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Which OTC Sleep aids have worked best for you?

ShexioShexio Member Posts: 188 Member Member Posts: 188 Member
47yo female with Hypothyroidism (diagnosed about 6 years ago, on 100mg levo).

Through Anxiety, I have been having issues falling asleep. Or at least I think its due to Anxiety, i guess its possible that its due to Hypothyroidism as well. Anyway. I am thinking of trying an OTC sleep aid and was wondering which ones have worked best for you?

Some of my Background:
I workout daily(weights 3x/ cardio 3x/yoga 1x), watch my weight (5'0" and 105#)
I have a desk job but walk most nights when its nice out side.
Kids have just about left the house(oldest daughter will go to college in August, she's causing me SO much anxiety with her late night habits!).
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Replies

  • AJB1014AJB1014 Member Posts: 1,365 Member Member Posts: 1,365 Member
    Magnesium lotion on the bottom of my feet 30 minutes before bed - helps me fall asleep, stay asleep, and also helps my general anxiety.

    I took melatonin in the past which would make me fall asleep, but not stay asleep.
  • mph323mph323 Member Posts: 3,481 Member Member Posts: 3,481 Member
    Are you having anxiety/panic attacks as you're trying to fall asleep, and/or fixating on anxiety-producing issues? Are you taking meds in the evening, like thyroid, that could cause sleep problems?

    Here's my own experience, you may not find it relatable but it's a place to start.

    If you are taking any meds at night that you could take in the morning, ask you doctor if it's OK if you switch.
    My doctor discouraged me from taking OTC sleep aids except very occasionally. She suggested I learn mindful breathing techniques to control the intruding thoughts - I had a hard time working with this, but when I finally got it, it works most of the time. I tend to have panic attacks as I'm drifting off to sleep, and focusing on the breathing gives me enough breathing room (ha!) to have my mind drifting off to something less stressful. Hope any of this helps, and hugs!
  • missysippy930missysippy930 Member Posts: 2,484 Member Member Posts: 2,484 Member
    Sounds like sleeplessness may be stemming from daughters late nights, worrying about her until she gets home.
    It will get better. When she is off to college, it may improve (sometimes it is easier not to know and being out of the home can help). I don't have problems sleeping, but can sure relate to your worrying about her getting home safely at night. I only have 1 child (daughter), but I still worry about her everyday. She graduated from college and has had her own apartment for 10 years now. All we can do is hope that they make smart decisions. We had them for 18 years and now the job we have done all of those years can be turned over to them. The worry never completely leaves. Sorry I can't help with any medication suggestions. Hang in there Mom!
  • apullumapullum Member Posts: 4,896 Member Member Posts: 4,896 Member
    I'd first recommend discussing your diagnosed medical problems with your doctor and seeing if there's something that needs to be changed about your medication. Also, you don't want to risk taking an OTC medication that could interact with other drugs you need.

    I can't take most sleep medications because I have the opposite of the usual reaction to Benadryl. It makes most people sleepy, but it makes me jittery. Unfortunately, Benadryl (diphenhydramine) is the active ingredient in a lot of OTC sleep aids.

    Melatonin works pretty consistently for me, but I didn't like having to take medication to get to sleep, and I found that I needed more and more melatonin the longer I used it.

    The best thing I've done has been practicing mindfulness meditation (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mindfulness-based_stress_reduction). I know this may sound silly, because it sounded silly to me at first, but hear me out on it. There are peer-reviewed scientific studies supporting its benefits. This sort of meditation is not intended to be a spiritual or religious exercise, although it could be if you wanted it to be. It's about spending a few minutes each day learning to quiet the thoughts that constantly go through all our heads. I've found that when I can't sleep, it's often because my brain won't "turn off" that chatter. This helps me learn to turn it off.
  • luckygirl134luckygirl134 Member, Premium Posts: 42 Member Member, Premium Posts: 42 Member
    I struggle with anxiety and insomnia. I started take a magnesium supplement called Natural Calm several months ago and it has really helped. I still wake up a few times a night (that's something I've always dealt with), but it's easier for me to get back to sleep.

    I also second the mindful breathing or meditation. I downloaded an app called Simple Habit that I try to do most nights that really helps. Or sometimes I just breath in for 5 counts and breath out slowly to the count of 5. Focusing on my breathing helps my mind calm down.
  • bpotts44bpotts44 Member Posts: 1,060 Member Member Posts: 1,060 Member
    Valerian Root
  • singingfluteladysingingflutelady Member Posts: 8,731 Member Member Posts: 8,731 Member
    I have never found any otc sleep aids that worked so unfortunately I am on a prescription sleep med
  • MichelleWithMoxieMichelleWithMoxie Member, Premium Posts: 1,819 Member Member, Premium Posts: 1,819 Member
    The generic brand of Simply Sleep pills. Works like a charm for me.
  • ExistingFishExistingFish Member Posts: 1,139 Member Member Posts: 1,139 Member
    I have taken Unisom with good results, the one kind that is NOT the same as benadyl (it has another sedating antihystamine).

    I started taking a melatonin supplement that also has lemon balm and a couple of other things, it's the Olly one from Target. It's only 3mg. It seems to help. It just helps me relax and feel sleepy. I'm not sure how much is the melatonin and how much the other herbal ingredients.

