Sleep, OTC Sleep Aids and Mag-a-hol (don’t drink it!)
Sleep is really important. But it’s really hard to get for some people.
If you’re having trouble sleeping, do you take a sleep aid? When I need something, I sometimes use Nature’s Made 3mg melatonin with L-theanine. Many people use Benedryl because it makes them tired. The active ingredient in Benedryl is Diphenhydramine HCl 25 mg. If you’ve been sold on Nyquil’s new product Z-Quil, you should know that it’s actually the exact same active ingredient, except 50mg of it. Generic sleep aid products are also the same thing, for example Target sells one for as little as $5.99.
So you’re getting the same active ingredients, and you might as well pick the least expensive one. Better yet, pick the least expensive one AND the one with the fewest artificial colors or any other added ingredients (read the inactive ingredients to know what those are). Even better, see if you can make some lifestyle changes to improve your sleep like keeping your phone in another room on silent and using a traditional alarm clock instead, not eating within two hours of bed time, cutting out caffeine in the evenings (and possibly after lunch), not watching tv right before bed or at least not watching the news (I don’t even have a tv in my bedroom), journaling to help get those pesky thoughts out of your brain and keeping your bedroom cool and as dark as possible.
Keep in mind that new studies are coming out linking chronic antihistamine use to dementia as we age, and check out this article from Huff Post about OTC sleep aids. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/03/23/zzzquil-ingredients_n_6902780.html
There are natural ways to help yourself sleep, like taking daily magnesium. You can also use magnesium oil to help your body relax. Spray or rub it on the bottom of your feet or on your adrenal glands (just above the kidneys). Some people find this works without having to take anything orally, and since magnesium aids over 300 bodily functions, it’s a win-win for your body.
Here is a recipe for Mag-a-hol, a liquid form of magnesium that can be applied to the skin, which absorbs much of what we put on it. It can be particularly useful for those with digestive issues, gastric stasis or gastric paresis.