Sleep and Medication Essay

Insomnia can affect people in different way and can affect them for different periods of time. Insomnia is a disorder that individuals have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep and may experience daytime drowsiness, which can be caused by various aspects of life. Insomnia can only be diagnosed by medical personnel through various evaluations. Insomnia can be treated in various ways including the use the medication Ambien, which is also called Zolpidem.

Ambien has many side effects that can be very dangerous, which a person may not have any memory of. Ambien may not be considered addictive, however it creates a habit.Ambien also can create a dependency that can be physical or psychological. Ambien is a sedative-hypnotic that acts on the brain to cause a calming effect. Long term use of Ambien can create a tolerance of the medication. The treatment for the use of Ambien can be a combination of decreasing the medication and the help of a psychologist. Insomnia has several variations of what a person with sleep issues can be diagnosed with. Insomnia can be considered chronic insomnia or acute insomnia.

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Chronic insomnia is when a person has occurrences of insomnia three or more nights a week for over a period of a month.Acute insomnia is when it lasts between one night and a few weeks. Primary insomnia is when a person suffers from sleep problems that are not associated with any other condition. Secondary insomnia is when a person is suffering sleep problems due to another condition such as health problems; such as depression.

The symptoms for insomnia are difficulty falling asleep, waking up often throughout the night, waking up too early in the morning, feeling tired upon waking up, irritability, general tiredness, sleepiness during the day, and problems with concentration or memory.A person does not have to have all these symptoms to be diagnosed with insomnia. You may only have a few symptoms. (WebMD, 2012) Insomnia can have several causes that can be treated with various methods. The causes for acute insomnia are a significant life stress; such as divorce, death, job loss, or a move, illness, emotional or physical discomfort, environmental factors, some medications, and interferences of sleep schedule. Acute insomnia may not require any treatment, however you might need to practice some recommended sleep habits. The causes of chronic insomnia are depression, anxiety, chronic stress, and pain or discomfort at night.

The treatment for chronic insomnia will first begin with treating any underlying conditions and if insomnia still persists then other treatments will be used. A person may be recommended to go through behavioral therapy, relaxation exercises, sleep restriction therapy, or reconditioning. Insomnia can only be diagnosed by a health care provider.

Your provider will conduct an evaluation that may include a physical exam, medical history, and sleep history. You may have to keep a log of all your sleep patterns for a couple weeks including how you feel when you go to sleep, when you wake up, and how you feel throughout the day.If a person has a partner that sleeps with them at night, their partner might be asked questions about your sleeping patterns.

A person may even be recommended to a sleep center in order to perform special tests while you are sleeping or trying to fall asleep. (WebMD, 2012) Insomnia can be treated with the use of medication, but it is meant for short term use. A common medication used to treat insomnia is Ambien.

Ambien is considered a sedative-hypnotics drug that calms the brain down.Ambien is used to cause you to fall asleep faster and remain asleep in order to have a better nights rest. Ambien is only used as a short term treatment period of no more than two weeks. Ambien is required to be taken right before you are going to bed because it works quickly. In order to take this medication you must have seven to eight hours available to sleep in order to prevent memory loss. Ambien has many side effects that can be very dangerous if not used properly. A person may feel dizziness especially if they do not go to bed directly after taking this medication.People who have taken this drug have been known to sleep walk, drive, prepared and eaten meals, made phone calls, or have had sex without even remembering conducting any of this behavior.

You may also experience hallucinations, confusion, agitation, aggressive behavior, anxiety, or memory loss from taking Ambien. (WebMD) In the New York Times issue in March 8, 2006 it was discussed that drivers that under the influence of Ambien will have zombie-like stares and run into objects that are not moving. Individuals that drive under the influence of Ambien have no memory of getting behind the wheel of a vehicle after taking the drug.A total number of one hundred and eighty seven people were found positive for Ambien in the state of Wisconsin for driving from 1999 to 2004. (J. F. L.

2006) A double blind study was conducted on twelve older and thirteen younger healthy adults in order to determine whether sleep inertia, which is grogginess upon awakening from sleep with or without the use of Ambien, impairs walking stability and cognition during awakenings from sleep. The tests were a tandem walk on a beam and cognition, measured using computerized performance tasks, two hours after treatment.Before the medication was given no participants stepped off the beam. After taking the medication seven out of twelve older adults and three out thirteen younger adults stepped off the beam. There were none after sleep inertia and three after wakefulness control for older adults.

There were only one after sleep inertia and three after wakefulness control for younger adults. However, cognition was greatly impaired after taking Ambien in both older and younger participants. The working memory for older participants was a negative four point three and for younger was a negative twelve point four.In sleep inertia it had a greater impairment of the cognition of the younger participants. The use of Ambien created an increase in the balance and cognition impairments upon awakening from sleep. (Frey 2011) Ambien is not known to create an addiction or dependency when used for a short period of time.

