What are sleeping pills, exactly? And how do they work? Well, there are lots of prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) drugs that are designed to treat insomnia and help you get more zzz's. Even just glancing at the list might feel overwhelming! This guide, below, may help you decide with your doctor which ones are best for treating the kind—and severity—of insomnia that you are experiencing.
Even OTC treatments should be used under a doctor’s supervision, especially since matching the right treatment to the right individual is complex. And you may want to first try lifestyle changes, such as improving your sleep habits, exercising daily, or trying cognitive behavior therapy, since sleep drugs can cause side effects, including next-day drowsiness, rebound insomnia, dependency and abuse.