In medical or psychological terms insomnia is understood to be, “difficulty initiating or keeping sleep for the period of one or more month and this trouble in sleep causes considerable problems or disability in social, occupational, or other areas.”
30% of Americans suffer with insomnia symptoms in any given year, while 10% suffer from chronic long-term insomnia. These individuals experience difficulty sleeping no less than three times every week and complain of daytime crankiness, fatigue, and grogginess.
Insomnia may take on multiple forms. Some everyone has a difficult time dropping off to sleep; others wake in the middle of the night and have trouble getting back to sleep. Still others frequently rise too soon in the morning.
There are a variety of health concerns can give rise to insomnia including depression, sleep apnea, heart failure, arthritis and chronic pain.
There is also evidence that insomnia may have a genetical component that can be passed from parent to child.
The treatment of insomnia is large business in the United States. Americans spent nearly 2 billion dollars on prescription sleep drugs this year and doctors wrote nearly 60 million prescriptions for sleeping pills.
The following are the most common sleep medications in the United States:
Non-benzodiazepine sleep medications
These treatments work by challenging and increasing the neurochemical GABA. In contrast to the benzodiazepines, there is less prospect of dependence, misuse, and withdrawal.
Ambien (Zolpidem) works quickly ( in approximately 15 minutes) and it is very effective in helping people get to sleep fast. Ambien CR can be an extended release version and it is more effective for falling and staying asleep.
Sonata (Zaleplon) Sonata is a newer medication using a shorter half-life. Because it leaves the body so quickly it may be taken as late as 2 AM without causing a person to feel drowsy each day.
It just isn’t recommended for folks who suffer from trouble awaking in the middle of the evening.
Lunesta (Eszopiclone) Lunesta is very effective at helping visitors to both drift off quickly and sleep through the evening. Lunesta carries a longer half-life in order that it should be taken before going to sleep and only when you can actually to dedicate a full 7 to 8 hours to rest.
Silenor (Doxepin) Silenor could be the newest in the non-benzo sleep meds. It received FDA approval this season and is prescribed for patients who have trouble ‘staying asleep’.
Benzodiazepine sleep medicines
Although better then your older class of sleep medications, referred to as barbiturates, these medications carry the potential for dependence, addiction, and withdrawal.
They should basically be prescribed for the short-term treating insomnia. The following include the most commonly prescribed benzodiazepine sleep medications:
Non-Prescription Sleep Medicines
There exist several effective sleep aids that could be purchased with no doctor’s prescription. In general, they are safer, have fewer unwanted effects, and still have less risk of abuse.
Diphenhydramine: This will be the active ingredient if any of the PM variety of over the counter pain meds along with Unisom and Nytol. Diphenhydramine belongs to a class of drugs referred to as antihistamines.
Diphenhydramine could cause morning dry mouth and drowsiness.
Melatonin. Melatonin can be a naturally occurring human hormone believed to have a wide number of functions in the body. One could be the regulation from the human sleep/wake cycle.
Studies have shown which a small dose taken before bed might be effective in assisting people to fall asleep faster. It has very few negative effects.
Valerian Root: Valerian root or extract has been around since the Middle Ages and is well known for the calming effect.
It can be helpful in treating anxiety so when taken at bedtime it has been proven to promote sleep. It may however take weeks of usage before the full sedating effects are realized.