About the book
Nearly 30–40% of all adults suffers from mild to severe insomnia, with its sequels, including fatigue reduced alertness, irritability, and impaired concentration all having a major negative impact on quality of life. Growing evidence, moreover, links disturbances of sleep to substance abuse and its spectrum of mental and physical health problems, while substance use in turn has been shown to disturb circadian rhythms affecting sleep mechanisms. Sleep and sleep disturbances, in fact, significantly influence neuronal activity in midbrain DA structures suggesting that changes in neuronal activity underlie the well-known relationship between sleep alterations and several disorders such as addiction and depression. The complex interdependence of these and other brain systems with neurological activation and neurotransmitter release presents a complex picture for the therapeutic administration of sleep medications, one that has stimulated the evolution of multiple sleep medication classes each with unique efficacies and contraindications. Benzodiazepines, for example, exert sedative actions through the activation of BZ1 and BZ2 receptor subtypes of the c-aminobutyric acid (GABA)A complex, but also exert significant adverse effects like cognitive and psychomotor impairment and anterograde amnesia.
The progressive evolution in sleep medicines and the wealth of information obtained on their associated complex brain activity and neurotransmitter mechanisms indicates the exceptional productivity of current research in the field. Its promise of new therapeutic avenues for sleep disturbances and their ancillary influence on substance abuse will be covered in this up to date text about an international health issue.