If drinking warm milk doesn’t help you get to sleep, you might take a new drug to combat insomnia. Making a real effort to stick to the same bedtime and wake-up time every day may help even more.
The new drug Sonata (chemical name: zaleplon) may help people with trouble falling asleep, according to reports at the annual joint meeting of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and Sleep Research Society in Las Vegas in June. Sonata is also the first prescription sleep aid the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says is OK to take at bedtime or even later if you find yourself tossing and turning–as long as you plan to stay in bed for at least 4 hours longer.
Because the body eliminates zaleplon rapidly–half of it disappears within 1 hour–it’s unlikely to keep you from waking frequently if that is your problem. After 4 hours, the amount remaining in the body is negligible. Gary Zammit, PhD, who directs the Sleep Disorders Institute at St. Luke’s Roosevelt Hospital Center, New York City, and his colleagues found people who took zaleplon had no significant sleepiness 4 hours later. By contrast, volunteers who took the nation’s most commonly prescribed sleeping medication, Ambien (zolpidem), were still sleepy 7 hours afterward. Most people who take Ambien at their normal bedtime, of course, want to stay asleep for at least 7 hours.
If your main problem is trouble getting to sleep or getting back to sleep during the night, Sonata may help you fall asleep faster. If you both have trouble falling asleep and you awaken frequently, you may benefit more from taking Ambien, Halcion (triazolam), or another drug that stays active longer.
Sticking to a regular workout schedule has also been known to help.
Article By: Lynne Lamberg, Medical Writer