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How to Treat Sleep Problems with Medication

Learn how medication can be used to treat insomnia from sleep specialist Priyanka Yadav, D.O. in this Howcast video.


So insomnia can be treated with the use of medications. These medications include benzodiazapines. This class of medication affects your neurotransmitter that helps promote sleep called gaba. And these are commonly known as Valium or Ativan or Xanax. They have a sedative affect of sleepiness which will help you sleep a little bit better at night.

There's a newer class of medication called benzodiazapine and receptor agonist. These are commonly known as Ambien or Lunesta. This will help you also sleep at night with having lesser of the side effects that are commonly seen with benzodiazapines.

Now, you do want to tell your physician of any medications that you're on because a lot of medications do have the side effect of causing insomnia. These are commonly known as beta blockers, corticosteroides or thyroid medication. You might want to talk to your doctor about getting off of these medications or switching medications that don't have a side effect of insomnia.

There are medications that can help combat the daytime effects of insomnia. These are awake promoting agents known as Nuvigil or Provigil. These work on dopamine to help you stay awake during the day. Now, you have to be careful with these medications because they can also trigger insomnia because they are longer lasting. So you should take them as prescribed by your doctor.

Now if you are on medications that may be causing insomnia, it's important to let your doctor now about these because you do not want to be prescribed a medication to help you sleep at night which may in fact cause worsening of other possible sleep disorders that you may have.

So there are multiple medications and treatment options available to treating insomnia, but you should discuss these options with your doctor to see what's better suited for you.

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