Aspirin belongs to a drug class called salicylates and is commonly used to reduce symptoms of pain, inflammation and fever. While not generally considered a sleep aid, aspirin can be beneficial if you are suffering from pain or other inflammatory symptoms that would otherwise keep you awake. For best results, talk to your doctor about the best supplement or medication for improving your sleep.
According to MedlinePlus, aspirin is a preparation of acetylsalicylic acid that can be taken orally to relieve symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, ischemic strokes and systemic lupus erythematosus. Aspirin also is frequently used in combination with other medications such as antacids, pain relievers and cold medications. While there is little evidence to suggest that aspirin directly benefits sleep quality, it may play a peripheral role in reducing pain and inflammation, which may otherwise interrupt your sleep.
The Pain Factor
Due to its effectiveness in treating mild and moderate pain, aspirin can reduce any pain sensations you have as a result of illness or injury, allowing you to relax the muscles that you might otherwise be tightening due to pain. Like most salicylates, aspirin is generally ineffective for pain caused by most muscle cramps, gastric distension, acute skin irritation or bloating.
Does It Really Help?
Aspirin generally isn't taken as a sleep aid by itself. If you experience improved sleep quality after taking aspirin, it may be a secondary or tertiary benefit of acetylsalicylic acid's anti-inflammatory properties. However, these benefits are unreliable and may change as your inflammatory condition develops. If you are regularly experiencing troubled sleep, you most likely would receive better results by talking to your doctor about medications and lifestyle adjustments that may improve your sleep quality.
According to MayoClinic.com, regular aspirin consumption can lead to unpleasant symptoms such as internal bleeding. Individuals who combine aspirin with alcoholic beverages are at an even higher risk for bleeding in the stomach. Seek immediate medical attention if you begin to experience symptoms of stomach bleeding, including black or bloody stools or coughing up blood.