NetWellness is a global, community service providing quality, unbiased health information from our partner university faculty. NetWellness is commercial-free and does not accept advertising.
Wednesday, August 20, 2014
Addiction and Substance Abuse
i take diphenhydramine every night (50-75mg) to sleep. I have been doing this for years. if i don`t take it, i don`t sleep and i feel funny the next day. Am i addicted? does taking this so much hurt the liver? thanks
Over-the-counter Diphenhydramine hydrochloride, trade name Benadryl is generally not recommended for insomnia because of poor efficacy and drowsiness the next morning. This medication has also been shown to build tolerance against its sedation effectiveness very quickly, as soon as day 3 of dosing.
This medication is not an addictive substance, however, for the individual with addiction, Benedryl can "wake up" a craving for the drug of choice. This medication may have a place in your medicine cabinet as an antihistamine, useful in an allergic response, but it is not very effective for improving the wake sleep cycle.
The following are recommendations to improve your wake sleep cycle:
- Establish a regular bedtime and wake up time. This schedule should continue on weekends.
- Make your sleeping environment comfortable, quiet, and dark.
- Use your bed for sleeping only - not watching TV or eating.
- Place your clock out of sight to avoid anxiety about the time.
- Take time to relax before bedtime. Try quiet activity such as reading or journaling before bedtime.
- Avoid naps during the day.
- Exercise regularly and early in the day.
- Avoid beverages with caffeine after 6 p.m. Drink decaffeinated coffee or hot tea choices such as chamomile or mint tea that do not contain caffeine.
- Take a hot bath 30 to 60 minutes before bedtime.
- Take synthetic Melatonin , sold over the counter, (1 mg), about thirty minutes before bedtime.
- Do not eat a meal before bedtime. However, a light snack high in protein is sometimes helpful.
Deborah L Hoy, CNS
Clinical Instructor at the College of Nursing
College of Nursing
The Ohio State University