Studies have proven that 50 to 70 million individuals in the United States don’t get the right amount of sleep every night, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that “insufficient sleep is considered a public health epidemic.” Those who do not get an adequate amount of sleep can compromise their well-being and shorten the length of their lives.
When you do not get the recommended amount of rest each night, your body will have issues fighting off disease due to compromising your immune system. Sleeplessness can have many effects on the body, some of which include fighting off illness, a decreased performance at school or work, and a lower sex drive.
Barbiturates were the first drugs used to treat sleep disorders, but over time, physicians and medical experts noted that they caused more harm than good. Benzodiazepine drugs were created as a less addictive substitute, but they created the same effect. In recent times, however, new sedative-hypnotic medicines known as Z-drugs were synthesized to treat sleep problems like insomnia.
Some consider Sonata to be a miracle drug because it gives someone their sleep cycle back while being less addictive. While the latter may be true, unfortunately, many still consider Sonata to be addictive.
Science has proven that sleep medications can cause dependence and other problems. Unfortunately, dependence on medication can lead to uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms.
Sonata works to increase the levels of gamma-Aminobutyric acid (GABA) that will induce feelings of sleepiness. It works similarly to benzo drugs, but the main difference is that it works on specific receptors in the brain meant to cause drowsiness.
While Sonata works similarly to benzodiazepines upon entry into the brain, it is still very different. It stimulates GABA in the central nervous system (CNS) in a similar fashion. GABA is made up of chemicals that inhibit nerve impulses and works by blocking feelings that create anxiety or stress.
Sonata achieves the effect by blocking stress signals to a specific GABA receptor. Its primary function is to slow down chemicals and create sedative feelings that help users fall asleep faster. Increased chemicals in the brain allow users to fall into a sleepy state that lasts through the night.
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Sleeping pill withdrawal can be more than just uncomfortable; it can adversely affect someone going through it. Unique brain chemistry causes individuals to respond to Sonata withdrawal differently.
While someone may have mild effects when they stop Sonata use, others who use the same dose may experience severe symptoms. Factors that can determine these outcomes include how much of your last dose was ingested, how large your usual dose was, if mental health disorders are present, and how long the medication has been used, among others.
The most common side effects someone should expect from Sonata withdrawal are:
Early Sonata withdrawal symptoms may mimic benzo withdrawals, which include:
Once these symptoms have dissipated, there are other long-term effects you may experience, such as:
The early stages of Sonata withdrawal begin about four hours after your last dose. You may notice increased shakiness, sweating, and trouble sleeping.
Initial withdrawal symptoms will worsen during this period. You will likely deal with irritability, mood swings, nausea, and insomnia.
A majority of people continue to struggle with insomnia during this time frame. Other symptoms may become more intense and lead to anxiety, depression, panic attacks, and vomiting.
Withdrawal symptoms will likely subside once you’ve reached this point. Those who were in detox may find relief earlier due to a tapering schedule their clinicians may have put them on. Those who have abused Sonata long-term may still experience depression for several months after their last dose.
When you decide to stop longtime drug use, your body may be dependent on the substance to the point where you need professional help with getting off the drug. During this process, medical professionals can guide you as you transition to sobriety. Without proper medical care, it can be tough to stop on your own, and as a result, you return to using Sonata. You must find a medical detox center that supports you during the withdrawal phase.
During detox, you will be monitored around the clock for three-to-seven days. During this stringent process, you will be giving yourself a better chance at lasting recovery. If you are serious about long-term sobriety, you must start in the continuum of care and follow a treatment plan set in place.
If treatment doesn’t meet your specific needs, it will not be sufficient. Finding a facility that customizes your treatment recovery plan will help you exponentially. With that, one person may benefit from residential treatment, while others will thrive in outpatient. It’s about finding what works for you. Clinicians will perform a thorough assessment before helping you determine the placement that is best for you. If you are struggling with addiction, it’s time to change your life.
The State of SleepHealth in America. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.sleephealth.org/sleep-health/the-state-of-sleephealth-in-america/
National Institute on Drug Abuse. (n.d.). 8: Medical detoxification. Retrieved from https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/teaching-packets/understanding-drug-abuse-addiction/section-iii/7-medical-detoxification
Roehrs, T. A., Randall, S., Harris, E., Maan, R., & Roth, T. (2012, August). Twelve months of nightly zolpidem does not lead to rebound insomnia or withdrawal symptoms: a prospective placebo-controlled study. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3711112/
Sonata (Zaleplon): Side Effects, Interactions, Warning, Dosage & Uses. (2019, September 3). Retrieved from https://www.rxlist.com/sonata-drug.htm
Lie, J. D., Tu, K. N., Shen, D. D., & Wong, B. M. (2015, November). Pharmacological Treatment of Insomnia. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4634348/