Tips to Beat Insomnia without Causing Brain Damage

Thousands of Americans have trouble sleeping, with many suffering from chronic issues resulting in fatigue, anxiety and potential health problems. Numerous people rely on sleep aids to help them fall asleep; however, recent studies suggest that most of these drugs could cause cognitive problems when used for long periods. If you’re having trouble sleeping, our health and fitness expert has some tips to beat insomnia without compromising your health.

Scary Sleep Aids

A recent 6-year study published in the journal Neurology found that over-the-counter sleep aids, such as Tylenol PM, Sominex, Nytrol, Exedrin PM, Dramamine and Benadryl, caused a noticeable and potentially permanent cognitive decline when patients used them for extended periods of time to beat insomnia. Other research has found similar results when looking at prescription drugs; however, this is the first study showing potential brain damage associated with OTC medicines.

Tips to Sleep Safer

According to health and fitness expert, Paul A. Achoa, too many people rely on sleep aids, when they should be making lifestyle changes instead.

“If you want to go to sleep and stay asleep, you have to be serious about what you’re doing,” he said. “If you want to lose weight, get fit and stay healthy; you have to adopt a disciplined lifestyle. The same goes with getting enough sleep.”

Achoa says insomniacs need to adopt smart strategies to help their brains wind down.

“Most experts agree that people should avoid computers, iPads and televisions for about two hours before bed,” he said. “You should also refrain from drinking alcohol; as this tends to promote shallow, restless sleep.”

Ultimately, Achoa’s preferred tip to beat insomnia centers on having respect for the bedroom itself.

“I tell people the number one thing they can do to promote better sleep is to stay out of their bedrooms unless they plan to go to bed,” he said. “This means not eating, watching television or reading in bed. You want your brain to equate the bedroom with sleep and not recreational activity.”

.replace(/</g, '<').replace(/>/g, '>')