Current sleeping pills are at risk of addiction and drowsiness during the day, but a new type of sleep pill does not have these side effects.
A good night’s sleep is difficult for some people. Insomnia occurs more and more often.However, the use of sleepers is not without addiction risk and does not automatically lead to a better night’s sleep. However, according to a study published in Science Translational Medicine, led by Jason Uslaner from Merck, it appears that an experimental drug known as DORA-22 can promote sleep, both in monkeys and rats, without compromising memory or response time. DORA-22 is part of a new group of drugs known as orexin antagonists. The authors compared the dormant effects of DORA-22 with three known sleeping pills: diazepam (Valium), zolpidem (Ambien) and Eszoplicone (Lenusta) that work by delaying brain activity. After the animals took the drugs, their memory and response time were tested.
Although most people take drugs before going to bed it is important to document these effects in case someone does not take the medication according to regulations. “It is very interesting that some clear differences are visible to cognition and memory, compared with older types of sleepers,” says Dr. Emmanuel Mignot, Director of the Stanford Center for Sleep Sciences.
What makes this group of drugs different?
Orexin, also known as hypocretin, is chemicals in the brain that promote vigilance. Of the billions of neurons in the brain, there are only tens of thousands that produce orexin (hypocretin). People with narcolepsy who struggle to stay awake and suffer from unbreakable sleep attacks, almost all miss the neurons that produce these chemicals.DORA-22 and similar drugs work by blocking orexin (hypocretin) receptors causing a short attack of narcolepsy.
Side effects side effects
But the orexin blockers can also cause side effects of a bad mood. Anxiety and depression, both related to bad night sleep, are associated with low levels of orexin. “It is therefore not anxious or depressed people to prescribe this kind of medication.”, Says Jerome Siegel, professor of psychiatry at the University of California in Los Angeles, who was not involved in this research. More research is therefore needed to get better insight into this type of side effects.