Insomnia may be defined as lack of sleep or non-restorative sleep, which may be caused due to stress or use of some pharmaceuticals or drugs. A long term insomnia may be a result of primary sleep disorder or a psychiatric illness. Insomnia is a major issue during day time since it hampers daily activities and may cause irritation, lack of alertness consequently leading to increased risk for accidents. Increased stress factors such as job loss, family disharmony and loss of a loved person may also be the causative factors for insomnia. The geriatric population is more prone for insomnia as compared to young people this is due to drug side-effects arising from treatment of chronic diseases.
There have been several drugs available for the treatment of short and chronic insomnia. The most common drugs used for treatment include benzodiazepines, Zolpidem, Zaleplon, Tricyclic Antidepressants, Trazodone and several new generation antidepressants. The benzodiazepine class of drugs are used especially for short term treatment option and is commonly recommended for active persons and the elderly as they are easily eliminated from the body. The other class of insomnia drugs are myorelaxant along with anxiolytic properties. Prolong use of these drugs may cause dependency and addiction. Hence, these drugs must be taken under medical supervision.
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