Insomnia might also leave you feeling anxious, sad, or irritable, and it’s been linked to a worsening of symptoms for people with depression and anxiety.
It could be a more serious matter and may be chronic insomnia (though your doctor may call it “insomnia disorder”).
Up to 10 percent of adult Americans suffer from this problem, and it’s not something to be ignored.
Benzodiazepines and other sedative-hypnotics should be used sparingly by older patients, and only after alternatives have been tried and failed.
The recently revised 2012 – one of the leading sources of information about safe prescribing for older adults – suggests that older adults avoid benzodiazepines because of the substantial risks associated with them.
Frequently, doctors have relied on sleep medications like eszopiclone (Lunesta and generic); ramelteon (Rozerem and generic); zaleplon (Sonata and generic); zolpidem (Ambien, Ambien CR, Edluar, Zolpi Mist, and generic); or other drugs like the antidepressant trazodone, to manage insomnia.
In fact, previous CR Best Buy Drug reports looked closely at the differences among these medications—how much faster did they help people get to sleep?Common benzodiazepines include Xanax (alprazolam), Librium (chlordiazepoxide), Valium (diazepam), and Ativan (lorazepam).They are often prescribed for patients with anxiety and agitation.Q: Are there non-drug alternatives that may help prevent or soothe anxiety? Getting regular exercise may help, as may meditating, or simply taking slow, deep breaths.If that doesn’t help, consider psychotherapy, or “talk therapy.” A type of psychotherapy called cognitive-behavioral therapy can be particularly helpful in treating anxiety disorders.For more information about these techniques, visit and go to