How Can I Force Myself to Sleep? Medications That Can Help You Sleep

April 24, 2023

Are you having trouble sleeping? Are you feeling exhausted during the day? If so, medications may be able to help. This article will discuss some of the medications that can help you sleep, how they work, and any potential side effects. So, if you are looking for help sleeping, this is for you. However, before taking any medication, it is essential to consult your doctor for advice and to ensure that the medication will not interact with any other medications or medical conditions you may have.

Insomnia or difficulty sleeping is a common problem. And estimates show that over 20% of the adult population suffers from some degree of insomnia. Fortunately, there is a range of medications available to make it easier to fall asleep and stay asleep.

Sleep medication can either be:

Over-The-Counter medication- Over-the-counter sleep medications are medicines that you can buy without a prescription.

Prescription medication – These medications need to be prescribed by a doctor.

Natural Sleep Aids – Natural Sleep Aids are substances such as herbs, minerals, and vitamins that can help you sleep. Now let’s look at each type of medication in more detail.

Prescription Medication

For people with chronic insomnia, short-term use of prescription medications can help them get back on track with their sleep schedule. These include sedatives, hypnotics, and antidepressants. Let’s look at each category in more detail.


Sedative hypnotics are medications that induce calmness or sleep. They are common sleep medications and are generally used for the short-term treatment of insomnia.

Examples include the following:


Z-drugs are a newer class of sedative-hypnotics. These drugs act similarly to benzodiazepines in that they act on the GABA neurotransmitter, thus promoting relaxation and sleep. Examples of Z-drugs include:

-zolpidem (Ambien)

-eszopiclone (Lunesta)

-zaleplon (Sonata)

However, taking these drugs may come with some side effects, such as:




-Balance problems

Anti-anxiety Medication

Anti-anxiety medications can help reduce anxious thoughts that may keep you from sleeping. Here are a few examples:


Benzodiazepines are used to relieve anxiety and restlessness symptoms. These medications elicit their action by binding to the GABA (Gamma Amino Butyric Acid) receptors in the brain, which causes nerves to be less sensitive to stimuli.

The outcome is an overall relaxed feeling and in some cases, drowsiness. Common benzodiazepines include Valium (diazepam), Klonopin (clonazepam), and Xanax (alprazolam).

Common side effects of benzodiazepines include:

– The possibility of developing psychological and physiological dependence

-Effectiveness decreases with continued use

-dulling of cognitive function


Antidepressants elicit their action by causing the brain to slow down. This effectively makes the person drowsy, which can help them fall asleep. Examples of antidepressants that can be used to induce sleep include:




While these drugs are effective in helping a person sleep, they can have significant side effects and should only be used under the supervision of a physician.

For instance, some of the side effects associated with trazodone include:

-Nausea and vomiting

-Diarrhea or constipation

-Changes in weight or appetite

-Tiredness or weakness


-Dizziness or lightheadedness

Furthermore, antidepressants should not be used for more than a few weeks, as extended use can lead to dependency.

Over-the-Counter Medication

OTC medications are generally safe and non-addictive and are often used for the short-term treatment of insomnia.

Examples of OTC medications include:


Diphenhydramine is an antihistamine, a medication that induces drowsiness by blocking the action of histamine in the body.

Histamine is a neurotransmitter that helps regulate wakefulness, and when its effects are blocked, it can help you relax and get to sleep more easily.


Melatonin is a naturally occurring hormone that helps regulate sleep patterns. Therefore, taking melatonin supplements can help to reset your internal clock and promote better sleep.

However, this supplement usually takes several hours to achieve its full effect, so it is best to plan when taking melatonin.

Natural Sleep Aids

Some substances can help you relax and sleep without the risk of side effects or dependency.

Examples include:

-Ginkgo biloba

-Valerian root

-Chamomile tea


These substances work by calming the mind and body, allowing you to drift off into a deep, restful sleep. However, it’s essential to speak with your doctor before taking any natural sleep aids.

There are a variety of medications and natural remedies that can help promote better sleep. However, you must consult your doctor before taking any treatments, as some may have side effects or long-term risks. With the proper advice and assistance, you can find the best solution for improving your sleep quality.

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