Sleeping pills are prescribed to treat insomnia, characterized by insufficient duration and poor quality of nighttime sleep. Therapeutic action of sleeping pills is to facilitate the onset of sleep and to improve its quality. Some sleeping pills have not only hypnotic but also sedative effect. For insomnia treatment different types of sleeping pills can be prescribed, included in various pharmacological groups.
* Barbiturates are sleeping pills that are derivatives of barbituric acid. Sleeping pills from the group of barbiturates (for example, Phenobarbital) depress CNS functions, providing antispasmodic and anticonvulsant effect. Advantage of barbiturates is that they have a powerful hypnotic action. However, dependence to barbiturates may occur in a person, taking these sleeping pills for a long time. Therefore, as sleeping pills they are prescribed only for short-term treatment of insomnia.
* As an alternative to barbiturates, benzodiazepines (Midazolam, Triazolam) can be prescribed that have hypnotic, muscle relaxant, sedative and anticonvulsant effect. Unlike to barbiturates, sleeping pills from benzodiazepines group do not suppress REM sleep (rapid eye movement sleep), so they much less often suppress daily activity. However, like barbiturates, sleeping pills from benzodiazepines group can cause drug dependence.
* Cyclopyrrolones belong to a group of sleeping pills, providing a short-acting hypnotic effect. After using cyclopyrrolone sleeping pills (for example, Zopiclone), sleep comes within 5-15 minutes (depending on the taken dose). Uniqueness of cyclopyrrolone sleeping pills is that their use does not cause a feeling of sleepiness in the morning in contrast to barbiturates and benzodiazepines.
* Imidazopyridines belong to a group of hypnotic drugs that do not affect the central and peripheral receptors of the central nervous system. Sleeping pills from a group of imidazopyridines (for example, Zolpidem pills) differ from other types of sleeping pills by that they have a more selective and more pronounced therapeutic effect. In addition, these sleeping pills cause much less side effects and have a insignificant potential for drug dependence.
* Sleeping pills from ethanolamines group (for example, Doxylamine pills) reduce the time of falling asleep, by increasing the duration and quality of sleep. Ethanolamines provide a hypnotic effect without disturbing the sleep phase. But hypnotic effect of these sleeping pills is achieved faster and lasts less than after the use of sleeping pills from barbiturates group.
* Melatonin is a epiphysis hormone, regulating the daily rhythm. Sleeping pills, containing Melatonin hormone restore a normal circadian biorhythm, preventing insomnia occurrence. Thanks to the fact that the use of sleeping pills, containing Melatonin (for example, Ramelteon pills) provides a healthy deep sleep, the functions of all internal organs and physiological systems are normalized in the body. Unlike other sleeping pills, Melatonin pills do not depress CNS, that is why they do not have sedative effect. So, taking sleeping pills Melatonin before bedtime, a person feels fresh, active and full of energy.
Almost all sleeping pills, providing a powerful hypnotic effect have a high potential for drug dependence. Consequence of sleeping pills abuse may become anxiety or depressive disorder. In order to reduce the risk of severe mental disorders, the duration of sleeping pills with powerful soporific action should not exceed 7-10 days. You can find out from treating physician or pharmacist more information about prescription sleeping pills that have the least potential for drug dependence.