Zopiclone is a sedative-hypnotic sleeping pill that is used for the symptomatic relief of insomnia. This medication is also sold under the brand name Zimovane and belongs to the non-benzodiazepine class of medications. It has sedative, anxiolytic and muscle relaxant properties that make it effective in the treatment of sleep onset insomnia. This refers to difficulty initiating sleep at the beginning of the night. Furthermore, this medication can help prevent frequent and disruptive wake-ups during the night as well as early morning awakenings.
Zimovane works on the brain and nervous system to aid restorative sleep. The brain has a natural ability to release calming chemicals and one of these chemicals is known as gamma-aminobutyric acid. Zimovane enhances the effects of gamma-aminobutyric acid and this reduces the activity of overactive nerve cells. By reducing neural activity, this medication relieves physical and mental stress, promoting a balanced mood. As a result, a full night of restful sleep can be achieved more effortlessly.
This medication is used to treat insomnia which is characterised by an inability to fall asleep and stay asleep. Insomnia is the most common sleep complaint and can either be acute, lasting up to 3 months or chronic, lasting longer than 3 months. Often, people have chronic insomnia on an intermittent basis, having trouble sleeping for a few nights a week, followed by satisfactory sleep. Zopiclone can be used intermittently such as two or three nights a week to help re-establish a healthy sleeping pattern.
Healthcare professionals often recommend Zimovane for the treatment of acute insomnia. This type of short-term insomnia involves difficulty sleeping for less than 3 months. Acute insomnia is often caused by a stressful event such as a job loss or moving to a new location. It can also happen due to the side effects of certain medications, jet lag or poor sleep habits. Along with healthy sleep habits like avoiding caffeine near to bedtime, Zimovane can help treat acute insomnia so you can regain a regular sleep pattern.
Zopiclone sleeping pills can improve sleep quality as well as total sleep time. This medication has a positive effect on sleep efficiency, particularly for people who struggle to get the recommended 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night. Sleep efficiency is the ratio between the amount of time spent lying in bed and the time spent asleep. Sleep efficiency can be calculated by dividing the total time spent asleep by the total time in bed. It is generally considered normal to have a sleep efficiency of 85%. If your sleep efficiency is lower than 85%, zopiclone can be used to improve this.
Efficient sleep usually results in waking up well-rested in the morning with feelings of energy for the day. People with a high level of sleep efficiency tend to benefit from deeper sleep with fewer nighttime awakenings. Deep sleep, also known as slow wave sleep, is the stage of sleep that is needed to feel refreshed in the morning. Its main function is to give the brain a chance to recover from daily activities and it supports overall learning and memory. Other benefits of deep sleep include:
This medication should be swallowed whole with some water, with or without meals. When used every night, treatment does not usually last longer than 4 weeks. You can take this medication on 2 or 3 nights a week, rather than every night. For best results, follow these zopiclone dosage instructions:
Do not increase the dose as tolerance may develop with excessive use. Always ensure you will be able to sleep for at least 7 to 8 hours. If you forget to take a tablet, simply skip the forgotten and continue your schedule as usual. Never take a double dose to make up for a dose that you forgot to take. At the end of treatment, the dose should be reduced slowly to prevent withdrawal effects.
Anxiety and sleep often play off each other, and the one condition can make the other worse. For some people, anxiety can become a problem that interferes with sleep frequently. Zopiclone is, however, recommended for the treatment of insomnia associated with anxiety. It is typically indicated in circumstances where sleeplessness is debilitating and causing a considerable amount of distress. Improving sleep typically reduces overall anxiety levels as restful sleep can help restore the brain's ability to regulate emotions, preventing the escalation of stress and anxiety.
The hypnotic and anti-anxiety effects of Zimovane were evaluated in a clinical study that involved 20 patients with insomnia and generalised anxiety disorder. Various aspects were assessed in the study which included:
In the study, the effects of Zimovane were compared to a benzodiazepine medication called nitrazepam to help researchers evaluate the medication. Various questionnaires were used to determine results which included the following:
The study confirmed the efficacy of Zimovane in the treatment of insomnia. The results showed that this medication was equally as effective as nitrazepam in terms of improving quality and duration of sleep. Both medications also reduced the number of nighttime awakenings. However, patients treated with Zimovane demonstrated superior improvements in anxiety aspects that were measured. This can nevertheless differ for certain demographics as some patients better tolerate or prefer nitrazepam.
We therefore note the efficacy of Zimovane sleeping tablets in treating anxiety, in addition to being a preferred option in the treatment of sleep related disorders.
Updated: 14th January 2021
Review Due: January 2022
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