Those suffering from insomnia are often willing to try all types of remedies including herbal treatments and the use of certain over the counter medications. One popular choice for use in an attempt to treat insomnia is antihistamines. But is this medication a good choice to treat persistent insomnia?
On the Mayo Clinic Web site, sleep specialist Dr. Timothy Morgenthaler says no. While antihistamines can help you fall asleep, they are not recommended for use over an extended period of time.
One reason is that tolerance to the effects of antihistamines that induce drowsiness can come on very quickly. The pills might help you fall asleep at first, but soon you will need to increase the dosage in order to achieve the same effects.
This danger exists no matter the source of antihistamines. Many do not realize that most over the counter sleeping pills contain antihistamines. Many who take such pills can attest to the fact that when they first started taking the pills, one or two would help them fall asleep. Before long, however, they were taking several pills just to be able to fall asleep.
That is why it is not recommended that you take antihistamines, in any form, to help you sleep for more than one or two nights in a row. Instead, you should look for other solutions besides taking antihistamines for insomnia.
If possible, try sticking to a strict daily schedule including going to bed and getting up at the same time each day. This will help to set your body’s clock to know when it is time to sleep.
Avoid drinking coffee and other drinks that contain caffeine. Also, exercise and a change in your diet to include more healthy choices can sometimes help with insomnia.
If you have a lot of stress in your life, that can also contribute to insomnia. If you are unable to manage your stress, you should consider seeing a therapist for some help.
If your insomnia is ongoing, it is important to see your doctor. He will be able to conduct a sleep study that may provide some insight into the causes of your insomnia.
While not necessarily something to panic about, insomnia can be a symptom of an underlying medical condition and should not be ignored. Also, the effects of not sleeping can be harmful to your overall good health.
So, yes, using products containing antihistamines for insomnia may be effective. Still, they should only be used occasionally, such as when traveling and never for more than a couple of nights in a row.
Of course, you should not take any medication without first consulting with your doctor. This is especially true if you have any type of medical condition or if you are already taking other prescription or over the counter medications on a regular basis.