Hello, my 14 year old son has a hard time sleeping and we don't believe in using pills, plus he has a hard time taking them. We have also tried teas, etc. Is there anything we could do?
Doctors Answers (4)
Natural remedies for insomnia are on shelves of every drug store. Some are reasonably safe and some work for some people. The over the counter agents are often mixed with diphenhydramine (Benadryl) which suppresses REM sleep, aggravates restless legs and has a long half life leading to a hangover effect the next day. Studies have shown that the effect on driving after taking Benadryl are the same as after drinking alcohol. FDA approved hypnotic agents are designed to be out of your system in time to be awake in the morning. Unfortunately, the perfect sleeping pill has not yet be developed. This would be a medication that works rapidly, lasts all night and is totally out the system when you awaken. The FDA approved medications, however, are often safer than many of the over the counter agents and safer than other drugs which are not approved for but often prescribed for insomnia. (trazodone, other antidepressants, antipsychotics, anticonvulsants, etc.)
SomnoDiagnostics is not suggesting the following medications. Commonly used and advertised natural remedies for Insomnia would include Melatonin and Sleepy Time Tea. Melatonin is typically sold in a tablet form. It is always best to see a Board Certified Sleep Specialist to determine if there are other underlying problems. It would be considered irregular for a 14 year old to have Insomnia.
You can try Valerian Root. It's a natural supplement that can make people feel more relaxed.
Natural cures for insomnia are available. One is drinking warm milk; this contains melatonin. Others could be yoga, meditation, reiki(a Japanese stress reducer) and behavior modification therapy. Also, limiting caffeinated drinks/foods 3 hours before bedtime can also help. Limiting exercise before bedtime can sometimes be helpful.