Chronic pain and insomnia often go hand in hand. And sleep problems can make pain even worse. Set a good sleep routine. If you still have problems, ask your doctor about sleep medication.
When You Can't Sleep
If you can't sleep, trying to will yourself to sleep won't work. Give yourself 15 minutes. Then, if you're still awake, get up and do something else. Read a book. Take a bath. Listen to music. Once you feel yourself getting tired, get back into bed.
OTC Sleep Aids
The most common OTC sleep aid is diphenhydramine, an antihistamine. It usually has a relaxing effect that makes you feel drowsy. But talk to your doctor first. Antihistamines can cause dry mouth and nausea. People with problems like glaucoma, heart disease, or lung disease shouldn't take them. Many doctors don't recommend these pills as sleep aids.
Rx Sleeping Pills
If you have good sleep habits and you still can't get a good night's sleep, talk to your doctor. The doctor can check for health problems that may be keeping you up. And the doctor can prescribe sleeping pills for a short time if needed. There are many different types of sleeping pills. Ask your doctor which type you should consider.
Side Effects of Meds
Benzodiazepines like flurazepam (Dalmane), temazepam (Restoril), or triazolam (Halcion) can be used for short-term relief of insomnia. But they can interfere with REM sleep and may cause dependence, daytime drowsiness, and trouble with memory.
Newer sleep medicines such as eszopiclone (Lunesta), zaleplon (Sonata), and zolpidem (Ambien) have fewer side effects. They are also less likely to be habit- forming. Rarely, they may cause sleep-walking, sleep-eating, or sleep-driving.