What is Occasional Sleeplessness and What are the Symptoms?

Most people need 7-8 hours of beauty sleep a night. But, occasional sleeplessness can get in the way of that. Think you have sleeping problems? Look out for these signs and symptoms.

  • Trouble falling asleep

  • Trouble sleeping soundly

  • Waking up too early

  • Feeling tired or sleepy during the day

  • Feeling irritable, depressed, or anxious

  • Trouble paying attention, focusing, or remembering

  • Causing accidents or slip-ups

  • Worrying about sleep

What Causes Occasional Sleeplessness?

Sometimes, occasional sleeplessness can be the main issue. Other times, it’s caused by an underlying problem. Here are some potential causes for sleepless nights:

  • Stress (e.g. work, school, health, finances, family, or trauma)

  • Irregular schedules

  • Poor sleep habits

  • Eating too much before bedtime

Solutions and Tips for Sleeping Problems

There’s a lot you can do to get a better night’s sleep. Try out some of these tips to improve your sleeping habits:

  • Don’t watch TV, eat, or discuss heavy topics in bed

  • Keep noise, light, and temperatures low while you sleep

  • Don’t drink fluids after 8 p.m.

  • Avoid naps or keep them to 25 minutes

  • Avoid bright lights if you wake up at night

  • Avoid nicotine, caffeine, alcohol, heavy meals, and exercise before bed

  • Don’t let your pet sleep in your bed

Here are a few things to think about as you determine whether an OTC sleep-aid is right for you, and when it may be best to consult a doctor:

Other Medicines: The Fine Print

Before you take an OTC medicine to help you sleep, consult the packaging of both the sleep-aid and all other OTC medicines or prescription medicines that you are taking or have recently taken. This will help you to rule out possible contraindications. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you have questions that cannot be answered by the packaging info.

So Many Sleep Aids - What's Right for Me?

Before you choose an OTC sleep-aid, it’s essential to know why you’re taking it and what you want your sleep-aid to accomplish. Your doctor or pharmacist is the best resource to help you choose the OTC sleep-aid that’s right for you.

When to Consult a Doctor About Your Occasional Sleeplessness?

If you’re having trouble sleeping, you’re not alone, but symptoms can vary in frequency, duration, and underlying cause. Sleep medicines that are available over-the-counter, such as ZzzQuil™ (diphenhydramine HCI), are used to treat occasional sleeplessness. This occasional sleeplessness can be triggered, for example, by life changes, temporary stressful situations, or having a lot on your mind when you are trying to sleep. ZzzQuil is non-habit-forming and is safe and effective when used as directed. Stop use and ask a doctor if sleeplessness persists continuously for more than two weeks. Insomnia may be a symptom of a serious, underlying medical illness. That’s why consulting with a doctor, pharmacist, or sleep specialist can help with your diagnosis—and help you find the right sleep-aid for you.