Monday, June 26, 2006

That's Where I'm a Viking

One thing I've noticed, both from personal experience as well as from reading published reports, is that sedatives like Ambien, Lunesta, Sonata, Valium and Klonipin supress dreaming. The reason for this suppression most likely has to do with the strong GABA enhancing properties of these drugs. Insofar as these drugs basically turn off your brain, it follows that they would reduce dreaming.

Ambien and its lesser liked cousins are effective medications for insomnia but they cause significant disruption to one's normal sleep cycle. In recent years the biological importance of dreaming has been questioned. While it may be true that loss of dreams will not cause any long-term damage, there is more to a dream than simple biology.

For many (myself included) dreaming is as much a part of sleeping as the fetal position. Without dreams, sleep is merely a period of unconciousness. Me, I like my dreams. Each night before I fall asleep I wonder what strange place I'll be taken to. Last night I had very intense dreams about fishing. My favorite dreams are the ones where I'm a Navy SEAL rescuing my friends from wrongful imprisonment.

This goes back to a point I've made time and time again. Ambien, Lunesta, the Benzodiazepines and other sedatives work well for temporary insomnia but they are not a solution for long term sleep health. If long term sleep health is a problem for you, Jema Pharmaceutical's sleep aid Somnera offers improvements without losing dreams or the addictive potential of Ambien.

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