The Betches' Guide to Sleep Aids

By Betchen Wieners

Let’s be real. Not sleeping enough affects every aspect of your life. You look like shit, you eat like shit, and everything you do is, well, shitty. You start making promises (starting as soon as you wake up) that you will be in bed by 8pm. Even if you achieve such an impractical bedtime, you lie awake for hours willing yourself to sleep. You may have even started a routine of drinking wine until you pass out, but waking up 2 hours later on the kitchen floor may be a little counterproductive.

Cue sleep aids. These little miracles can fight even the worst insomnia. Some are stronger than others, some have crazy side effects (still worth it), and some are worthless. So here’s a basic guide of sleep aids because let’s face it, sometimes you just need to pass the fuck out.


Taking Ambien is something many of us have been doing since college. If you need to knock yourself out to avoid study stress, forget about abrupt relationship endings or to just stop yourself from eating more pizza, Ambien is always an easy way out. Some people (mainly doctors) may frown upon the non-prescribed use of Ambien because it is supposedly “habit forming” or some shit, but what do those assholes know anyway? So let’s weigh the pros and cons of this wonder-drug.

Some of the pros: It makes you forget things like leaving the house in your pajamas and getting gently escorted out of a gay bar. It also starts working very quickly…Ambien don’t mess around.

On the other hand, the cons are a little disheartening. First off, it doesn’t mix well with wine; finding a an e-mail to an old high school acquaintance titled “Dearest Elizabeth” in your outbox the next morning can be a problem. It’s also hard to get a hold of, so it’s best to just raid your mom’s medicine cabinet.


People who are into natural shit but still need to anesthetize themselves to sleep tend to be big fans of this one. However, there are some side effects that come along with this supposedly safe, “all-natural” sleep aid.

One of the pros for melatonin is that it’s naturally-occurring. Some people get the homeopathic version, which basically means it doesn’t work. It’s one of the cheaper options, but can you really put a price tag on tranquilizers? One of the biggest arguments against melatonin is that it supposedly causes depression. Isn’t escaping your emotions the whole point of drugging yourself to sleep?

Various PM Drugs

Advil PM, Zzzquil, etc. I don’t think I’ve ever turned down a PM pill (actually, make that any pill whatsoever…but that’s neither here nor there). If it’s over-the-counter, “PM” is telling me it will knock me out, and if it clears my sinuses or fights flu symptoms at the same time, so be it. 

The first advantage of this branch of sleep aids is that they are virtually everywhere: gas stations, a strange man’s apartment, etc. They may not kick in as swiftly as the mighty Ambien, but they’ll get you there eventually. The downside is that all the “PM” means is that Benadryl is added, which puts some people to sleep but can cause restlessness and anxiety for others. If you’re one of those weirdos, I feel bad for you because Benadryl is the shit.

So, whatever your sleep-inducing drug of choice may be, there are plenty of choices out there. You may not want to mix and match and/or overdo it seeing as your main objective is a good 7-8 hours…not eternal sleep. It also isn’t “recommended” to mix alcohol with sleep aids (*see Ambien), so you may want to take a break from your alcoholic tendencies when trying out something new. Other than that, grab your favorite pill and knock yourself out…literally.




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