Ramelteon for Insomnia

Last updated: March 26, 2019

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The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. Read our full medical disclaimer.

As much as we want to, not all of us can fall asleep quickly each night. Some of us suffer from sleeping disorders that can prevent us from getting to sleep and getting much-needed rest.

Insomnia is one such sleeping disorder. Luckily, advancements in medicine have given us medications that can help combat insomnia. Ramelteon is one of these. It is a drug that has been proven effective in combating insomnia.

What is insomnia?

Insomnia is a condition where someone has difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep. If you have insomnia, you may not get satisfaction from sleep.

There are two types of insomnia: primary insomnia and secondary insomnia. When a person has primary insomnia, that person has sleep problems that have no direct association with other health problems. On the other hand, in secondary insomnia, a person has sleep problems as a result of other health conditions like asthma, cancer, arthritis or depression.

Another classification is based on how long it lasts and how frequently it occurs. Short-term amnesia is acute insomnia while long-time amnesia is chronic insomnia. Insomnia can also come and go. There may be periods when a person doesn’t experience any sleeping problems.

Acute insomnia can last up to 3 weeks. When a person has chronic insomnia, the condition can last between 1 week to 3 months or even longer.

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What can cause insomnia?

The cause of insomnia varies. Causes of acute insomnia can include:

  • Significant life stress. People can suffer from insomnia if they experience something that takes a toll on their emotional being. It is not unusual for someone to suffer from insomnia after the death of a loved one or after they lose a job.
  • Illness. Those who suffer from an illness can experience insomnia. This may be due to symptoms of an illness that prevents a person from sleeping properly. An example is someone who cannot sleep due to gas brought by intestinal problems.
  • Emotional or physical discomfort.
  • Medications
  • Environmental factors like noisy surroundings, or extreme temperatures.

Chronic insomnia may be caused by:

  • Chronic stress
  • Discomfort during the night
  • Depression or anxiety

What are the symptoms of insomnia?

When a person has insomnia, noticeable changes in that person’s behavior may manifest. Symptoms can include:

  • Daytime sleepiness
  • Fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Loss of memory
  • Inability to focus or concentrate

What is Ramelteon?

This is a medication used to help patients who suffer from sleep-onset insomnia. When someone has sleep-onset insomnia, that person has difficulty falling asleep. Ramelteon can help someone fall asleep quickly. This medication belongs to a class of medications called melatonin receptor agonists.

As a drug, Ramelteon works just like melatonin. Melatonin is a natural substance in the brain that is needed for sleeping.

What should I know before taking Ramelteon?

Inform your doctor if you are pregnant or if you are breastfeeding.

You should not drink alcohol while taking Ramelteon. Alcohol can amplify the side effects of Ramelteon.

What are the side effects of Ramelteon?

Taking Ramelteon may cause unwanted effects. A patient may experience one or more of these side effects.

A side effect may not need medical attention. Side effects may disappear as the body adjusts to the medicine. A patient can also get some advice from a physician on how to prevent or reduce some of the side effects.

Some of the more common side effects of Ramelteon include:

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  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness

A person taking Ramelteon can also experience some unusual side effects including:

  • Body pains
  • Coughs
  • Chills
  • Difficulty in moving
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Fever
  • Irritability
  • Loss of appetite
  • Loss of taste
  • Nasal congestion

Aside from taking Ramelteon, what else can I do to prevent insomnia?

If you want to prevent insomnia without the aid of medications, you can start by practicing good sleep habits. You can try some good practices that are proven effective in helping a person get to sleep quickly. Here are some good sleeping habits you can try:

  • Maintain a regular sleep schedule. You can try to establish a regular sleep and wake pattern. Try to go to sleep at about the same time each night. In the morning, get up at the same time. This will help condition your body to sleep and wake when the appointed time comes.
  • Avoid caffeine and nicotine late in the day. These are stimulants that can prevent you from falling asleep. If you want to take coffee or nicotine, do it at least 6 hours before your sleeping time. This way, you can ensure that the effects of caffeine and nicotine have already worn off by the time you go to bed.
  • Get regular exercise. However, try not to exercise close to your bedtime. Exercises can stimulate your body and make it harder to fall asleep. You should ensure that your exercise time is at least 4 hours before your bedtime.
  • Make your sleeping environment conducive to sleeping. Make sure that your bedroom is dark. If you work during the night, you can use blackout curtains to make your bedroom dark. Try to make your bedroom as quiet as possible.

Insomnia is a condition that robs a person of much-needed sleep. The lack of sleep due to insomnia can result in reduced productivity during the daytime. It also impairs a person’s mental and physical abilities. There are a lot of things that you can do to ensure that you get to sleep quickly each night.

However, if these natural methods fail, you can rely on a trusted medication like Ramelteon to help you sleep quickly. Just make sure that you follow your physician’s instructions on how to effectively use this medicine so it will work properly with minimal side effects.

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