Sleeping through the night: Are extended-release formulations the answer?

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Purpose:To provide an overview of insomnia, including identification and current treatments, as well as review the efficacy and safety of extended-release sleep medication.Data sources:Published clinical research and review articles, DSM-IV criteria, and clinical trials.Conclusions:Insomnia is a highly prevalent and debilitating sleep disorder, which may present with one or more of the following symptoms: difficulty initiating sleep, difficulty maintaining sleep, or waking too early without being able to return to sleep. Difficulty maintaining sleep throughout the night is the most common symptom of insomnia. The recently approved nonbenzodiazepine hypnotic, zolpidem extended-release, can be taken as long as medically necessary to improve sleep-onset and reduce sleep-maintenance difficulties in insomnia patients, without negatively affecting next-day functioning.Implications for practice:Insomnia continues to be an underdiagnosed and undertreated disorder. The nurse practitioner, through routine inquiry about patient sleep habits and consideration of the appropriate treatment of insomnia, can help restore the quality of life of patients experiencing the negative consequences of insomnia.

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