Many over the counter sleep aids contain pain medicines and Benadryl (diphenhydramine), neither of which are very safe.

We’ve often told people to avoid “PM” meds for sleep and take Benadryl (diphenhydramine) instead. Benadryl is what causes the drowsiness in those products, and the other ingredients (like Tylenol) don’t help sleep and can cause harm.

Now it may be best to avoid Benadryl all together. New research suggests it may increase the risk of dementia. What to do instead? Sleep doctors recommend behavior therapy before sleep medicine because it works better (surprisingly) and is safer (not a surprise). Learn more through the sleep guides on our brochures page.