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Can someone recommend an over the counter medication that helps with anxiety?

I get anxious during the day and have a rough time sleeping at night. My mind doesn't stop. I been on a sleep apnea machine for about 2 years and it doesn't help anymore. I told my sleep apnea NP and she told me we could do another sleep apnea study. I have a friend that went through the same problem and her doctor prescribed an anxiety medication. So since mine doesn't want to prescribe a medication I thought I could try a over the counter solution.
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Avatar universal
Your doctor was smart not to prescribe an anti-anxiety med.  They interfere with REM sleep, lead to rebound insomnia when you get used to them, are addictive if used regularly, and don't solve the problem.  If the reason you don't sleep is apnea, working on that is the only way you're going to sleep.  If it's a different reason you can't sleep, if your diagnosis was incorrect, then you need to start over.  Did you do a sleep study?  But you do describe yourself as suffering from anxiety, though you don't say how much -- everyone has some stress and nervousness but that isn't the same as chronic anxiety that significantly interferes with your life.  But since it appears to be doing that, what you need to do is learn to relax.  Therapy can help with this.  Meditation can help with this.  Regular exercise can help with this.  Lots of things can help with this.  So given you're reporting feeling anxious on a regular basis, that seems to be the way to go, but taking a drug won't get you there, it will just temporarily tamp down symptoms.  Drugs are for when you can't function well anymore.  Therapy and learning a more relaxed lifestyle are more permanent solutions if your problem is short of severely life impairing.
As for over the counter remedies, there are two classes of over the counter.  What this really means are drugs that don't require a prescription.  Some people, for example, for good or ill, use allergy medication for sleep and anxiety because it's so sedating, using a drug for it's unwanted side effects rather than its effects.  Then there are natural remedies, which aren't classified as drugs for the most part unless they're not actually natural even though they're advertised as such.  The most common one for sleep is melatonin, about 1mg (most people take too much and it doesn't work in large doses).  A homeopathic remedy that has helped me from time to time is Calms Forte by Hylands.   There are also many relaxing plants out there, such as valerian, kava (don't take this if you have liver problems), passionflower, hops, chamomile, and many many others, that have been used forever for sleep and relaxing (don't take these if you take benzos, as they target the same neurotransmitter).  Taurine is a pseudo-amino acid used by the body to make GABA, the relaxant neurotransmitter targeted by benzos and relaxing herbs.  A book to read about this is Natural Highs by Hyla Cass, a psychiatrist at UCLA, for a general overview of how natural remedies are used for anxiety and depression.  
Further to the first advice, try reading when you awaken because it might divert your mind off your anxiety and you could fall asleep again. I don't have anxiety nowadays, but wake every night with my mind intent on planning the future which won't allow me to sleep so I do the reading.
Avatar universal
I'm not educated but there is this alternative to Xanax called Nuphorin Anxiety Relief. It helps with trouble sleeping but you should ask a doctor or pharmacist if it could be good for you
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