Insomnia and Antihistamines: Self Medicating with Allergy Medicines (and a Better Alternative)

//Insomnia and Antihistamines: Self Medicating with Allergy Medicines (and a Better Alternative)

Insomnia and Antihistamines: Self Medicating with Allergy Medicines (and a Better Alternative)

Between 50 and 70 million1 Americans will have their bedside lamps burning late tonight, reading to try and lull their minds into slumber. Or they will twist themselves and their bed sheets into knots of frustration, counting down the hours they have left to try and rest before having to drag themselves out of bed for another day spent in an exhausted, zombie-like twilight state. So goes the lifestyle of an insomniac.

I know first hand about this.

So it came as no surprise to me when I read that people were using antihistamines like Benadryl to induce drowsiness. Logically, it makes sense. If the allergy medicine works, why not? It’s safe, it’s simple, and best – it’s an over-the-counter quick fix – no doctors involved. Boom. Problem solved.

Except… Not.

          ways to treat insomnia

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, and truly, in this article I’m not (when you read further you’ll see why). But in the case of antihistamines vs. insomniacs everywhere, the original quick fix and “no long-term side effects” verdict is looking shakier and more complex by the moment.

Diphenhydramines2 and doxylamine succinate3 are both antihistamines found in such over the counter drugs as Benadryl, Unisom Sleep Tabs, Sominex, Nytol, and Zzzquil. For short term relief from allergies, this works quite well, with the side effect of making you groggy. Thus, insomniacs everywhere jumped to self dose. But here’s the rub: research states that the body adapts to these drugs rather quickly (meaning that it stops working or you need more and more to get the same effect). On the surface of it, many will say, “So what if I’m groggy the next day? I’ll just have another cup of coffee.”

Well, (sigh), there’s more. Many of these over the counter meds are also typically anticholinergics – that is, they actively block neurotransmitters in the brain related to learning and memory4. And this is where it gets serious.

The Journal of the American Medical Association5 reports research that now strongly points to increased risk of dementia for those who use anticholinergics regularly and long term. Especially at risk are the elderly. The study does cite limitations due to the fact that the population studied was entirely geriatric – but in the journal author’s own words, “Given the devastating consequences of dementia, informing older adults… would allow them to choose alternative products and collaborate with their health care professionals to minimize overall anticholinergic use.”

So. It boils down to this twisted, no-win little irony: if you’re under 65 years old and struggling to sleep at night, do you gamble your future short term with straight-up insomnia – as in, “I’m so exhausted right now, I don’t care if I lose my job.” – or do you gamble your future long term, as in “If I self-medicate now, will I wind up with dementia?”

Currently, alternatives to over the counter drugs include relaxation exercises, guided mediations, and cognitive behavioral therapies like sleep hygiene practices. There is talk therapy to uncover the darker parts of the psyche regarding beliefs about sleep. There is valerian, and the cycle-regulating melatonin. And there are pharmaceutical drugs, which most certainly have unwanted and serious side effects – including dementia – not to mention that they can be addictive. It’s why insomniacs opt for antihistamines in the first place.

But there is hope.

Remember when I said that I used to suffer from insomnia too? Well, I don’t any more, and I’d like to share with you what worked for me.

It didn’t involve drugs – either over the counter or prescription – and it didn’t involve any kind of tactics or practices. Further, it had only positive side effects, like improved health and a calmer mind. And I slept. I slept deeply, and woke up refreshed, rejuvenated, and full of wonder because frankly, I’d forgotten what real sleep felt like. So what did I do to finally get past my insomnia?

I began to participate in The Trivedi Effect®.

The Trivedi Effect® is potent Life Force Energy that is harnessed and transmitted directly to you to reconnect you more deeply with the foundational principles and guiding Intelligence of Nature. Think of how you slept as a little child. No one taught you how to do that – it was simply your nature to sleep deeply and well in order to replenish yourself. Imagine returning to that simple ease, that profound and natural realignment with your true inner blueprint.

It reminds me of the story of the prodigal child, out wandering, away from home for many years. The child may even think that those at home have forgotten him or her, that there is no choice and no chance to return and find solace or welcome.

And yet, once returned, there is a feast, a celebration!

In the same way, we have been wandering out and away from our original natural blueprint, away from our true Source (by whatever name or tradition). When we begin to realign with the Author of all Nature and Creation, typically one of the first things to happen is that we are nurtured and nourished through deep, replenishing sleep. It is one of the first key steps towards restoring and maintaining good health. And it feels miraculous.

If you’re needing to check the medicine cabinet to make sure you have over the counter sleep aids on hand, perhaps now is a good time to reach out – maybe beyond the comfort zone of your familiar beliefs – and try something new. Life Force Energy Transmissions may very well be the welcoming, homecoming relief that you have been seeking, that you might finally lie down and rest – really rest – through deep sleep.

Reference

Institute of Medicine (US) Committee on Sleep Medicine and Research; Colten HR, Altevogt BM, editors. Sleep Disorders and Sleep Deprivation: An Unmet Public Health Problem. Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 2006. 3, Extent and Health Consequences of Chronic Sleep Loss and Sleep Disorders. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK19961/

2https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/meds/a682539.html
3https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/in-depth/sleep-aids/art-20047860

4https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/common-anticholinergic-drugs-like-benadryl-linked-increased-dementia-risk-201501287667

5https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamainternalmedicine/fullarticle/2091745

6https://www.uptodate.com/contents/behavioral-and-pharmacologic-therapies-for-chronic-insomnia-in-adults

By |2019-04-04T11:36:23+00:00March 14th, 2019|Categories: Health|Tags: , |0 Comments

About the Author:

Krista is a gifted healer who connects people more deeply to the Life Force inherent in Nature. This powerful Life Force Energy, this Intelligent Grace, uplifts and enhances health and well-being at every level, and can improve sleep, detoxify existing physical and emotional issues, strengthen immunity, clarify relationships, and increase overall vitality.

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