There are a variety of different types of insomnia medications. The different categories of medication are usually used depending upon the underlying reason for your insomnia. The goal with each medication, though, is the same. The doctor prescribes you insomnia medications to help end your insomnia.
The most common benzodiazepine hypnotic drugs prescribed are under the brand names ProSom, Dalmane, Restoril and Halcion. These drugs work by influencing the benzodiazepine receptors in the brain, which bring about sleep.
Benzodiazepine insomnia medications can affect a person’s ability to stay alert. They can also cause restless sleep.
Non-benzodiazepine Hypnotics include the brand name insomnia medications Lunesta, Sonata and Ambien. Like benzodiazepine drugs, these drugs work on the receptors in the brain, however, non-benzodiazepine drugs do not work chemically.
These drugs can provide a more restful sleep. They sedate a person and allow them to fall asleep more naturally.
The most common side effects are drowsiness and dizziness, impaired coordination and loss of alertness. These drugs work very fast, so they must be taken right before bed and a person should allow for a full night’s sleep or the effects of the drug may still be present the next day.
Anti-depressants include the brand name drugs Elavil, Pamelor and Serzone. These drugs usually produce a side effect of drowsiness, which is why they are used as insomnia medications. However, they are usually only used for someone whose insomnia prevents them from staying asleep, not someone who has problems falling asleep.
The most common side effects of anti-depressants are dry mouth, constipation and blurred vision. Some people may also experience an increased heart rate.
Pineal Gland Hormones
Pineal gland hormones are naturally produced by the body in the pineal gland. They help to regulate the bodies sleep cycle. In some people not enough of these hormones are produced, which results in insomnia. So, there are insomnia medications containing these hormones, like melatonin and ramelteon.
Since these hormones are already naturally produced by the body the possibility of side effects are minimized.
These insomnia medications all work to help you get a good nights sleep. Your doctor should be able to prescribe you the one that will work best in your situation. It is very important to listen and follow all doctor’s orders regarding insomnia medications since they can severely impair your ability to stay awake.