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Insomnia is the most common complaint heard by physicians. While everyone has experienced a night or two of insufficient sleep or difficulties falling or staying asleep, complaints of chronic, pervasive sleep difficulties are associated with pain, anxiety, depression, menopause and aging. Poor quality or frequently disrupted sleep can contribute to increased pain (lowered pain thresholds), memory impairment, lowered immune response and reaction time. Most primary insomnia (no apparent medical or psychiatric cause) can be effectively treated with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Hypnotic drugs can be helpful in treating transient or short term insomnia, but are usually not the treatments of choice for chronic insomnia. Secondary Insomnia requires medical focus on the underlying cause. .Recently, the ability to identify receptors and neurotransmitters specifically involved with sleep and wake has resulted in the introduction of a new class of hypnotic drugs. While popular hypnotics such as Ambien and Lunesta stimulate sleep processes, the newer orexin antagonists block waking systems and are under extensive investigations. Our staff has been involved in the research and development of virtually every hypnotic currently marketed in the US as well as these new exciting molecules.

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