Oral Medications for Managing Insomnia: A Review of Options

Medications Managing

and Health

Insomnia is a common sleep disorder that can negatively impact physical, mental and emotional health. It can be caused by many factors, including stress, certain medical conditions, or lack of sleep hygiene. no matter what the cause, many people find it difficult to fall and stay asleep throughout the night. To help manage insomnia, many sufferers turn to over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription medications. This article reviews the various oral medications available for treating insomnia, and their various health benefits and risks.

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Types of Oral Medications for Insomnia

The first step in managing insomnia is to identify its cause. However, since that is often not possible, the next best option is to try OTC or prescription sleep medications. OTC sleep medications are great for occasional use and don’t require a prescription. They contain antihistamines that can aid in falling asleep and staying asleep. However, they can cause side effects such as drowsiness, dizziness and fatigue during the day.

Prescription medications such as benzodiazepines, nonbenzodiazepines, melatonin receptor agonists and anti-depressants are also effective for managing insomnia. Benzodiazepines such as Valium and Xanax work by decreasing activity in parts of the brain, allowing for better sleep. Nonbenzodiazepines, such as Ambien and Lunesta, work by binding to specific receptors in the brain to help people stay asleep through the night.

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Melatonin receptor agonists, such as Rozerem and Ramelteon, are designed to mimic the effects of melatonin and help regulate the body’s natural sleep/wake cycles. Anti-depressants, such as trazodone, act mainly on serotonin and can also be effective sleep aids.

Pros and Cons of Oral Medications for Insomnia

OTC and prescription sleep medications can be useful for short-term treatment of insomnia. They provide immediate relief from sleeplessness and can help people fall asleep faster and stay asleep throughout the night. However, these medications should only be used for short-term treatment and taken under the supervision of a doctor.

Long-term use of OTC and prescription sleep medications can be risky. OTC medications can cause drowsiness and fatigue during the day, while prescription medications can cause dependence and addiction. Additionally, many of these medications can interfere with other medications and cause serious side effects.

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Tips for Choosing Oral Medications for Insomnia

When choosing oral medications for insomnia, it is important to consider the pros and cons of each option. Speak to a doctor to determine the best sleep medication option for you. Many people find natural remedies, such as sleep hygiene, dietary changes, and calming activities such as yoga and meditation, to be better options than medications for long-term treatment of insomnia.

Keywords: Oral Medications for Insomnia, OTC Medications for Insomnia, Prescription Medications for Insomnia, Sleep Hygiene, Dietary Changes, Yoga and Meditation