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Sleep Aids and Insomnia: Do They Work?

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It is true about age and getting older, that, the older one becomes the more likely insomnia will happen more often. It will happen to most as one gets older but it can happen at all ages due to stress, jobs, relationships, kids, unexpected situations and so on.

So, it is then you reach for the sleep aids that will help you relax and fall asleep. They don't always work at shutting down your brain thoughts no matter how hard your try (in fact, the more you tell yourself to relax and go to sleep, the more you remain awake!).

When shopping for sleep aids, the common thread among all of the OTC products is Melatonin. Most have 1-5 mg with a combination of various herbal remedies to help you relax. When purchased in a combination pill, they can be overly expensive, so I tend to buy the key ingredients separately. Another sleep aid is in Benadryl or similar pills containing Diphenhydramine (also in liquid form). Taking one 25 mg pill will have no effect, so most dosage is two pills, which sometimes work. Taking three pills is the maximum.

What Are the Common Herbs?

Many OTC aids will have any of the following known for their relaxation powers, depending on the milligrams per tablet:

  1. Valerian Root
  2. Ashwagandha
  3. Astragalus
  4. Lemon balm
  5. Rhodiola Rosea

In addition to the above, Magnesium (250+mg per tablet) is often another component to help one sleep.

There are some gummie sleep aids with CBD (Cannabidiol) hemp extract injected into gummies. These do not have the THC that makes one high when smoking marijuana, but do have the hemp oil that does relax. The problem is that it is unregulated so the quality is subjective. One cannot be sure that every gummie contains 25 mg of CBD. If you want THC in the gummie, one needs to be sure it is a Full Spectrum CBD gummie, all others do not have THC. CBD gummies are also expensive.

What Is Best For You?

That is the key question. Everyone is different. For myself, the CBD gummies did not seem to do much for the cost. Sometimes taking Benadryl with two tabs does work, but it bothers me when I take it too often even though there are no residual effects. After some experimentation, what works for me is:

  1. Magnesium-250mg tab
  2. Valerian Root- 1200 mg tab
  3. Melatonin- 10mg
  4. Ashwagandha (500 mg tab) OR Astragalus (1500 mg)

I buy the tabs separately as you get more for your money IMO. Within about 45 minutes, I am quite relaxed and it does help turn off my mind and sleep. I will say the duration is for a few hours and the effects seem to be gone to some extant. If I need a booster, I will then take an additional tab from #4. I have also noticed my sleep is deeper and dreams are more frequent. When I awake, there is no residue.

My combination may be too strong or weak for you, but it is worth a try. Zzzzzz.