AASM statement on use of sleep medications

January 23, 2008

INSOMNIA AND SLEEP MEDICATIONS

Insomnia occurs when people have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, and it is a common sleep compliant. While a brief case of insomnia can arise due to temporary stress, excitement or other emotion, more than 20 million Americans report having a chronic form of insomnia that keeps them from sleeping well nearly every night. As a result, the insomnia, which is a serious and often debilitating condition, can lead to severe daytime fatigue, poor performance at school and work, physical symptoms such as headaches, and in some cases depression.

People suffering from insomnia need to know that there are effective treatments and their sleep can improve. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends that people who experience insomnia see a sleep medicine specialist or primary care physician for proper diagnosis and to discuss treatment options before treatment with medications is undertaken. This evaluation should also look for specific causes of insomnia such as restless legs syndrome or depression.

Sleep medications are often used for the short-term treatment of insomnia and, on occasion, for more chronic insomnia. Medications that currently are available by prescription are known to improve sleep by reducing the amount of time it takes to fall asleep, increasing sleep duration and/or reducing the number of awakenings during sleep. While modern hypnotics are considered safe, individuals should be aware that, like all medications, side effects may occur in a minority of patients. These side effects can include sleep walking, sleep eating and other complex sleep behaviors as well as difficulty with memory.

RECOMMENDATIONS FOR PATIENTS

Behavioral therapies and medications have been shown to be effective therapies for insomnia. Behavioral therapies use nonpharmacologic methods to improve sleep and are effective and long lasting. Sleep medications are effective and safe treatments for insomnia when used properly and judiciously by a patient who is under the supervision of a sleep medicine or primary care physician.

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine offers the following recommendations for individuals who use sleep medications:RECOMMENDATIONS FOR PHYSICIANS

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine is committed to educating sleep medicine and primary care physicians about treatment options for insomnia. Behavioral therapies and medications have been shown to be effective therapies for insomnia. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine offers the following recommendations for primary care physicians who see patients with insomnia:
-end-
THE AMERICAN ACADEMY OF SLEEP MEDICINE

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine is the largest professional membership organization dedicated to advancing sleep health care by setting clinical standards for the field; advocating for recognition, diagnosis and treatment of sleep disorders; educating professionals dedicated to providing optimal sleep health care; and fostering the development and application of scientific knowledge.

SleepEducation.com, a Web site maintained by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, provides accurate and reliable information about the various sleep disorders that exist, the forms of treatment available, recent news on the topic of sleep, sleep studies that have been conducted and a listing of sleep centers. It is not funded by any commercial sources.

American Academy of Sleep Medicine

Related Insomnia Articles from Brightsurf:

Insomnia treatment offers relief
Insomnia causing sleepless nights, daytime fatigue and poor health outcomes is a cycle worth busting, experts say, with depression, anxiety and stress a common co-occurrence.

Reduction in insomnia symptoms associated with non-invasive neurotechnology
For people with chronic insomnia, a good night's sleep is elusive.

The neurons that connect stress, insomnia, and the immune system
Researchers have pinpointed the circuit in the brain that is responsible for sleepless nights in times of stress--and it turns out that circuit does more than make you toss and turn.

Refined carbs may trigger insomnia, finds study
Women who consumed a diet high in added sugars and refined carbohydrates had a greater risk of developing insomnia, a new study by researchers at Columbia University has found.

Disturbed childhood can lead to adult insomnia
Parents should help their children with better sleep patterns, along with any problem behavioural issues, because this can lead to severe insomnia in middle age, a groundbreaking new study shows.

Study compares different strategies for treating insomnia
New research published in Worldviews on Evidence-Based Nursing indicates that for treating insomnia, stimulus control therapy (which reassociates the bed with sleepiness instead of arousal) and sleep restriction therapy are effective, and it is best to use them individually rather than together.

Brain cells involved in insomnia identified
An international team of researchers has identified, for the first time, the cell types, areas and biological processes in the brain that mediate the genetic risk of insomnia.

Mice sleeping fitfully provide clues to insomnia
Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis -- working with mice with sleep problems similar to those experienced by people with the genetic disease neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) -- believe the animals will help shed light on insomnia linked to NF1 or other factors.

Insomnia has many faces
Researchers at the Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience revealed that there are five types of insomnia.

Light pollution may cause insomnia in older adults
A new study is the first population-based investigation to report a significant association between artificial, outdoor light exposure at night and insomnia, as indicated by older adults' use of hypnotic drugs.

Read More: Insomnia News and Insomnia Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.