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Does Lunesta Affect Your Metabolism?

What’s keeping you awake at night? 

People complain about how hard it is to get to sleep and stay asleep. The reasons are plentiful for the lack of shut-eye: work stress, family stress, finances, health, trauma, illness, relationship status, or the myriad of thoughts running through the mind at break-neck speed. Whatever the reason so many people might have short-term or chronic insomnia, there’s a medicine for it. Lunesta is one of them.

Millions of people take Lunesta or another sleep medication every night right before they go to bed and get a sound night’s sleep.

In fact:

  • Nine million Americans take a prescription drug to help them fall asleep.
  • Sleep medication use was higher for women (5 percent) than men (3.1 percent).
  • The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that “over 16 percent of adults using some form of sleep aids have reported a physician’s diagnosis of a sleep disorder, which is five times higher than in those who did not report such diagnosis.”

Some people who take the drug state they have either gained or lost weight while taking Lunesta. So does Lunesta affect your metabolism?

It is possible.

Read on to find out what we mean by that.

What Is Lunesta?

Lunesta contains eszopiclone, which slows down the functions of the brain, causing you to feel sleepy and fall asleep. It also helps you stay asleep for at least eight hours. It is a sedative-hypnotic (sleep). It is also a central nervous system depressant (CNS) drug, which means it slows the body to help you to relax. Lunesta, the brand name for eszopiclone, is used to treat insomnia.

Insomnia is one of the most common sleep disorders.  A Science Daily article notes from a University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine 2018 study that about 25 percent of Americans experience acute insomnia (AI) each year. That’s roughly one in four people. More than 75 percent of those recover without developing chronic insomnia. This is where short-term sleep aids, like Lunesta, would be beneficial.

Lunesta has some side effects to know. The most common are:

  • Headache
  • Lightheadedness or dizziness
  • Daytime drowsiness
  • Nausea, vomiting, or heartburn
  • Unpleasant taste (metallic taste in mouth)
  • Loss of coordination
  • Dry mouth
  • Unusual dreams
  • Breast enlargement in men
  • Pain
  • Decreased sexual desire
  • Painful menstrual periods

Weight gain and weight loss are rarely reported among Lunesta users. Weight gain appears to be a rare side effect of Lunesta. A small percentage of Lunesta users claim they have a feeling of hunger while on the drug. Yet others claim they have lost weight on it.

The most alarming side effects of this drug that are reported are the people who say they have conducted activities not usually done when asleep. The sleep-related activities most reported are:

  • Sleep driving
  • Sleep sex
  • Sleep cooking or baking
  • Sleep-eating

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What Is Metabolism?

Metabolism is the body’s process of converting food into energy. The Mayo Clinic states that during this process, calories in food and beverages are combined with oxygen to release the energy your body uses to function.

Three factors determine someone’s metabolic rate: body size and composition, gender, and age. Men usually have a faster metabolism than women because they are larger and have more muscle. Younger people have a faster metabolism than older people. When a person’s metabolism slows down, the pounds start to add up.

Metabolism slows down at night when we are at rest. This is why most doctors and nutritionists suggest we do not eat for a few hours before going to bed.

How Might Lunesta Affect Metabolism?

Lunesta does not directly affect your metabolism. It does affect your brain and body by slowing both down so that you can relax, drift off to sleep, and stay asleep. When your body is at rest, your metabolism is at rest. This is how Lunesta might affect your metabolism.

Also, it’s beneficial to know that sleep deprivation affects metabolism. Metabolism slows down to conserve resources (food) when sleep is deprived. A minor amount of sleep deprivation incurs hormonal changes: a 20 percent  increase in ghrelin (a hunger hormone), and a 15 percent decrease in leptin (the hormone that tells you when to stop eating), as WebMD reports.  

Too little sleep hampers metabolism, which can cause weight gain, as noted by SleepAdvisor. The site advises that 3 to 5 percent of obesity in adults is due to sleep deprivation. 

A sleep medicine, such as Lunesta, helps you get to sleep, stay asleep, and wake up refreshed, with your metabolism in balance.

Person measuring their waistline

How to Safely Stop Taking Lunesta

It is always smart to be weaned off the medication slowly, rather than take yourself off it abruptly. If you or someone you know is struggling with a substance use disorder related to sleep medication, it’s essential to seek help.

Even if it seems like your substance use to Lunesta or other sleep aid drugs is under control, it can get out of hand if not treated.

Addiction affects a person’s health, relationships, finances, and legal standing over time. Getting help through addiction treatment allows you to avoid the consequences of addiction. Learn healthier ways to fall and stay asleep today.

Sources

U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. NCHS Data Brief No. 127. August 2013. Prescription Sleep Aid Use Among Adults: United States, 2005–2010Yinong Chong, Ph.D.; Cheryl D. Fryar, M.S.P.H.; and Qiuping Gu, M.D., Ph.D from https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db127.pdf

Science Daily. One in four Americans develop insomnia each year: 75 percent of those with insomnia recover. University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. June 5, 2018 from https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/06/180605154114.htm

Mayo Clinic. Healthy Lifestyle. Weight Loss. Metabolism and weight loss: How you burn calories. Retrieved September 2019 from https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/weight-loss/in-depth/metabolism/art-20046508

WebMD. Sleep more, Weigh Less. WebMD Medical Reference. Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD, July 05, 2018 from https://www.webmd.com/diet/sleep-and-weight-loss#2

54 Shocking Sleep Statistics and Trends for 2019. February 2019 from https://www.sleepadvisor.org/sleep-statistics/

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