Insomnia is the inability to fall asleep, stay asleep or both. The amount of uninterrupted sleep that each person needs every night varies by individual, but people with insomnia are unable to get enough. The results of insomnia are decreased energy, mood swings, and decrease in performance at work and at other activities.
To treat insomnia, many people turn to prescription medications. These can be helpful for anyone who has tried without success to adopt lifestyle changes to get more sleep, such as reducing stress, getting more exercise or changing diet. There is a downside to using sleeping pills, however. They can treat insomnia, but not cure it. They can also be habit-forming. Anyone who relies on a drug to get to sleep at night runs the risk of becoming dependent on it. Speak Confidentially with a Journey Advisor at 844-878-1979.
Sleeping pills are sedatives, and one class is a group of drugs called benzodiazepines. These are the sleep aids that carry the greatest risk of dependence. Also used to reduce anxiety, benzodiazepines are a controlled substance. Benzodiazepines include ProSon, Restoril, Halcion, Doral and Dalmane. Because they are susceptible to abuse and are habit-forming, most doctors will try another type of sleep aid before prescribing a benzodiazepine.
If you take a benzodiazepine for insomnia you may begin to think that you will never be able to fall asleep without it. It is this type of psychological dependence that can get you hooked on your sleep aid. Benzodiazepines also can cause withdrawal symptoms when you stop using them. You may also find that you become tolerant if you use a benzodiazepine every night, which may lead you to use more. Other drawbacks to using benzodiazepines are that they interact with some medications and, ironically, they may cause you to have less restful sleep.
Newer medications for insomnia are sedatives that work in the same area of the brain as benzodiazepines but are not related to this class of drugs. Non-benzodiazepine sleep aids include Lunesta, Sonata and Ambien. These have some advantages over benzodiazepines, most notably that they are much less likely to lead to physical dependence. For this reason you can use these sedatives for a longer period of time than benzodiazepines, up to six months. Speak Confidentially with a Journey Advisor at 844-878-1979.
These medications do have their drawbacks. For instance, they do not work for everyone with insomnia. Like benzodiazepines, they can cause tolerance and psychological dependence. Side effects of these medications include headaches, dizziness, morning grogginess and nausea. In some people these sleep aids can cause extensive nighttime wanderings, which may lead to accidents and injuries.
Other Sleep Aids
There are a few other options when it comes to prescription drugs for insomnia that are not considered habit forming. Rozerem is a sleep aid that is designed to mimic the hormone melatonin. Melatonin regulates sleep, and some people with insomnia may not produce enough of it. Anti-depressants are also sometimes used to treat insomnia, not because the drugs target the sleep disorder directly, but because insomnia can be a side effect of depression.
If you are struggling with insomnia, be sure you understand your medication options and the risks associated with them. Certain sleep aids are addictive. Fortunately, treatment is available and can help you get your life back. Speak Confidentially with a Journey Advisor at 844-878-1979.