One-third to one-half of all Americans experience insomnia and complain of poor sleep. Insomnia can occur during times of stress, travel and other disruptions. If you regularly have difficulty sleeping, make an appointment with your health care provider. Treatment depends on the cause of your insomnia. Some people who have difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep need medications to help with sleep for a short period. Sometimes an underlying medical disorder or sleep disorder is discovered and treated.
Before using medications for sleep, talk with your health care provider about treating other issues such as anxiety, sadness, depression and alcohol or illegal drug use. Over-the-counter sleep aids and prescription sleep medications all carry benefits, risks and side effects. Many OTC sleeping pills contain antihistamines, which usually treat allergies. While these sleeping aids are not addictive, your body can become used to them quickly, making them less effective over time. They can also leave you feeling tired and groggy when you awaken the next day and can cause memory problems in older adults.
Prescription medications that promote sleep are called hypnotics and can help reduce the time it takes to fall asleep. The most commonly used hypnotics are Ambien, Sonata, Lunesta and Rozerem. Most of these medications are habit-forming. Only take them under the direction of a health care provider, who will likely start you with the lowest dose. Take these medications no more than three times a week. Do not stop taking them suddenly; you may experience symptoms of withdrawal and have difficulty falling asleep. Do not simultaneously take other medications that can cause drowsiness. Mixing alcohol and sleeping pills can be extremely hazardous. The combination increases the sedative effect of the sleeping pills, which can be fatal.
Side effects of prescription sleeping pills may include burning or tingling in the hands, arms, feet and legs; changes in appetite; constipation and diarrhea; difficulty maintaining balance; dizziness; daytime drowsiness; and impairment the next day. Some people also experience weakness, unusual dreams, uncontrollable shaking of a part of the body, mental slowness or problems with attention or memory, dry mouth or throat, headache, heartburn and stomach pain and tenderness.
Some sleeping medications have the potential to cause parasomnias — behaviors and actions over which you have no control. During a parasomnia, you are asleep and unaware of what is happening. Parasomnias caused by sleeping pills may include sleepwalking, eating, making phone calls, driving or having sex while in a sleep state. Although rare, parasomnias are difficult to detect once the medication takes effect.
A treatment option is to take antidepressants at lower doses at bedtime since they induce drowsiness and your body is less likely to become dependent on them. Your health care provider can prescribe these medicines and monitor you while you take them. Although widely used, the Food and Drug Administration does not approve them for treating insomnia alone. When insomnia is secondary to depression or anxiety, antidepressants may improve both conditions at the same time.
Prescription sleeping pills and some OTC sleeping medications as well as certain antidepressants may not be safe for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding or for older adults. Since sleeping pills can increase nighttime falls and injury in older adults, lower doses may reduce the risk of falls.
Some health conditions such as kidney disease, asthma, high blood pressure, stroke or a history of seizures may limit your options. Prescription drugs and OTC sleep aids may interact with other medications. Taking certain prescription sleeping pills can lead to drug abuse or drug dependence, so it is important to follow your doctor’s advice and use them safely. Get a medical evaluation before taking sleeping pills and schedule a follow-up appointment to discuss the results and medication options.
Read the medication directions; if you have any questions, ask your health care provider or pharmacist. Never take a sleeping pill until you are going to bed. Plan to take your first sleeping pill when you can get a full night’s sleep, such as a Friday night if you work weekdays. Watch for side effects and report them to your doctor. Never take sleeping pills longer than your health care provider advises. When you are ready to stop taking the medication, follow your provider’s or pharmacist’s directions.
If your best attempts to get a good night’s sleep have failed, prescription sleeping pills may be an option. In the long run, however, making changes in your lifestyle and sleep habits may be the best treatment for problems with falling asleep and staying asleep.
The content of this article is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
Since Cheval Blanc, an extraordinary, newly designed and refurbished 72-room hotel owned by Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessey, launched in September 2021, it has been the talk of the town. Le Tout-Paris remarks about its WOW factor … and the hard-to-get reservations for the 30 seats at Plenitude, the intimate, first-floor gastronomic outlet headed by chef Arnaud Donckele, who earned three Michelin stars at Cheval Blanc Saint Tropez. Reservations are also recommended for Limbar, the ground-floor bakery/café/tea shop/bar where we watched Pastry Chef Maxime Frédéric preparing desserts and an absolute must-have for dinner at Le Tout-Paris, the 7th-floor, all-day brasserie. This brightly colored space, with its raised seating and Fauve-like floor tiles and the adjacent Milanese restaurant, Langosteria, both have access to terraces facing the Seine River, with amazing views encompassing Notre Dame to the Eiffel Tower.
IHG® Business Edge: Working Together with SMEs for a smarter way to manage travel
Nevada-based The Spa at Green Valley by Well & Being and The Spa at Red Rock by Well & Being celebrate the start of 2022 with new health, wellness and spa treatments available through March 31. Both spas offer an array of treatments for guests wanting to relax and unwind before 2022 kicks into full gear.
To allow visitors to safely and responsibly enjoy their trip to Barbados, the island announced streamlined port entry protocols. Barbados’ Ministry of Health and Wellness released the following protocols for all travelers planning on coming to the island.
Located in the South Pacific, The Islands of Tahiti are just eight hours by air from California. Surrounded by pristine, crystal-clear blue waters, the 118 islands and atolls offer natural beauty, authentic island culture and unique French Polynesian style. The Islands of Tahiti are world-renowned for white-sand beaches, stunning turquoise lagoons and varied landscapes ranging from coral atolls to volcanic mountain peaks. Privacy comes naturally in The Islands of Tahiti and offers visitors the space to relax and reconnect and to be Embraced By Mana. Mana is the life force and spirit that connects all things in The Islands of Tahiti.
Mar Del Cabo launched a new luxury beach fishing experience with an interactive paella workshop for guests. The Los Cabos-based hotel offers guests an immersive experience that takes them through the journey of creating paella, starting with a fishing session.
COJE Management Group raised the bar when it comes to cuisine and cocktails. The Boston-based group, founded by Chris Jamison and Mark Malatesta, offers guests the ultimate dining experience with old-world hospitality and an array of cuisines for every guest to enjoy. With culinary director Tom Berry incorporating the cuisines he encountered during his travels to South America, Cuba, Japan, Southeast Asia and France, each restaurant has distinguished itself as a must for anyone visiting Boston and each is designed exclusively in-house using inspiration from different regions and countries around the world.
Go ahead, take a nice, deep breath. Because a Seabourn voyage is all about this moment you’ve come so far in life to embrace. It’s not an escape, it’s an arrival.