The Best Medication for Sleep Disorders

R. Kirk Huntsman

Individuals suffering from sleep disorders are all too familiar with the countless forms of treatment available. Certain treatment may work for some and fail for others, including specific devices, apps, alternative treatment, and, of course, medication. There are many medications available, so it can be difficult to determine which work best for you. Sleeping pills in general often have varying side effects, risks, and benefits, so speak with your doctor beforehand to choose the sleeping pill best suited for your health and lifestyle.

Products like Valium and Xanax are two of the most well known sleeping pills on the market. These are both benzodiazepines which directly affect the chemicals within your brain that could possibly be unbalanced, leading to anxiety. Both of these medications are commonly prescribed to ease anxiety and panic disorders, but can be beneficial for those with sleep disorders as well. However, because of their molecular components, they have a variety of side effects. These include decreased time spent in certain stages of sleep throughout the night (i.e. less time spent in REM, and the deepest stages of sleep), and even mild hangovers because of how long these medications stay in your body.

Ambien and Lunesta are both sedatives specifically engineered to help those with insomnia and general sleep disorders. The advantages these medications have over Valium and Xanax include no grogginess or hangovers felt the next morning, and a much lower chance of developing an addiction to these pills. These are both newer products compared to the aforementioned benzodiazepines, and are therefore more in tune with the brain’s chemical makeup. Rather than taking a pill that has a general effect on multiple brain receptors, both Ambien and Lunesta affect specific parts of the brain that involve sleep.

Rozerem is another sedative that acts specifically on the body’s melatonin production within the area of the brain focused on sleep. This directly affects the circadian rhythm of your body, providing users with a much more natural sleep aid. An added bonus is that very few side effects have been found when taking Rozerem, the only ones being drowsiness, nausea, and unusual thoughts.

While medication has its benefits, it’s important to note that not everyone will react the same way to certain types. As mentioned, talk to your doctor if you are suffering from sleep disorders, and discuss what medications could help you the most depending on your lifestyle and medical history.