Sleep and Insomnia
Insomnia is an experience of inadequate or poor quality sleep, characterized by:
difficulty falling or maintaining sleep, waking up too early and/or nonrefreshing sleep.
As a consequence during the day tiredness, lack of energy, difficulty concentrating and/or
irritability is experienced.
Acute insomnia appears in 30-40% of adults and chronic or severe insomnia in 10-15%.
Insomnia increases with age and is more common in women.
Acute insomnia is often caused by emotional or physical discomfort : stress, illness or disturbances, such as noise, light and temperature.
Chronic insomnia can be caused by many different factors singly or in combination and has often to do with health problems for instance mental or psychiatric disorders.
Medication of sleep disorders.
Hypnotic medication is meant for short-term management of insomnia, until the underlying problem is controlled. Sometimes antidepressants are prescribed for insomnia. Because of their sedating effect they improve insomnia, but should only be used if the insomnia is associated with psychiatric disorders or a previous history of substance abuse.
The use of melatonin for sleep-related disorders and shifting the circadian rhythms is still unclear: scientific studies have shown inconsistent results. This is also the case with tryptophan and many other herbal preparations.
The older barbiturates are not longer recommended because of their narrow therapeutic ratio.
The group of products most prescribed and effective are benzodiazepines.
The differences between products to induce and maintain sleep are based on their absorption and elimination. Residual next-day effect (hang-over) varies with elimination half-life.
Pharmacy product(s) in this category
Drugstore product(s) in this category