Medication for Insomnia


Find Sleep Clinics & Specialists »

There are various different medicines available for people who suffer from insomnia, and it is important that you seek proper medical advice before taking any of the following. It is also usually recommended that non-prescription drugs are tried before prescription drugs.  Prescription drugs are also given with a warning of dependency, and should generally be taken for a temporary period as you should not become dependent on them to sleep. Remember – alcohol can intensify side-affects of these drugs, and should be avoided.

Antihistamine drugs for Insomnia

Antihistamine may initially provide to aid sleeping and some are available over the counter, such as diphenhydramine. However, you may find that the drug becomes less effective the longer it is taken and it often leaves you feeling groggy the morning after it is taken. 

Benzodiazepines (prescription drug) for Insomnia

Benzodiazepines may help you sleep in most cases but has many negative comebacks including, possibility of dependence, drowsiness and lack of concentration.

Antidepressants (prescription drug) for Insomnia

Some evidence has shown that antidepressants, help relax you before sleep, however this is not a fully researched area and should be approached with caution. In cases where insomnia can be linked to depression then this drug may be the better one to be considered.

Melatonin for Insomnia

This is considered a more natural medicine. Melatonin is secreted by the pineal gland within the brain and tells the brain that it is dark. As the secretion of melatonin decreases with age, it seems acceptable that it should be a supplement for the lost natural melatonin from the pineal gland. Supplements should be taken carefully and recommendation given on the correct dosage.

Sleeping pills may help in the short-term, giving you a peace of mind as you go to sleep and this perhaps ironically shows the mental importance in overcoming insomnia. It has been commented that merely having tablets next to your bed, just in case of a disrupted night’s sleep, gives you the comfort you need to know that you will be able to sleep regardless. It is also thought that the drugs that can be taken induce a relaxed state and thus you are not actually getting to sleep that much faster, but feel as though you are because the period in which they are trying to get to sleep is a more relaxed one.

Overall, there are medical aids available, but it is advised to approach these with due caution and almost as a last resort and most certainly with professional medical advice. It is generally recommended not to rely on these unnatural methods to sleep, because the long-term effects may only accentuate your insomnia. If you are suffering from insomnia, adopt some natural changes first and then if necessary consult your doctor or pharmacist on the medicines available, ensuring you get the right dosage for your condition. Even if you find that taking medicine is the only beneficial method of curing your insomnia, it is heavily recommended that you do try to sleep unaided and take medications for short periods of time.


« Treatment for Insomnia Sleep Apnoea »