If Ambien is used for a longer period of time than the two weeks recommended time frame a person can create a dependency. Ambien can cause a physical dependence, which occurs when the body can no longer function properly, which means a person is having trouble falling asleep without the use of the medication.It is considered a physical dependence because the body is depending on the chemical to put the brain to sleep at a designated time. A person may develop a rebound effect of insomnia if the medication is stopped, which would make a person get back on Ambien. The body is fighting back because it was exposed to a sedative drug for an extended period of time. The symptoms of physical dependence are irritability, severe anxiety, depression, sweating, and stomach cramps (All Treatment, 2012). Ambien can also create a psychological dependency, which is when an individual believes that they need the drug in order to fall asleep.

This creates a behavior and attitude that a person gets a pleasure out of the medication, which makes it difficult to remove this form of happiness. The symptoms of psychological dependency are looking forward to taking Ambien, insufflating Ambien for stronger effects, and attempting to stay awake while on Ambien in order to experience its relaxing effects (All Treatment, 2012). A way to prevent a dependency is not to take the medication every night, but to take it for five days out of the week. (WebMD) The longer an individual takes the medication a tolerance is slowly being developed.The body will not react to the medication as well, which may result in a full nights rest. A person’s brain may not calm down enough in order to fall asleep or the drug will wear off faster. In order to overcome the tolerance a person must take more of the medication, but this will never be recommended by medical personnel. (WebMD) An individual can also go through withdrawals after taking the medication for an extended period of time.

The symptoms of withdrawal are panic attacks, flushing of the skin, lightheadedness, muscle cramps, nausea, vomiting, and uncontrollable crying.Withdrawal symptoms can be prevented by speaking to medical personnel in order to set up a plan of tapering off of the medication instead of just stopping use of the medication immediately. (Tolerancy, 2012) A person with a dependency whether it is physical or psychological might need to go through treatment in orders to be taken off of Ambien. The typical treatment for use of Ambien is the tapering effect. A medical provider will decrease the amount of the medication over a period of time in order to prevent any withdrawal symptoms.In a case of an emergency when an individual has to immediately stop taking Ambien there are antidotes that can be given in order to counteract the respiratory depression. Psychological assistance is also given in order to keep a person from going back on the medication.

Therapy will be used in order to treat a psychological dependency. They will help the individual change their behaviors and create good sleeping habits in order prevent a relapse. The psychologist will also assist in any other issues that they are having, which could cause them to have a reoccurrence of insomnia.Over five years ago I was diagnosed with Insomnia, but I was treated with the medication Ambien. I was given this medication for continual treatment due to the lack of the improvement of the symptoms.

The effect of having insomnia during the military was very exhausting. I would not be able to concentrate at work. When I first started taking the medication I was having hallucinations that things were occurring. I started seeing people in my room, but no one was there. After I originally stopped taking the medication I had a reoccurrence of the symptoms of insomnia.I was put back on the medication immediately.

Throughout the years of being on the medication I created a dependency and addiction to the medication. My body or mind does not shut off until I take the medication regardless of what time I wake up in the morning or what I do throughout the day. I like that I can sleep without being disrupted and being woken up by a slight noise outside. As a result of taking this medication for years I have not been able to go to sleep without the medication.

When I first started taking Ambien I experienced hallucinations until my body got used to the medication.I have also driven my car, made phone calls, and walked around, but had no clue about it. I would find out the following day what happened, but no memory of what was said.

I was experiencing a hard time falling asleep, unable to stay asleep and daytime drowsiness. I would not be able to take naps during the day even when I was sleepy. I experienced this for several nights a week for several months before I went to see a doctor. When I went to the doctor’s office the doctor determined that there were no underlying conditions that caused my symptoms.My doctor conducted an evaluation on my sleep history and I conducted a sleep study overnight.

I was diagnosed with chronic insomnia with no underlying condition; therefore I was only going to be treated for insomnia. The treatment that I was given to treat my insomnia was Ambien. I was originally only supposed to take the medication for a two week period, however my insomnia continued once I got off of the medication. I have been on Ambien for about five years now and I am unable to go to bed without it. I believe that I have both physical dependence and psychological dependence on this medication.Without the medication my brain will never calm down, nor will my body feel tired or exhausted, but once I take the medication I will instantly fall asleep. I also feel that I believe that I no longer can go to bed without because I have been taken the medication every night before I go to bed.

I have experienced a tolerance of the medication, but I just continue the use as prescribed. I may not get as much sleep as I used to, but it is better than not sleeping. I have never experienced withdrawal symptoms because I have not been taken off of the medication, since I have been prescribed it over five years ago.I know that when I attempt to get off of the medication I will have to use the tapering effect as well as psychological assistance. I will also go to classes in order to create good sleeping habits and change the way I approach going to bed at night. Insomnia affects everyone in various ways. It is a disorder that causes a difficulty in falling asleep or a difficulty staying asleep.

It can also cause daytime drowsiness. Insomnia is only diagnosed through evaluations that can result in various treatments. A common short term treatment is the use of the medication Ambien.It can also be treated by studying good sleeping habits and the assistance of a psychologist. Ambien can have some dangerous side effects that individuals may have no memory of. Ambien can create dependency, but it can be physical or psychological or both. The medication is not addictive if used only for a short term use.

Once a person uses the medication for an extended period of time they may need help from the assistance from professionals in order to get you off the medication. Ambien is used to cause a calming effect in the brain because it is a sedative-hypnotic drug.Sanofi-Aventis U. S. LLC. (2012, 05).

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