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General Practice 2023

Remédies to sleep: natural and farmácia

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Remédies to sleep: natural and farmácia
Remédies to sleep: natural and farmácia

There are several treatment options for those who have difficulty sleeping, such as natural remedies such as valerian, passionflower or chamomile, over-the-counter remedies such as melatonin or doxylamine, or hypnotics and sedatives, which are prescribed by the doctor last feature, when no other method works.

To improve sleep, one should always focus on he althy habits, such as good nutrition, regular exercise and relaxation techniques over medication. Learn how to cure insomnia without taking medication.

Natural Sleep Remedies

Natural remedies should be the first choice when you have trouble sleeping. Examples of options that can help improve sleep are:

1. Valerian

Valerian root has a tranquilizing action, reduces anxiety and improves sleep quality. Discover all the benefits of this plant.

Valerian is a widely used plant, which can be found in various supplements, such as Valdorm, Valerimed, Valmane or Calman, for example. The recommended dose ranges from 45 to 450 mg, approximately 30 minutes before bedtime.

2. Chamomile

Chamomile is a plant that helps to calm, relax and reduce stress and anxiety, which are often factors that cause insomnia. To enjoy its benefits, you can drink tea before bed. See how to prepare chamomile tea and what other benefits it can have.

3. Lavender

Lavender is a violet flowering plant, very easy to find, which has numerous benefits. To help you fall asleep and improve sleep quality, just smell a few drops of lavender essential oil for about 30 minutes before bed.

In addition, you can also make a pillow scented with lavender or a mixture of herbs and use it overnight. See how to make a scented pillow.

4. Passionflower

Passiflora is a plant widely used in insomnia, anxiety and other disorders of the central nervous system, due to its composition rich in flavonoids and alkaloids, which reduce motor activity, have sedative, anxiolytic and antispasmodic action and help to prolong sleep.

Passiflora can be found alone or in combination with other herbal medicines, in supplements such as Pasalix, Passiflorine, Ritmoneuran, Tensart or Calman, for example or in tea form. In the case of supplements, the recommended dose can vary from about 100 to 200 mg before bedtime.

5. Lemon balm

Lemon balm is a plant with calming properties that improve sleep quality. To enjoy these benefits, just make a tea with its leaves. See how to prepare lemon balm tea and what other he alth benefits it has.

Watch the following video and see more examples of natural tranquilizers that help reduce anxiety and help you sleep better:

Non-prescription pharmacy drugs

If none of the natural methods are effective in improving sleep, you can opt for pharmacy remedies, which do not need a prescription to be purchased. However, its use should not be abused and it is best to talk to a doctor before taking it.

1. Melatonin

Melatonin is a substance produced by the body itself, whose function is to regulate the circadian rhythm, making it work normally. Melatonin production is controlled by exposure to cycles of light and dark, being stimulated at dusk and inhibited during the day.

Thus, taking exogenous melatonin can help with sleep disorders and circadian rhythm disturbances, such as people with jet lag, working night shifts, or suffering from psychiatric disorders.In these situations, melatonin aims to re-synchronize these cycles, simultaneously exerting a hypnotic and sedative effect, thus promoting sleep induction and maintenance.

The recommended dose of melatonin ranges from 1 to 2 mg, and a doctor's prescription may be required to purchase higher doses. Learn more about the he alth benefits of melatonin.

2. Antihistamines

Doxylamine is a medicine that has a strong antihistamine action and can be used in sporadic situations, in which the person has difficulty falling asleep or maintaining a continuous sleep. The recommended dose of doxylamine ranges from 12 to 25 mg and should be taken about half an hour before bedtime.

To avoid undesirable side effects the next day, such as tiredness, drowsiness or headache, the person should sleep at least 8 hours.

Pharmaceutical medicines that need a prescription

These medicines, called hypnotics and sedatives, should be the last option to help you sleep and should be avoided whenever possible, because they usually cause dependence, tolerance, drug interactions, can mask other problems or even cause rebound effect.

1. Benzodiazepines

The benzodiazepines most indicated for the treatment of insomnia are estazolam, flurazepam (Dalmadorm) and temazepam. The dosage depends on the person, the severity of insomnia and should always be recommended by the doctor.

2. Non-benzodiazepines

These drugs are newer and have fewer side effects than benzodiazepines and a lower risk of dependence, however, they should also be used with caution and under medical supervision. Those most commonly prescribed are zaleplon (Sonata) and zolpidem (Stilnox), for example.

3. Melatonin analogues

Rozerem is a sleeping medication, which contains ramelteone, a substance that is able to bind to melatonin receptors in the brain and cause an effect similar to that of this hormone, which helps to fall asleep and maintain a relaxing and quality sleep.

The recommended dose is 1 tablet of 8 mg, approximately 30 minutes before going to sleep.

How to use medicines safely

During treatment with drugs that help you sleep, you should avoid drinking alcoholic beverages or other sedative drugs close to the time of intake, you should sleep at least 8 hours, to avoid waking up with drowsiness the next day and never take an extra dose in the middle of the night.

Furthermore, one should always start treatment with the lowest possible dose, avoid frequent use as much as possible, and do not drive or operate machinery while the drug is in effect.

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