Are you suffering from insomnia and struggling to find the proper substitute for your sleep disorder?
Many people take Ambien, or zolpidem, a non-benzodiazepine sedative-hypnotic, and central nervous system depressant, to treat insomnia. Although it works well for some, it may not fit everyone well. So what should you do if Ambien doesn’t work?
When managing sleep disorders like insomnia, Ambien is usually prescribed as the first line of treatment. But while Ambien can offer short-term relief to sufferers of sleeplessness, it may not prove effective in the long run.
If Ambien is ineffective for you or carries too many side effects, there are several alternative treatments available–both over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription–that could be more suitable. Before trying any substitute treatment, it is essential to consider the potential benefits and risks associated with using different sleep aids.
Ambien (zolpidem) is a non-benzodiazepine sedative-hypnotic, central nervous system depressant used to treat sleep disorders such as insomnia. No Ambien substitute is best for everyone because everyone’s needs are different. Ambien is prescribed to a person because it is deemed the best possible option. If Ambien proves ineffective for any reason, several alternatives may be more effective, including over the counter (OTC) and prescription medications. As with any substance, there are risk factors and potentially harmful side effects associated with using sleep aids, which increase exponentially when the substance is abused.
Over The Counter Alternatives
There are numerous over-the-counter sleep aids available. The Mayo Clinic offers the following examples of standard over-the-counter sleep aid options as well as prescription sleep aids:
- Diphenhydramine (Benadryl, Aleve PM, and other brands): Diphenhydramine is a sedating antihistamine. Daytime drowsiness, dry mouth, blurred vision, constipation, and urinary retention are possible side effects.
- Doxylamine (e.g., Unisom SleepMelts): Doxylamine is another sedating antihistamine. The side effects are similar to those of diphenhydramine.
- Melatonin: Melatonin is a hormone that regulates one’s natural sleep-wake cycle. Headaches and daytime sleepiness are possible side effects.
- Valerian: Valerian supplements are sometimes used as sleep aids. The efficacy remains debatable because only a few studies have found therapeutic benefits, while others have yet to.
To produce their sedative effects, most over-the-counter sleeping aid medications contain antihistamines.
Prescription Sleep Aid Alternatives
Two types of prescription sleeping pills are currently used to treat sleep disorders in the medical field; Benzodiazepines and non-benzodiazepines are examples of these. Benzodiazepines are medications that are used to treat anxiety disorders as well as sleep disorders. They function by interacting with the GABA neurotransmitter (gamma-Aminobutyric acid).
The medication works with neurons in the brain to suppress and calm electrical activity. Ativan (lorazepam) and Xanax are two well-known benzodiazepine medications (alprazolam). Sedative-hypnotic medications that are Non-benzodiazepines include Lunesta (eszopiclone) and Sonata (zaleplon). They also interact with GABA, but they primarily focus on and activate sleep-related receptors in the brain, as opposed to benzodiazepines, which also target anxiety. A medical professional will consider all specific risks related to the patient before prescribing an alternative sleep aid medication.
Melatonin is an over-the-counter medication for insomnia, other sleep issues, and jet lag. It’s a naturally occurring hormone produced by the pineal gland in the brain that helps regulate our sleep cycles. While melatonin doesn’t have the same soothing qualities as Ambien, it’s a good alternative if you’re looking for something milder and non-habit forming.
2. Valerian Root:
Valerian root is an herb often used to treat anxiety and insomnia. It can be taken as a supplement or tea but should be used with caution due to potential side effects such as nausea, dizziness, and headaches. Additionally, valerian root shouldn’t be mixed with other sedatives because it can increase the potency of its effects.
3. Lavender Essential Oil:
The lavender essential oil has been found to help those struggling with insomnia. Its light scent has a calming effect that promotes relaxation and lowers anxiety levels before bedtime; alternatively, lavender oil can also be mixed into bath water or directly applied on pulse points before sleep.
4. CBD Oil:
CBD oil is becoming increasingly popular amongst people who struggle with sleeping issues or have difficulty achieving restful sleep because of stress or chronic pain. Although this form of cannabis isn’t known to induce psychoactive effects, it does interact with body systems in various ways that help aid peaceful rest, such as relaxing muscles and calming anxious thoughts that may prevent someone from falling asleep when using Ambien fails them outright.
5 .Extended Release Quetiapine (Seroquel XR):
This prescription medicine works on multiple levels, including acting as an antidepressant and calming agent, which makes it ideal for treating conditions like depression and bipolar disorder, which can affect one’s sleep patterns significantly if left untreated, making it a viable option when Ambien fails to produce desired results on its own. Extended-release quetiapine is known for having fewer side effects than many other medications prescribed for sleep, so this might make it preferable over others but always speak with your doctor first before taking any drug or supplement..
6 . Chamomile Tea:
Known mainly as a digestive aid, chamomile tea has mild sedative properties that make it beneficial when trying to fall asleep or maintain restful sleep throughout the night after Ambien fails you; additionally, this herbal remedy helps reduce symptoms of depression which could contribute towards difficulty in achieving desired results while using drugs like Ambien.
7 . Herbal Supplement (Kava Kava):
Kava kava comes from the pepper plant found in Polynesia, which produces compounds that act similarly to benzodiazepines without producing addictive properties associated with drugs like Xanax or Valium, making them safer alternatives than synthetic ones; however, there could be potential risks involved, such as liver damage so one should always speak with their doctor first before using any supplement even those deemed “natural” remedies since there could still potentially be consequences even though they are considered relatively safe when compared against pharmaceuticals like ambiance..