[toc]Do you spend sleepless nights in bed and wonder why you aren’t able to fall asleep? This condition is known as insomnia and is a common problem faced by many people worldwide. A person with insomnia cannot fall asleep easily and this can be quite distressing. Not being able to sleep well causes fatigue during the day and a person is unable to carry out normal activities. It also affects the behaviour of a person, causing depression, irritation, and mood swings.
Chronic insomnia can disrupt a person’s normal life and relationship completely. Stress, lifestyle factors, health conditions and underlying diseases are some of the causes of insomnia. While good sleep hygiene can help people sleep better, medications are prescribed for individuals who have difficulty sleeping. Some over the counter medications can also be used to get relief. Sedatives and antidepressants may be prescribed by your doctor. Given here are some of the medications used to treat insomnia and its related symptoms.
Medications For Insomnia
Common Pain Relievers
If you are not able to sleep well due to some minor pain in the body, common pain relievers can be very helpful. Some of the medications that you can use for such transient insomnia include Tylenol, ibuprofen, etc. These medications will reduce the pain and allow you to sleep well during the night. You should avoid taking extra dosages and overuse of such medications.
These are the most commonly prescribed medications for insomnia that act on the brain to induce sleep. Some of the commonly prescribed benzodiazepines are Triazolam, Alprazolam, Lorazepam, Prazepam, etc. Elderly people may suffer more from side effects and should take these medications only under a doctor’s guidance. Some of the side effects observed are severe allergic reactions, respiratory problems and depression.
These prescription medications are preferred these days for treating insomnia. They also act on the brain to induce sleep and are generally recommended for shorter periods. You should avoid taking them for longer time as they have side effects like drowsiness, headaches, diarrhea, memory loss, etc. Some of the popularly prescribed non-benzodiazepine sedative hypnotics are Zolpidem, Zaleplon, Ramelton and Eszopiclone.
Some people may be suffering from depression and have insomnia because of this condition. Medications like antidepressants may be prescribed for insomnia that is caused by depression. Some of the antidepressants like Trazodone and Amitriptyline are given in low dosages to help the patient sleep better. Doctors prefer these medications for long term use. These medications can cause side effects like daytime sleepiness and dizziness. Elderly patients are affected more and should take extra care while taking antidepressants under a doctor’s guidance.
Over The Counter Sleep Medications
For people who are suffering from short-term insomnia, with less severe symptoms, over the counter medications work quite effectively. These contain an ingredient called antihistamine that helps induce sleep in people who have insomnia. Such medications are very easy to use and do not have many side effects when taken for a short period. Some of the popular over the counter medications for insomnia include Genahist and Benadryl. However, it is best to avoid dependency and long term use of these medications.