When most people think of sleep disorders, the first thing that comes to mind is medications. While medications may, indeed, be a short-term or longer part of a treatment regimen, at Mt. Scott we examine all treatment options together. Sometimes simple life changes and sleep pattern changes can be all a patient needs. With many conditions, however, medications are an effective component to relief.
Two types of condition for which medications are often prescribed are circadian rhythm disorders and insomnia. Circadian rhythm disorder is a disruption to your biological clock which causes a disruption of normal sleep patterns. Medications commonly used to treat circadian rhythm disorder include Melatonin (a natural hormone produced by the brain at night), Rozerem (a melatonin receptor stimulant), Benzodiazepines., Nonbenzodiazepine Hypnotics, and Provigil. Doctors will also, in some cases, prescribe drugs for the treatment of insomnia. All insomnia medications are taken shortly before bed. Some drugs commonly used to treat insomnia include Ambien, Zolpimist, Lunesta, Rozerem, Sonata, Benzodiazepines, antidepressants, and others.
Because of the prevalence of sleep-aid advertising on television, it is tempting to either try over-the-counter medications or to request a specific medication that you have heard about. At Mt. Scott we advise against this and whether you come to us for advice and treatment or your primary physician, encourage you to be as complete and specific as possible about the severity, frequency and nature of your symptoms, and to let your physician suggest a treatment plan that best addresses your specific problems.