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Insomnia Medication Names and Side Effects

What is the definition of insomnia?

Insomnia is the most common sleep complaint among people. Insomnia is defined as difficultly falling asleep, staying asleep, or both, resulting in inadequate length of sleep and/or poor quality of sleep, which may affect a person's ability to function during the day. Insomnia also may affect quality of life, work performance, and overall health. Insomnia is not a disease, but a symptom associated with a variety of medical, psychiatric, or sleep disorders.

Who suffers from insomnia?

  • Women: Women are much more likely to experience insomnia due to hormonal reasons than are men. Insomnia may occur due to the menstrual cycle (due to discomfort and pain) or menopause (due to night sweats and hot flashes which may disrupt sleep)
  • Older people (60 years of age or older): Insomnia increases with age which may be attributed to greater psychosocial stressors, losses, and medical illnesses.
  • People with mental health disorders: Many disorders including depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder and posttraumatic stress disorder disrupt sleep.
  • People experiencing stress: Different variations of stress may cause either transient or short term insomnia and lead to chronic insomnia such as death of a loved one, financial issues etc.
  • Long distance travelers: Travelling across multiple time zones and experience jet lag can cause insomnia.
  • Night shift employees: Working at night or frequently changing shifts increases one's risk of insomnia.
Last Reviewed 11/20/2017

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Patient Comments & Reviews

The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Insomnia Medications (Names and Side Effects):

Insomnia - Experience

Please share your experience with insomnia.

Insomnia - Cause

If known, what is/was the cause of your insomnia?

Insomnia - Natural Remedies

What natural remedies or non-drug therapies have you tried and found helpful in managing insomnia?

Insomnia - Sleeping Pills

What sleeping pills have you tried for insomnia, and what side effects have you experienced?

Insomnia Symptoms

There are many psychiatric and medical conditions that cause insomnia. Some of the common symptoms of insomnia are:

  • Impairment of daytime functioning
  • Mood changes
  • Anxiety
  • Poor social function
  • Headaches
  • Increased errors and mistakes
  • Daytime sleepiness
  • Daytime fatigue
  • Lack of energy
  • Poor attention and concentration

Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Insomnia »

Insomnia is defined as repeated difficulty with the initiation, duration, maintenance, or quality of sleep that occurs despite adequate time and opportunity for sleep that results in some form of daytime impairment.

Read More on Medscape Reference »

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