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Insomnia and Sleep Aids

by Kimberly Johnson

18146Insomnia and Sleep Aids
You’ve likely seen the popular TV ad campaign for Rozerem… the insomnia guy who keeps late-night company with Abe Lincoln, a beaver, and other colorful characters from his dreams?
Insomnia is such a common problem (one in three adults report having some type of insomnia) that sleep aids such as Rozerem are more popular than ever. Insomnia and Sleep Aids
In this article, we’ll look at the different types of insomnia, self help treatments you can try, and Rozerem as a sleep aid for the treatment of insomnia.
What Causes Insomnia
Insomnia happens when your sleep-wake cycle, or your internal clock, is disrupted. It can be caused by many factors: stress, illness, pain, jet lag, sleep apnea, excessive physical or emotional arousal, shift work, a sedentary lifestyle, worrying about sleep, depression, and other factors.Certain types of drugs can cause or worsen your insomnia:

  • Antidepressants
  • Antihypertensives
  • Antiarrhythmics
  • Antibiotics
  • Antihistamines
  • Antivirals
  • Bronchodilators
  • Central nervous system stimulants
  • Corticosteroids
  • Decongestants
  • Diuretics
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)

Insomnia is more common in people over age 60 and especially in women over 40. It’s estimated that up to one third of the population suffers from some type of insomnia.
Insomnia presents itself in a variety of different ways… once-in-a-while insomnia, chronic insomnia, insomnia that keeps you from falling asleep, insomnia that wakes you up frequently during the night, insomnia that wakes you up too early, and insomnia that allows you to sleep, but poorly.
There are three main types of insomnia:

  1. Transient Insomnia: This is short-term insomnia that typically lasts from a few nights to a few weeks. Transient insomnia may cause next-day sleepiness, mood changes, and performance impairment.
  2. Intermittent Insomnia: This is when you have periods of transient insomnia that occur on and off over months or years. It can lead to chronic insomnia.
  3. Chronic Insomnia: This is long term insomnia – difficulty sleeping for more than a month. Chronic insomnia is often related to more serious problems like depression, memory impairment, accidents, missed work, and increased visits to the doctor.


  • Open the bedroom windows if possible. Fresh air may help you sleep.
  • Don’t read or watch TV in bed… reserve the bed for sleep so the mind begins to associate lying down with sleeping
  • Keep a tight schedule going to bed and waking up at the same time each day.
  • Avoid daytime naps so you’re more tired at bedtime.
  • Don’t eat heavy meals before going to bed. Avoid caffeine, alcohol and tobacco.
  • Exercise, even 15 minutes a day, can help you relax and get a better sleep.
  • Warm milk before bed really works because it causes a chemical reaction that increases serotonin in the brain, making you feel relaxed and calm.

If self help doesn’t improve your insomnia, it may be time to discuss sleep aids with your doctor.

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