Antidepressants have been prescribed as de facto sleeping pills for over 3 decades now. This used to bother me. Most antidepressants have not been tested on people with simple insomnia and shown to improve their sleep.
These days I see things differently.
Many of us assume that over-the-counter drugs are safer than prescription drugs.
Yet the long-term effects of any drug can remain unknown for decades, and now researchers have found a correlation between long-term and/or high-dose use of OTC sleep aids and dementia.
Do you take medication for a chronic health condition? That drug may be disturbing your sleep.
Working with a doctor to adjust the dose or time you take it—or replace it with a similar drug that does not stimulate the central nervous system—may be all you need to hold insomnia at bay.
Which drugs can interfere with sleep? Here are a few most widely prescribed.
Does your sleep problem involve waking up in the middle of the night once or several times and then trouble falling back to sleep? Sleep maintenance insomnia is actually the most common form of insomnia, and it’s more common as people age. Here’s a quick review of the possible causes and what can be done.
Insomnia doesn’t often get front-page coverage, but it did on Tuesday. Benedict Carey of The New York Times reported on a study of people under treatment for depression. The results showed that nearly twice as many subjects were cured of depression when—in addition to taking an antidepressant or a pill placebo—they received cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) for insomnia.
It’s time to reassess the relationship between insomnia and depression.
Post-marketing tests now show that Ambien and Lunesta, the most popular sleeping pills today, are not as benign as they once were believed to be. Are we moving into a period similar to that which occurred in the 1980s, when physicians moved away from prescribing sleeping pills for people with insomnia and prescribed off-label medications instead?
Trazodone has never been approved for the treatment of insomnia. Yet it rose to the top of the bestseller charts as a medication for sleeplessness in the 1990s and enjoys great popularity still. Here’s one explanation for its appeal.