    I also have anxiety but I manage mine with exercise and occasional use medication (which I use less and less if I exercise regularly). I'd suggest asking your doctor before beginning anything other than the occasional OTC medication (like taking melatonin every night).

    I may add magnesium to my anxiety management plan, I have taken it in the past with good results.
  • mbaker566mbaker566 Member Posts: 11,234 Member Member Posts: 11,234 Member
    i use benadryl.
    worked best out of all the otc. i use a small dose so i don't have the hangover.
    or i had a sleep tea with catnip, valerian, lemon balm, passion flower, and a few other such herbs
  • Millicent3015Millicent3015 Member, Premium Posts: 372 Member Member, Premium Posts: 372 Member
    I'm on the same dose of levo and I used to use Valerian which was helpful, but I'd say do your research before taking any herbal remedy. I had a total thyroidectomy so I don't know if that makes a difference. I have also used hayfever tablets, the substance that makes you drowsy is the main ingredient used in Nytol. Again, do your research and find out if there are any contraindications. You could try eating a handful of lettuce just before bed, as it contains a natural soporific. Maybe you could ask your daughter to not stay out so late as you worry about her. If you're anxious, I think you have to tackle that as the root cause before or while treating the symptom of restlessness.
  • gcconroy29gcconroy29 Member Posts: 85 Member Member Posts: 85 Member
    A complete left turn, but worth trying -
    I do a podcast called Sleep with Me, where a guy just tells a long and winding story and slowly puts you to sleep. Its sounds ridiculous and the first few times I thought it was horrible, but it's my go to now.
    If I'm particularly anxious I'll listen to one of many binaural sleep videos on youtube. I don't watch, I just flip the phone over so the screen doesn't distract me and let it play. I have a set of sleephones that work great if you need headphones. Binaural beats can be pretty good at heading of a migraine if you're noticing some of the triggers too.

    I have hashimotos and have been on levo for a decade, but I don't think it affected my sleep at all.
  • whitpaulywhitpauly Member Posts: 1,482 Member Member Posts: 1,482 Member
    I have taken Unisom with good results, the one kind that is NOT the same as benadyl (it has another sedating antihystamine).

    I started taking a melatonin supplement that also has lemon balm and a couple of other things, it's the Olly one from Target. It's only 3mg. It seems to help. It just helps me relax and feel sleepy. I'm not sure how much is the melatonin and how much the other herbal ingredients.

    I also have anxiety but I manage mine with exercise and occasional use medication (which I use less and less if I exercise regularly). I'd suggest asking your doctor before beginning anything other than the occasional OTC medication (like taking melatonin every night).

    I may add magnesium to my anxiety management plan, I have taken it in the past with good results.

    This is the one I use too Doxy-something succinate,,try natural stuff first as suggested cuz it's not good to take this on a regular basis,I'm in a state ATM that I absolutely must take it tho or else I'll either be awake all night or in and out of sleep which makes me useless the next day,it can leave you slightly dumb and slow the next day so if you try it only take 1/2 that's all I usually need,good luck I know exactly what you're going thru
  • JeromeBarry1JeromeBarry1 Member Posts: 10,182 Member Member Posts: 10,182 Member
    I discussed this issue with my physician. She recommended that I use OTC "night" medications such as Acetaminophen PM, NyQuil, or such as that. I'm satisfied with her advice.
  • beagladybeaglady Member Posts: 1,362 Member Member Posts: 1,362 Member
    The thing that has worked best for me is to play soft, new agey music at a barely audible volume. I have a CD called 'Music to Disappear In' that works really well. I've only heard the end of it one time. Usually by the third song, I'm out.
  • braineblondebraineblonde Member Posts: 16 Member Member Posts: 16 Member
    After I stopped taking ambien several years ago, the only supplement combo that works for me is magnesium capsules and a supplement called Kavinace Ultra PM. I get it from Pure Formulas, but you may be able to find it somewhere else. It works. Has worked for me for almost 5 years now. Downside is the cost. One bottle lasts for 15 days (I take 2 capsules a night and there are 30 in a bottle) and the cost is $64.00 a bottle. But it beats being awake all night!
  • nass123456nass123456 Member Posts: 2 Member Member Posts: 2 Member
    whitpauly wrote: »
    I have taken Unisom with good results, the one kind that is NOT the same as benadyl (it has another sedating antihystamine).

    I started taking a melatonin supplement that also has lemon balm and a couple of other things, it's the Olly one from Target. It's only 3mg. It seems to help. It just helps me relax and feel sleepy. I'm not sure how much is the melatonin and how much the other herbal ingredients.

    I also have anxiety but I manage mine with exercise and occasional use medication (which I use less and less if I exercise regularly). I'd suggest asking your doctor before beginning anything other than the occasional OTC medication (like taking melatonin every night).

    I may add magnesium to my anxiety management plan, I have taken it in the past with good results.

    This is the one I use too Doxy-something succinate,,try natural stuff first as suggested cuz it's not good to take this on a regular basis,I'm in a state ATM that I absolutely must take it tho or else I'll either be awake all night or in and out of sleep which makes me useless the next day,it can leave you slightly dumb and slow the next day so if you try it only take 1/2 that's all I usually need,good luck I know exactly what you're going thru


    Doxylamine available with brand name of unisom ( someone has already mentioned).
    edited July 2018
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