It is 2:30 am on a work night, and I woke up and doing laundry and writing this article. What gives?
I use to be the best sleeper–as soon as my head hit the pillow I would be knocked out. I could even sleep with the tv on. Insomniacs would be so jealous. Now, not so much…
Now, I get up several times in the night. Sometimes it is even hard for me to fall asleep in the first place; however, I think the reason is a new medication that I am on. Ever since I’ve started taking it about three weeks ago my sleep pattern has been so irratic. In the past, I would try to take a Benadryl to help me sleep. It doesn’t work so well anymore…
Certain new medications aren’t the only thing that can cause insomnia. Other causes include:
Stress, anxiety, and/or depression Caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol Medical conditions, such as acid reflux, cancer, lung disease, or sleep apnea Eating or working out too late in the evening
It is important to have adequate sleep, chronic sleep deprivation is detrimental to a peson’s health. It may cause:
Decreased perfromance, alertness, memory, and cognition Occupational or vehicular injury Obesity Heart disease Attention deficit hyperativity disorder (ADHD)
Institutionalization (in the elderly)
I learned in pharmacy school that when having trouble sleeping, it is best to try to practice good “sleep hygiene” before trying any prescription medications. These strategies include:
Not drinking caffeine products or eating large meals close to bedtime Not using the bed for anything else aside from sleeping or love-making Increasing physical activity (but not close to bedtime) Avoiding naps in the daytime Losing weight in the case of sleep apnea
That is why I am in the living room writing this article right now. I am also trying not to disurb my husband, because that would cause stress on him and our relationship.
If the above strategies don’t work, then medicine may be indicated in that case. I had already mentioned Benadryl (diphenhydramine), but there are other over-the-counter (OTC) drugs that can help, also–such as Unisom (doxylamine).
Some prescription medications are also indicated for sleep disorders. These include:
Sedative and hypnotic agents (benzodiazepines, such as Restoril (temazepam)). Ambien (zolpidem) Sonata (zaleplon) Rozerem (remelteon), which acts like melatonin Desyrel (trazodone), an anti depressant
While the above agents are only indicated for short-term treatment and shorten the onset to sleep, Lunesta (eszopiclone) is the only agent can be used for the long-term treatment of chronic insomnia. It also helps with sleep maintenance.
I guess it might be time to suck it up and ask my doctor for some Lunesta…
1. Sleep disorders medication. http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/287104-medication#7
2. Insomnia. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/insomnia/DS00187/DSECTION=causes
3. ‘Sleep Hygiene’ Solutions for Better Sleep. http://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/guide/sleep-hygiene
4. Chronic Sleep Deprivation May Harm Health. http://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/guide/important-sleep-habits