to light can also use blackout thermal curtains. They are designed to keep light out, which is usually an issue for individuals who experience sensitivity to light.
Another benefit that many enjoy when getting blackout thermal curtains is saving on energy costs. Considering that 10-30% of thermal energy is lost from windows, these curtains will help you reduce your energy bill by quite a bit.
They are especially useful for winter months, but not only that, in the summer they help to deflect the heat to keep it out. This will help you to stay cool on hot days.
As a fringe benefit, your sleep won’t be disturbed by melatonin-inhibiting bright light — great news for insomniacs and night shift workers. The thermal curtains even help to muffle exterior noise.
Using it for migraines, cold winter months, or hot days, you are the one who is going to benefit by getting a night of good sleep.
2. Weighted Blanket
Blankets are always a necessity when going to bed, but weighted blankets can make a remarkable difference in you falling asleep.
Did you know that weighted blankets can ease insomnia? Only until a person has genuinely experienced insomnia, will they be able to really appreciate what insomnia does to them. So that you know, at least 40 million Americans have insomnia.
Weighted blankets help insomnia suffers by providing a gentle but firm pressure any time they need it. This allows people to experience insomnia to feel safe. Often insomnia is caused by anxiety, stress, or other emotionally related symptoms.
Many people who have sensory processing disorder can also benefit from weighted blankets; they provide a calming effect on both kids and adults.
Weighted blankets are therapeutic blankets that weigh between 5 to 30 pounds. The pressure from the extra weight mimics a therapeutic technique called deep pressure stimulation.
As a person who used to experience restless leg syndrome, I’m greatly appreciative of getting the weighted blanket. It actually takes away the tingling or creepy crawling feeling one often encounters in the legs when lying down in bed.
My wife says that the weighted blanket has helped with her fibromyalgia pain. Also, since she has liver issues, she is a hot sleeper. The weighted blanket has enabled her to sleep cool at night without waking up sweaty.
3. White Noise Machine
The white noise machine helps people sleep by drowning out background noises. This includes neighbors making noise, barking dogs, or cars driving down the streets.
Jagi, my wife, has tinnitus. She’s had this for the last 20 years. We didn’t find out about a white noise machine until about 10 years ago. I bought one as a gift for her, and she was hooked.
The white noise machines that are coming out now are pretty amazing. When we bought one, the only it did was create was sound, and there is only one option.
But the ones coming out now have many sounds, vibration, alarm clock, and a whole bunch of other modes attached to them. Of course, I updated to get the one I felt was the best white noise machine for my wife.
Research has shown that white noise can help patients sleep through the type of sounds that occur in a hospital Intensive Care Unit setting by helping to block out ambient noise.
Source: Very Well Health
When she sleeps and wakes up happy, I wake up happy knowing that we’re going to have a great day.
Often when a noise wakes you up at night, it’s usually not the noise that has woken you up, but the change in the consistency of the noise is what has disturbed your sleep. By having a white noise machine that runs continuously without sound change while masking out noise will have you sleeping like a baby all night long.
4. Light Blocking Sleep Mask
Although sleep masks are sometimes stereotyped as being only feminine or frivolous, they are neither. Light blocking sleep masks can keep light out of your eyes so you can sleep.
Biologically we are meant to sleep in the dark. I know that as soon as I see the light peeking from outside, my eyes instantly open, and I’m awake. No matter how hard I try to go back to sleep, it just doesn’t happen.
My daughter, who uses a light-blocking sleep mask, swears by it. She has the most light in her room in our home, yet she is the least affected by it because the sleep mask keeps the light out of her eyes. She also uses it when she has headaches.
What’s great is that they are inexpensive, way cheaper than buying blackout thermal curtains (if the light is your only issue), which I’ve already discussed above. The sleep mask will help to stimulate darkness as well as improve your sleep quality.
Light is an external factor that can play havoc with our bodies and affect our shut-eye. With black-out curtains a luxury we can’t all carry around with us, we need to look for other solutions.
Source: The Good Body
Another thing that I like is that they prevent dry eyes. The use of heat or air conditioner can quickly dry out our eyes. Not only that, but both of these also stir up dust and pet dander, which can also create dry eyes.
When you’re wearing an eye mask, you won’t have to worry about any of this.
