For many of us in our late teen and college days, the world looked very different at 3:00 AM. We took full advantage of our youthful energy and could have been at late-night dinner sessions after an alcohol-fueled evening. As we get older, the middle of the night looks very different. It is a time for rest to fuel us for our long and tough days ahead. If you are one of the 50 million or more people that struggle with a sleep disorder, you may be up at 3:00 AM staring at your ceiling or your clock wondering how you’ll get some sleep.

Unfortunately, we seem to take sleep for granted, and sleep deprivation has been compared to alcohol intoxication. One sleepless night can cause car crashes or fatal mistakes. Insufficient sleep is considered to be a public health epidemic, and it is no wonder why people will reach over to their nightstand and grab a sleeping pill like Lunesta. Good sleep promotes a healthy lifestyle, and sleep represents one-third of our lives. The oxygen we breathe is what keeps us alive, and the rest we need is what keeps us functioning beings.

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A significant issue contributing to sleep disorders today in the United States is technology. We have a constant connection to the outside world that keeps our minds stimulated. Each year, a growing number of people are struggling with an inability to sleep. Seventy percent of adults report that they obtain insufficient sleep at least once a month, whereas another 11 percent report it every night. The odds have increased over the past 30 years, and the emergence of technology should be considered a reason.

While sleeping pill use is not prevalent in the population, four percent of adults in the U.S. over the age of 20 used prescription sleep aids in the past month. The report, which was released by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), gathered this information between 2005 and 2010. The study also highlighted that women consumed these more than men and that educational background played a role in who used sleeping pills.

If you are someone who has been using Lunesta and wants to find methods to sleep without it, we want to provide you with information to achieve restful sleep without Lunesta.

How Does Lunesta Work?

Lunesta is considered a sedative-hypnotic, or a Z-drug. It works similar to central nervous system (CNS) depressant drugs like benzodiazepines. It increases the production of the neurotransmitter GABA, which is a natural chemical in our brain that causes feelings of relaxation and sedation. The nerve signals are responsible for fear, anxiety, and stress. GABA helps to maintain a more balanced self.

The longer drugs like Lunesta are used, your natural GABA receptors will become less sensitive and stop creating GABA on their own. Over time, the medication becomes less effective, which is known as tolerance. As the medicine becomes less effective, it could cause something known as rebound insomnia, which is a return of the initial symptoms that are much more severe.

How to Sleep Without Lunesta

For those who have sleep issues, it’s crucial to identify whether you have a legitimate sleep disorder before turning to medication. If you cannot get to sleep or stay asleep and it affects your day, you could potentially have insomnia. Lunesta or other sleep medications should be used as a last resort effort. Although a doctor prescribes them, they still have the potential to be dangerous. Dr. Joffe from Harvard University suggests a change in your lifestyle, such as avoiding caffeine and sticking to a regular sleep schedule.

If you are tired and cannot fall asleep, some things may be keeping you awake. Limit your caffeine and alcohol intake, especially before bedtime, and make sure your bedroom is dark, cool, and comfortable. You must turn off all electronics, even the book you may be reading on your tablet, at least one hour before bed.

Some people experience chronic pain that may cause them problems falling asleep. You must speak with a medical professional about medications that can help with your pain.

With such a significant portion of the population experiencing anxiety, it can cause many of us to have trouble sleeping. Dr. Joffe suggests taking a warm bath, meditating, or listening to calming music before bed. You must write down a worry list of everything that is on your mind. When the worries are put on paper, it can be easier to push the problems aside. It may sound simple, but it is highly effective. 

Unfortunately, there are some cases where sleeping pills will be necessary. You must speak with your physician to make the determination before making a decision alone.

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