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Reducing Sleeping Pill Doses: Let the Insomnia Nightmare Begin.

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Recently, the FDA has recommended that prescribing doctors and pharmaceutical companies begin reducing the doses of Ambien and two other sleep medications by half. Nine million Americans take sleeping pills on a regular basis and the thought of not getting their normal dose  raises some legitimate fears.

Most of the patients have tried and failed repeatedly to limit or reduce their full dose by using pill splitters, having the pills liquefied and partitioned into smaller doses or even trimming off the edges with a knife. What most of them have found is that anything less than their accustomed amount produces a side effect commonly known as rebound insomnia. This is a nice and tidy way of describing how it is to have what little sleep you've been getting on Ambien literally ripped out from underneath you.  It's a serious catch 22--impaired morning driving on a full dose verses impaired driving from little to no sleep at all.

Some of the other side effects from a partial dose change can  include:


  • Sweating
  • Nausea
  • Fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Stomach cramps
  • Panic attacks
  • Vomiting
  • Tremors

In Febuary, 2010 Fox 11 News was the frontrunner in researching and reporting on something called neurofeedback for insomnia. (Click here is see video) Also known as brainwave biofeedback, this treatment option seems to actually reduce and ween the brain off of sleeping pills and their side effects. Two sensors are placed on the scalp, reading the brainwaves and instructing the central nervous system to reduce the amplitudes responsible for many of the withdrawal symptoms. Sleep is normalized and then the reduction and elimination of the medication is possible. 

Starting with NASA scientists, neurofeedback has been in existence for 45 years now. It's being use on a host of other conditions such as ADD/ADHD, mild depression, anxiety and panic attacks. It's also being use extensively by the US military for the treatment of PTSD in returning Afghani and Iraqi war veterans as well.
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David A. Mayen serves as founder and CEO of the Sleep Recovery Centers. He is an EEG Spectum Intl. Graduate and holds certifications in advanced neurofeedback,neuro-anatomy and neurophysiology, psycho-pharmacology as well as alpha theta training (more...)
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