5. Bed Wedge Pillows
Bed wedge pillows are excellent if you are one of those people who liked to watch your favorite show or read a book before turning. They help you to sit up straight, which is excellent for posture as well their ergonomic angles make it easy for watching TV or just curling up with your favorite book.
These pillows are usually made of memory foam, which contours to your body shape. Hence, providing a gentle hug which often makes sleep come faster.
Acid reflux can be a huge hindrance when trying to fall asleep, but because of the slope of the bed wedge pillow, you can keep the acid below the esophagus. By the acid remaining below it will help to keep the heartburn at bay.
Lying on your back can sometimes cause sleep apnea, which is a disorder characterized by an interruption of breathing during sleep. This position can also lead to acid reflux and heartburn, which are usually caused by stomach contents shifting into the esophagus during sleep.
Source: Very Well Health
Many people find that using this pillow under their knee also helps them fall asleep. By doing this, it improves circulation in the legs, which help tired and sore muscles as well as alleviate swelling in feet.
6. Memory Foam Mattress Topper
First off, let’s talk about what a mattress topper is. A mattress topper is an additional layer of comfort which is added to your main mattress. Not only is it comfortable, but it also extends the life of your mattress.
People who experience body pain issues related to fibromyalgia, hip bursitis, or back pain will be the ones to most benefit from a memory foam mattress topper. The reason that is is that memory foam tends to contour around the body’s angles.
The contouring of the memory foam mattress helps to relieve painful pressure points. Often time when these pain pressure points are reduced, a person can wake up feeling rejuvenated.
Most of the memory foam toppers are made for sleeping in a cool environment. If you are one of those people who sweat at night, you won’t have to worry about overheating as the topper will absorb the sweat. It’ll also save your main mattress from staining or becoming damaged due to bodily fluids leaking onto it.
The additional benefits you get from utilizing toppers will, in the long run, pay dividends, it allows your mattress to stay newer for longer and provides you with increased comfort.
Source: John Ryan By Design
A memory foam mattress can be cleaned, but the main mattress is usually tough to clean. Another great thing about mattress toppers is that they are hypoallergenic, this helps to keep dust mites, bedbugs, and other allergens that may exist in your environment, away from your sleeping area.
A topper is usually inexpensive compared to the mattress, which can run into hundreds of dollars. You can replace a mattress topper easily, while the main mattress is not so easy to replace.
7. Mist Creating Humidifier
It does not matter what time of the year it is; someone out there is someone with a stuffy nose. In the winter months, it could be due to cold or flu season, and in the warmer months, it’s usually due to allergies.
By turning on a humidifier, which creates a mist, you’re getting rid of the humid air that exists in your environment. It’s this humid air that causes nose and eye irritation in otherwise healthy people.
The benefits of using a humidifier are:
- Fights viruses and bacteria
- Relieve a stuffy noise
- Alleviates dry airways which cause snoring
- Clears nasal passages which can be irritated by allergens
- Will ease body and scalp itch
- Keeps skin moisturized which prevents acne and other skin breakouts
One of my main focuses is on keeping the nasal area congestion-free. Once this is relieved, for both adults and children, sleeping becomes much more comfortable. You can even add essential oils, which also helped to create a breathing and sleeping environment.
Some people experience respiratory symptoms in the summer months when the weather is hot, and the air contains more allergens. Air conditioners and fans can circulate dry air through the room, and air conditioners remove any moisture from the air. A humidifier may be beneficial during this season.
However, people are more likely to benefit from a humidifier in the cold months, when cold air dries out the lungs, nose, and lips. Also, some types of central heating can dry out the air indoors.
Source: Medical News Today
The thing about humidifiers is that they don’t have to be used when a person is feeling ill; they can be used at any time of the year to keep illness away.
My Final Thoughts On Alternatives To Over Counter Sleeping Aids
Sleep is so vital to our well-being, most of us will try whenever possible to get the sleep that we need. Even turning to over the counter sleeping aids, which can become addictive over time. Eventually, your body gets used and it will be necessary to take more than just one to make sleep happen.
To take our health seriously, which includes not having to use non-prescripted medication, is to use an alternative that helps to combat the issue that you are dealing with when you’re trying to go to sleep.
Creating a zen room is another way to get sleep naturally, have a read through our post, zen your bedroom to find some ideas on how to create a peaceful sleeping environment.
Let me know in comments below what is your preference when going to sleep, is it over the counter sleeping aids or a natural alternative.