Peter Hibberd, M.D., is a doctor whose advice is based on more than 28 years of hospital outpatient and inpatient experience. He is an experienced emergency medicine physician, surgeon, and consultant. Dr. Hibberd is certified by the American Board of Emergency Medicine. He is also a fellow and active member of the American Academy of Family Physicians, an active member of the American College of Emergency Physicians, and a member and fellow of the American Academy of Emergency Medicine. Dr. Hibberd has earned numerous national and international professional certifications, memberships, and awards.
Tags: natural | sleep | remedies | pills

Are Natural Sleep Remedies Better Than Pills?

By    |   Friday, 18 October 2013 10:24 AM

Question: Are over-the-counter sleep remedies better than sleeping pills?  Should I choose natural supplements?

Dr. Hibberd's answer:
Sleep medications are generally intended for short-term use. Many are habit forming and long-term use of medications for sleep, whether by prescription or not, are poor choices for most of us. Sleep is a very complex period of "brain refreshing" and is required to maintain normal brain function.
Using medications to suppress brain activity can do little to enhance our overall health, so try to focus on periodic use, not regular use, of sleep aids. Many non-prescription remedies rely on the drowsy side effects of various substances to produce "sleep aid," but often interact with other medications.
Non-prescription medications not approved by the Food and Drug Administration are often not tested for safety or effectiveness. I do not believe self-prescription of sleep remedies is harmless, and you would be wise to seek professional guidance here.

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Sleeping pills are generally intended for short-term use and long-term sleeping problems should be evaluated by a professional.
Friday, 18 October 2013 10:24 AM
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