The treatment is related to the cause, if the cause can be determined. If there is an obvious physical or psychological disorder causing sleep disorder, it should be treated. Depression is a very common cause of sleep disorder and can usually be treated with medication, cognitive behavioral therapy, or interpersonal therapy.
- Over-the-counter sleep aids that contain diphenhydramine (Benadryl), an antihistamine, may be helpful or short-term bouts of insomnia.
- Because the body can grow accustomed to antihistamine sleep aids, they often lose their effectiveness the more you take them.
- Benzodiazepines are commonly used for the management of sleep disorders.
- Other drugs used in the management of insomnia include unique agents called non-benzodiazepine sedative hypnotics. Examples include Ambien (zolpidem), Sonata (zaleplon), and Lunesta (eszopiclone).
- Drug classes also considered sedative hypnotics are barbiturates and sedating antihistamines.
- Rozerem (ramelteon), the first in the class, is a melatonin receptor agonist which mimics the body's natural sleep promoting hormone, melatonin. The unique properties of this drug class are that it works with the body's natural circadian rhythm to promote sleep.