Posted: April 30, 2011 at 2:43 pm
If you occasionally find it difficult to fall asleep and stay that asleep, you are probably normal. If lack of sleep causes you to feel sleepy during the day, you have a problem.
Most prescription drugs for insomnia lose their effect with time, so you have to keep increasing the dose. After you take these drugs for several weeks, you have to taper doses slowly or you may not be able to sleep at all. You can buy melatonin over the counter without a prescription to help you fall asleep, but it will not help you to stay asleep. You may be buying a product that contains no melatonin at all. One researcher bought ten different brands of melatonin at the store and found no melatonin activity in most of them. Melatonin is sold as a food product and these products are unregulated.
If you suffer from chronic insomnia, check with your doctor.