ZocdocAnswersWhat can I do to sleep through the night?

Question

What can I do to sleep through the night?

I currently take ambien cr and trazadone. The doctor added sonata low dose to try and help me sleep through the night. It didn't work

Answer

I am sorry that you have been having difficulty sleeping. I would recommend that you discuss your concerns with your primary care doctor, but here are some general thoughts that may be helpful. Insomnia can be difficult to treat, and medications are often started without adequate consideration of potential underlying contributors to the difficulty sleeping. The general approach to insomnia starts with improving sleep hygiene and stimulus control. Among numerous other, this includes principles such as: exercising for 20 minutes about 4-5 hours prior to sleeping, avoiding caffeine after lunch, maintaining a consistent sleep schedule, avoiding bright screens before bed (TV, iPads, etc.), and dealing with worries/stressors before attempting to sleep. If improved sleep hygiene does not help, cognitive behavioral therapy may be added along with medications. It is difficult to comment on the medications that you are taking without knowing more about you (your age, gender, other medical history, sleep patterns, etc.), but there is a distinction between difficulty falling asleep and difficulty staying asleep. Some medications help with the former (such as Sonata, ativan, and ramelteon) and others with the latter (such as Ambien extended release and Lunesta). Importantly, most insomnia medications have side effects (daytime drowsiness, dizziness, cognitive impairment) and many are habit-forming. I strongly suggest that you discuss some of the above with your primary care physician so that you can find a strategy that works best for you!

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.