As you probably know, sleeping pills and sleep apnea isn’t a good match. In fact they make the situation worse by relaxing the muscles in the back of the throat. It is also advisable not to take any kind of antihistamines like benadryl.
What is an antihistamine?
Usually when people hear of antihistamines they think of allergies. Over the counter medicines like benadryl help folks with their allergies and they also help them go to sleep. Other allergy medicines with antihistamines in them are Dimetapp, Claritin and Zyrtec. What antihistamines do is block a chemical called histamine which blocks the nasal passage and can affect your breathing.
Antihistamines are also found in over the counter sleep aids as well. Nytol, Sominex and Unisom are a few of the sleep aids that contain antihistamines. There has always been controversy with the idea that sleeping pills actually help especially in the long run. These types of pills are taken usually for short term insomnia. They can be considered effective for a little while but overtime they lose there effectiveness.
The dilemma with benadryl and sleep apnea patients is that many who have OSA also have problems with allergies and sinuses. Do you take the benadryl? In my case I have and it does help with the allergies, but I find that my sleep apnea pattern of sleeping gets much worse. It is probably a good idea to talk to your doctor if you have sleep apnea and allergy problems to find out what is right solution for you.
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