Sleep medication is less
effective when taken regularly because the body can develop a
tolerance to it. It is best to rely on having a regular nightly
routine that includes cues such as bathing or showering, changing
into bedtime clothing, and brushing your teeth at about the same
time each night. When needed, the best choice of sleep medication
is one with a quick onset and short duration.
Sedating anti-depressants are an exception
to this rule. They are helpful for people who have insomnia due
to depression. In fact, while some sedating anti-depressants may
take several weeks to begin to have an effect on sleep, they may
be taken for years to improve symptoms of depression including
Over-the-counter medications, however,
can have undesirable side effects such as daytime drowsiness,
unclear thinking, and a dry mouth. Always consult your physician
regarding sleep medications.