Insomnia: His/her Sleep Problem
"Insomnia is the inability to obtain adequate amount or quality of sleep. The difficulty can be with falling asleep, remaining asleep, or both" ("Insomnia Encyclopedia"). Sleeping is a major point in physically and mentally restoring yourself for the tasks ahead. Most people say that about eight hours of sleep is an adequate amount, however it differs from person to person depending on their sex, age, and health conditions. An estimated one-third of the population suffers from some form of insomnia. "In recent studies, a survey reported that 30% of American women and 20% of American men took medication to help them sleep during the course of a year" ("Insomnia"). The medications these people took are called hypnotics. The causes of
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"Long acting hypnotics include Dalmane, Klonopin, and Doral. Some medium acting prescription drugs are Halcion, Ativan, Xanax, and Restoril" ("Insomnia"). "There are also short-acting nonbenzodianzepine hypnotics called Sonata and Ambien. These types are still sleep inducing but with less side effects then the long and medium acting benzodianzepines" ("Insomnia"). Although drug therapy can be effective, there are several risks and side effects to this type of treatment. As with the long and medium acting hypnotics, the prescription can become habit-forming and reduces your alertness during the day. The drugs may increase depression, which may have been the cause of a person's insomnia in the first place. In some case studies, memory loss and sleepwalking have occurred after taking Halcion. In other cases due to dependency, overdoses have been fatal. So if a patient is using drug therapy, he/she will need to pay close attention to anything that may seem abnormal due to the medication. The patient does not want to ignore the side effects because he or she could become worse. There are times when prescription drugs are not needed. Over-the-counter sleep medications are commonly used for mild insomnia. Over-the-counter sleeping pills promote sleep if insomnia occurs only occasionally. "Antihistamines are drugs that cause drowsiness to induce sleep. Nytol, sleep-Eez, and Sominex contain diphenhydramine, which is another type of sleep aid"