The Right Prescription Medications to Aid With Your Sleep Problems
Prescription sleep medicines are effective in providing relief for short-term insomnia and people who have difficulty sleeping or cannot stay asleep. The FDA approves most of these drugs as they effectively treat sleep problems. In fact, some of them are used off-label to improve sleep patterns. Since most of sleep medications have addictive tendencies, they should always be used with the doctor’s discretion.
How do Sleep Medications Work?
Sleep medicines include a variety of sedative agents that stimulate drowsiness and help people fall asleep or stay asleep without recurrent episodes of waking up during the night. They function by affecting the chemicals in the brain which regulate sleep and wakefulness.
Common Sleep Problems
Here are the four most common sleep problems people suffer from and use sleep aid medicines for:
- Sleep Apnea
- Restless Leg Syndrome
The most common sleeping disorder is insomnia, where one is rendered unable to sleep or maintain sleep. Insomnia sometimes transforms into early awakenings in which one gets up way earlier and cannot sleep again. Another form is conditioned insomnia, where the individual stresses or fears the idea of not being able to sleep.
People who snore and make gasping or snorting sounds while sleeping suffer from sleep apnea. Their sleep quality is poor due to repeated interruptions throughout the night. Due to this, they go through excessive daytime sleepiness. Air way obstruction and interruption of regular breathing can lead to grave health issues. Therefore, one should take sleep apnea seriously.
Another sleep disorder is narcolepsy, where the individual experiences excessive drowsiness during the day and suffers from sudden muscle weakness. A strong emotion or surprise triggers this sudden muscle weakness. Narcolepsy is strange, and its episodes are known as sleep attacks. These occurrences can take place during walking or any other physical activity.
Restless Leg Syndrome
Commonly known as RLS, it is a strange and unpleasant feeling that starts from the lower legs. Sometimes, it comes with aches and pains. Due to this, a person cannot fall asleep and has to move the leg in walking or kicking motion.
This affects a person’s routine, thought process, and daily routine. Hypnotic-sedative medications help people sleep better and help make a person drowsy and stay asleep.
Some sleep medications contain melatonin that helps in treating circadian rhythm sleep disorders. In this condition, a person’s internal clock is disturbed and misaligned with the day-night cycle. Those who frequently travel suffer from jet lag, and those who work the night shift have disturbed sleeping patterns that can be relieved with melatonin.
Here are the best prescription medications that can help you treat your sleep problems. You can buy them from Health2Delivery, a reliable online pharmacy to cater to your medicinal needs.
Benzodiazepines are effective in treating sleep problems. Some of the popular benzodiazepines are Prosom (estazolam) and Halcion (Triazolam). These medications are FDA-approved and help treat insomnia. Apart from Insomnia, benzodiazepines also treat anxiety if someone is suffering from both anxiety and insomnia.
Doxepin is an anti-depressant that helps in treating insomnia. Taking low doses of Doxepin can help you fall asleep and have a peaceful sleep. Doxepin is not habit-forming. Therefore, it is considered a safe sleep medication for treating sleep problems.
Those with bladder or prostate problems or glaucoma should not use doxepin. It can lead to blood pressure issues and effect heart rate. This is more of a risk in older patients. It can also cause dizziness, increasing the chances of falls.
Orexin Receptor Antagonists (ORAs)
ORAs happen to be the newest class of sleep medications. They block the body’s natural chemicals that inform the body when it is time to wake up. Some of the popular ORAs are Belsomra and Dayvigo. Compared to other medications, ORAs tend to be more expensive.
Like other sleep medications, ORAs are not addictive or habit-forming. Some people engage in walking, eating, or driving when they are taking this medication. It is best to consult your doctor and see if taking ORAs is the best option to treat your insomnia.
Another sleep medication that can help you fall asleep is Ramelteon (Rozerem). It works in the same area as melatonin, the body’s natural sleep hormone, to promote better sleep.
Compared to other sleep medications, Ramelteon does not cause much side effects. And it is not habit forming either.
Although this medication is used and known as an anti-depressant, it is an off-label treatment for insomnia, too. Since the medication makes one feel drowsy, the doctor prescribes a low of Trazodone so one can easily fall asleep.
Since it stimulates drowsiness, a common side effect of Trazodone is dizziness while standing, headache, and daytime sleepiness. Trazodone is not habit-forming. However, there is a rare risk of painful sustained (priapism) male patients can suffer from.
Longer-acting Benzodiazepine Receptor Agonists BzRAs
These medications work for those who wake up too early. They last in the body for longer. The following morning, the patient might feel more like a hangover situation. Some examples of medium and longer-acting medications are Z-drugs like Eszopiclone (Lunesta) and Zolpidem ER (Ambien CR) and benzodiazepines like Flurazepam (Dalmane) and Temazepam (Restoril).
These medications cause the same effects as shorter-acting z-drugs. Longer-acting medications tend to have a higher risk of grogginess, drowsiness, and headaches.
Common examples of Z-drugs are Zolpidem (Ambien) and Zaleplon (Sonata). Doctors prescribe these medications to help you fall asleep if you don’t have chronic insomnia. These work within an hour and are taken as needed.
There is a z-drug option, a low dose of Zolpidem, which quickly dissolves under the tongue. Its effects last for a few hours only. It is called Sublingual Zolpidem, and is effective for those who wake up in the middle of the night and have a few hours left until they have to get up.
Z-drugs tend to be habit-forming. Doctors do not recommend it for extended period. Prolonged use leads to memory problems and increases the risk of death. Some people suffer from hallucinations, sleepwalking, and nightmares. If you experience any of these side effects, you should discuss other sleep medication options with your doctor.
Prescription drugs are often habit-forming. Their usage for extended time or increased doses can damage your health. Therefore, exercise caution while administering these medicines, and make sure that you use sleep aid drugs only if your doctor advises it.