Insomnia Depression and Anxiety

Insomnia and Anxiety in Older People

Sleeping Pills Are Not The Best Solution

Approximately one-third of older people in the USA take sleeping pills. Sleeping pills are ‘sedative-hypnotic’ or ‘tranquilizer’ drugs. They directly affect the brain and spinal cord of the user. Doctors often prescribe sleeping pills for sleep disorders. These drugs are also helpful in treating other conditions such as anxiety or alcohol withdrawal.

Sedative-hypnotics are not very preferable for older adults. They must try non-drug treatments first. According to the American Geriatrics Society, there are better and much safer ways to improve sleep problems or reduce anxiety for elderly patients.

Here is why sleeping pills could not be the best option for older adults:

Sleeping Pills May Not Help Much

Advertisements say that sleeping pills help get a peaceful full night’s sleep. But according to researches and studies, this is not 100% true in real life. On average, people who take medicines sleep only a little longer than the ones who don’t take them.

Sleeping Pills Can Have Severe, Or Even Life-Threatening Side Effects

Geriatric patients have additional risks by sedative-hypnotic drugs. Elderly users are likely to get more adversely affected by these drugs than the younger ones.

These drugs even stay longer in the systems of elderly users.

In older adults, sleeping pills tend to cause memory problem and confusion:

  • Doubles and even triples the risk of falls and fractures. These are common causes of hospitalization and deaths of elderly patients.
  • Elevates the risk of car accidents.

New ‘Z’ Drugs Also Have Risks

There was massive publicity and advertisement for the new ‘Z’ drug. At first, they were considered safer than other medicines. But current studies show that they have more risks than the old sleeping medications.

Try Treating Without Medicines First

Get thoroughly medically examined. Sleeping issues can be a result of many conditions, including depression or anxiety, restlessness, pain, leg syndrome, and other conditions. Even if the examination does not find the actual condition causing sleep problems, always try different solutions before you go for drugs.

Types Of Sleeping Pills

All the below mentioned sleeping pills have side effects, especially for older adults.

Benzodiazepines

For insomnia

  • Estazolam (only generic)
  • Flurazepam (Generic and Dalmane)
  • Quazepam (Doral)
  • Temazepam (Generic and Restoril)
  • Triazolam (Generic and Halcion)

For anxiety

Barbiturates

  • Secobarbital (Generic and Seconal)
  • Phenobarbital (Generic and Luminal)

‘Z’ Drugs

  • Zolpidem (Generic and Ambien)
  • Eszopiclone (Lunesta)
  • Zaleplon (Generic and Sonata)

Over-The-Counter Medicines May Not Be The Right Choice

Common side effects of some of these medicines, such as next-day drowsiness, constipation, dry mouth, confusion, and difficulty urinating, can be very bothersome for older users. Try to avoid the following over-the-counter sleep medications, especially for older adults:

  • Diphenhydramine (Generic, Benadryl Allergy, Nytol, and Sominex)
  • Doxylamine (Generic and Unisom)
  • Advil PM (a combination of diphenhydramine and ibuprofen)
  • Tylenol PM (a combination of diphenhydramine and acetaminophen)

When To Try Sleeping Pills

Consider taking sleeping drugs only when other treatment options are inadequate, and your sleep problems are affecting the quality of life. Your health care advisor should monitor you closely to make sure that the drug is useful in getting restful sleep and not causing any adverse effects.

Treatment Through Medicines

If all the other options proved to be insufficient, take FDA approved medications prescribed by your doctor. The most common prescription for treatment of sleeping problems or insomnia is Ambien. It causes less side effects and provides better efficacy. You can buy Ambien online through online pharmacies. But make sure to take the medication only as directed.

For the treatment of anxiety in younger as well as older adults, buy Xanax online. Xanax is the 19th most prescribed medication in the USA in 2016, with more than 27 million prescriptions. It is safer and better than other anti-anxiety drugs.

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