Trouble sleeping is something that can throw a wrench into every area of your life. It’s a common problem, too, with somewhere from 50 to 70 million people in the United States having some kind of sleep disorder.
Fortunately, there are a number of over-the-counter methods to address difficulties sleeping. Two of the most common sleep-aids are melatonin and Benadryl. We’re going to take a look at melatonin vs. Benadryl, giving you a better idea of which could work for you.
Let’s get started so you can start getting better sleep!
Melatonin vs. Benadryl: Which One is Right for You?
The first thing to address in your search for better sleep is the root cause and the set of symptoms that you’re experiencing.
You might find yourself tossing and turning at night and just make the determination that you have trouble sleeping and you need some help. A closer look can show you the finer points of your struggle and reveal what the potential cause might be.
It could be that you’re not getting the right nutrients in your diet or that your schedule is throwing curveballs into your circadian rhythms. There are a number of issues that can contribute to sleep difficulties, some of them chronic.
Melatonin and Benadryl can certainly help anyone who’s trying to get some sleep, but there are some issues that require further medical attention. If you’re suspicious that your sleep issues run a little deeper than over-the-counter medications can go, it’s best to seek out professional help.
The Benefits of Melatonin
Melatonin, in addition to being a medication in pill form, is one of our bodies’ primary sleep hormones. It operates to control a person’s sleep-wake cycle and ideally comes on when it starts to get dark and releases in the morning.
Modern life holds a number of obstacles to the natural production and release of melatonin. Whether you’re jet-lagged from a long flight or you have the habit of looking at a screen right before bed, melatonin can get thrown out of whack.
Our body takes information from the outside world and interprets it in order to produce the right chemicals and hormones at the right time. The tricky thing is that, for example, the light from a cell phone can seem a lot like sunlight as we try to go to bed.
The body takes that as a queue and holds back on the production of melatonin.
If you’re thrown into an unusual sleep cycle for whatever reason, taking melatonin can help to reset your circadian rhythm. You’ll find that an hour or so after you take the medication, you’re drifting off into a really heavy, deep sleep.
When to Take Melatonin
Melatonin can be helpful to those who find themselves slipping into an unhealthy sleep cycle. Additionally, you might try melatonin supplements if you have a sudden life change like starting on the night shift at work, for example.
It can be used for other sleep issues as well, but a lasting intake of melatonin could have adverse effects on hormone production in certain people. You have a number of options in terms of products as well. You could try an over-the-counter option or explore something more refined like SugarBear melatonin.
The Benefits of Benadryl
Benadryl isn’t a strict sleep aid. It’s an antihistamine used to treat a number of uncomfortable symptoms brought on by sicknesses. Symptoms like sneezing, itching, sniffling, and watery eyes can all be addressed by taking Benadryl.
Histamine is a natural chemical that’s produced in the body to fight some illnesses. Viruses, colds, and similar illnesses can all lead to a histamine response. Benadryl simply works to reduce that response and, consequently, limit the seriousness of symptoms that you experience while fighting that illness.
Because it is a pharmaceutical drug, Benadryl comes along with a few more potential complications than melatonin. Melatonin, while existing as a pharmaceutical, is naturally occurring in the body so there aren’t as many issues that come from its use.
One side effect of Benadryl is that it makes a person sleepy. Drowsiness, fogginess, and even dizziness can come with the use of this medication. Those symptoms come in handy when a person is sick and trying to get some rest.
They’re not as useful, though, when you’re driving, trying to work, or still have some responsibilities to take care of during the day. Further, you should ask your doctor about whether or not your body will handle the drug well.
Those with difficulties in the areas of digestion, the liver, heart disease, blood pressure, the thyroid, and more should consult with a professional before taking Benadryl.
When to Take Benadryl
Benadryl should be taken when you have some kind of virus that’s triggering a histamine response. In other words, take it when you’re having bad allergies, or a cold is making your eyes water and your throat scratch.
In those instances, take the drug closer to bedtime than you might want to. It can make you very tired, drowsy, and unable to operate a car or take care of certain tasks.
It might not be the best idea to take Benadryl as a regular sleep aid, though. If you’re having an impossible time sleeping and the only thing you have to help is Benadryl, it could help you if you already know that your body response well to the drug.
The best move would be to run out and grab some other kind of sleep aid the next day, though. A long-term relationship with Benadryl could help your sleep, but your body might respond poorly and develop issues in other areas.
Another thing to mention is that you should not give Benadryl to children under 2 years old. The drug has long been used to help put children to sleep, but it turns out that this isn’t always the safest method to get kids to bed.
Need More Sleep Help?
Hopefully, your difficulties with sleep can be addressed by one of the products discussed above. The debate of melatonin vs. Benadryl should be decided by whether you’re trying to reset your sleep cycle or you’re feeling sick and are kept up by your symptoms.
If you’re still wondering how to get some sleep, we’re here to help. Explore our site for more insight into medications and methods for getting back into a healthy cycle.