last updated 28 Dec 2022

An estimated 50 to 70 million Americans suffer from sleep disorders or sleep deprivation, the report said. Only a third of Americans get the recommended 7 to 9 hours of sleep a night.
9 million use prescription sleep aid.
About 4 percent of adults 20 and older used prescription sleep aids in the last month.
CDC: Sleep aids - CBS News

Keep in mind that any sleep aid medication should not be the first or only remedy you use to try to resolve a health concern such as insomnia. It needs to be coupled with lifestyle choices that create a solid foundation for good health. That includes fundamentals such as good nutrition, daily exercise, a daily mind-body practice, good sleep hygiene, social connectedness and spirituality.

Our bodies take between three to four hours to wind down before sleep.

Preparing Your Bedroom for a Great Night's Sleep |

  • De-Clutter Your Room and Make the Bed
  • Remove Blue Light-Emitting Technology
  • Set the Right Temperature 65 - 69°
  • Black-out curtains or room-darkening shades
  • If possible, keep pets off the bed -- and consider making them sleep in the other room.
The Sleep Better Bedroom | Consumer Reports On-Health
Sleep Aids
See Others below
Source: WebMD
Sleep aids: Understand over-the-counter options - Mayo Clinic

Studies - Dangers:
Common anticholinergic drugs like Benadryl linked to increased dementia risk - Harvard Health Blog - Harvard Health Publishing says,
"Anticholinergic drugs block the action of acetylcholine. This substance transmits messages in the nervous system.
This includes popular Sleep aids including, Diphenhydramine HCl (Benadryl, Sominex, Tylenol PM)

You should not take these for more than 7 days in a row.

"Do Sleeping Pills Increase the Risk of Dementia?" - The People's Pharmacy says,
"Zolpidem (Ambien) or eszopiclone (Lunesta) have been linked to Alzheimer's."

Best sleeping pills for insomnia - Consumer Reports Best Buy Drugs says,
"An Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) report found that benzodiazepines, sedative sleep drugs like zolpidem (Ambien and generic) work for short periods, but are not effective for chronic insomnia." CR Best Buy Drugs recommends that you first try cognitive behavioral therapy.
Consumer Reports also says the new drug Belsomra isn't much better.

If you feel a need for both a pain killer and an antihistamine to help you sleep then it is far more cost effective to buy a generic version of Benadryl and a generic form of ibuprofen or aspirin than to buy something like Advil PM or Bayer PM where they are premixed for you. Antihistamine OTC Sleep Aids | HAMS network
Trouble sleeping? Experts say skip antihistamines Baylor College of Medicine

Warm Milk:
Warm Milk, True or False? |WebMD says,
"YES, warm milk can help you get to sleep. But it's not because it contains the enzyme tryptophan, which urban legend has it will lull you to sleep (and which is often the talk at Thanksgiving when people drop like flies after a large meal heavy in tryptophan-rich turkey).

In fact, the jury is still out on exactly whether or not milk can encourage sleep. Studies of tryptophan's impact on sleep have found only one phase of sleep - the first one when you're falling asleep - is enhanced by tryptophan. Other aspects of sleep, such as the amount of deep-sleep reached during the night, can be harmed by tryptophan, especially if it's taken in supplemental form.

6 Sleep Myths Busted (Page 7) - EatingWell says,
" The theory is this: milk contains tryptophan (the amino acid best known for being in turkey), which when released into the brain produces serotonin--a serenity-boosting neurotransmitter. But when milk was tested, it failed to affect sleep patterns. "Tryptophan-containing foods don't produce the hypnotic effects pure tryptophan does, because other amino acids in those foods compete to get into the brain,"

Melatonin side effects: What are the risks? - Mayo Clinic" 1922
Melatonin supplements can interact with some types of medicine, including: Medicine that slows blood clotting
Medicine that prevents seizures
Birth control medicine
High blood pressure medicine
Diabetes medicine
Medicine that suppresses the immune system (immunosuppressants)
Medicine that is broken down by the liver

Melatonin for Sleep: Does It Work? | HopkinsMedicine
Your body produces melatonin naturally. It doesn’t make you sleep, but as melatonin levels rise in the evening it puts you into a state of quiet wakefulness that helps promote sleep,

“Melatonin levels rise about two hours before bedtime,” Buenaver says. “Create optimal conditions for it to do its job by keeping the lights low before bed. Stop using your computer, smartphone or tablet—the blue and green light from these devices can neutralize melatonin’s effects. If you watch television, be sure you’re at least six feet away from the screen. Turn off bright overhead lights too.” Meanwhile you can help program your body to produce melatonin for sleep at the right time of day by getting exposure to daylight during the morning and afternoon. Take a walk outside or sit beside a sunny window.

Uses filters to screen out the blue and green wavelengths of light emitted by his smartphone and computeR.

Because melatonin can cause drowsiness, don't drive or use machinery within five hours of taking it. Others:

Sleep Problems
2 Little-Known Compounds Haunt Your Sleep | Nutreance
Mattresses and sleep
Natural Sleep Aids | WebMD Sleep Supplements: Melatonin, Valerian, Kava, L-tryptophan, Chamomile | WebMD
Sleeping Pills & Natural Sleep Aids: What's Best for You? What You Need to Know About Sleep Aids and Sleeping Pills
Why You Shouldn't Ignore Insomnia Symptoms WebMD
6 Sleep Myths Busted - EatingWell