There are many different types of sleep aids for insomnia, including over-the-counter medications and prescription medications. To understand what the right option is depends on your medical condition and overall health. Speak to your healthcare provider today to determine what option is right for you!
Examples of some over-the-counter medication used for insomnia include antihistamines (Benadryl), herbal and dietary supplements (melatonin).
Pharmaceutical treatment options include drug classes like:
- Benzodiazepines like flurazepam, quazepam and temazepam. These medications slow down your brain by increasing the impact that GABA (an inhibitory messenger) has in the brain.
- Nonbenzodiazepine hypnotics (“Z” drugs) like Ambien (zolpidem), Lunesta (eszopiclone) act like the sleep neurotransmitter GABA that is naturally found in your brain. These medications are typically shorter acting than benzodiazepines.
- Melatonin receptor agonist:
- Ramelteon acts like melatonin, which is naturally occurring chemical in your brain. Melatonin is created when it gets dark outside and helps control your sleep-wake pattern or circadian rhythms.
- Orexin receptor antagonist:
- Medications like Belsomra (suvorexant) blocks a wake neurotransmitter called orexin that naturally occurs in your brain. This medication blocks the effects of orexin in order to induce sleep.
- Sedative antidepressants:
- Sedating antidepressants like Desyrel (trazodone) and Elavil (amitriptyline) work by increasing certain brain chemicals like serotonin and norepinephrine to improve sleep.
- Insomnia. National Sleep Foundation.
- Insomnia. American Sleep Association.