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Sleep Aid Pills For Treatment Of Insomnia

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Sleep is a natural cyclic process of reduced consciousness, voluntary activities and decreased intensity of perception of stimulus.

The American Academy of Sleep Medicine has described sleep under following stages:

  • N1- Stage of dozing.
  • N2- Stage of unequivocal sleep.
  • N3- Stage of deep sleep and cerebral sleep.
  • REM sleep- Stage of paradoxical sleep.

During sleep, stages occur in the following cycle:

  • Awake
  • N1
  • N2
  • N3
  • N2
  • REM sleep
  • Awake

Sleep is essential for us, as it helps in growth and development, and it also rejuvenates various systems of our body like the immune, skeletal, nervous and muscular systems.

Sleeping pills for treatment of insomnia:

Sleep aid pills are of two types:

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  1. Sedatives: These drugs suppress excitement and calm the person without inducing sleep, though drowsiness may be faced.
  2. Hypnotics: These drugs induce and maintain sleep, similar to the normal arousable conditions.

Sedatives are used to calm a patient before administrating anesthetic drugs, whereas hypnotics are the main drugs used for inducing sleep. They include 2 classes of drugs, barbiturates and benzodiazepines.

Barbiturates are not preferred, as they have more side effects than benzodiazepines. Zolpidem is the best drug amongst all benzodiazepines and is commonly prescribed for treatment of insomnia. It has following actions:

  • It induces sleep.
  • Sleep duration is prolonged.
  • Sleep latency is shortened.

It has to be taken 30 minutes before going to sleep.

Drug dependency:

Sleep aid pills tops the list of drug which causes dependence.

Doctors prescribe sleep aid pills for a short period of time to their patients. Patient is relieved from insomnia, and they are much satisfied, as a result they start taking these drugs on daily basis, causing dependency. Drug dependency is harmful for the patient, as it can cause overdose leading to the toxic effects of the drug.

Uses of sleep aid pills:

  • Used for chronic, transient and short term insomnia.
  • As anxiolytics.
  • For day time sedation.
  • Used to treat convulsions.
  • For preanasthetic medication.
  • Used in patients for alcohol withdrawal.

Zolpidem is a safe drug and its effect on heart, respiratory and cardiovascular systems are less than any other drug.

Side effects are rare, but if there is overdose of drug then following symptoms can be seen:

  • Disorientation
  • Vomiting
  • Low blood pressure
  • Dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Tremors
  • Fainting

If such symptoms are seen in a patient consuming this drug, a glass of salt water should be given, as this helps induce vomiting, and further absorption of pills in stomach can be prevented.

Misuse of drugs:

Nowadays, many people misuse these drugs. Especially, it is misused by students to induce sleep, who are under a lot of stress during their exams. Other people who misuse this drug include, business men, doctors and management related workers.


For a peaceful mind, we need peaceful sleep and hence sleep aid pills that are used for treatment of insomnia are important for us. There are so many causes of stress, depression and other psychiatric problems around us, which have disturbed our mind and have affected our sleep. To treat this we need pills as sleep is essential for our body and mind.

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