Assessing whether sleep medication is needed

Only your doctor can decide whether a specific sleep remedy should be prescribed. However, here are some indications that a sleep remedy may be necessary:

^ Sleeping less than five hours per night

^ Frequently waking up at night (more than two to three times) ^ Severe daytime drowsiness from lack of sleep

^ Impairment from lack of sleep (stumbling about, frequent instances of forgetfulness, inattentiveness), causing problems both at work and at home

Gazing at the ups and downs of sleep remedies

The most obvious benefit of a sleep remedy is that it induces or at least helps you to attain some much-needed sleep. If you're fully rested and your body has had a chance to release hormones needed by a healthy body, such as growth hormone (released during deep sleep) and others, your fibromyalgia symptoms will likely improve as well.

Although sleep remedies can be a godsend for many people, they do have some downsides. Ambien, although usually harmless, can cause continued drowsiness and diarrhea in some people.

As with all drugs, doctors should carefully consider potential side effects before prescribing a sleep remedy. Your doctor should also take into account other medications that you're already taking because, sometimes, drugs interact with each other, boosting or weakening the effect of each other or causing other reactions.

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