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Nat Rev Drug Discov. 2008 Jun;7(6):530-40. doi: 10.1038/nrd2464. Epub 2008 May 23.

Emerging anti-insomnia drugs: tackling sleeplessness and the quality of wake time.

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Eli Lilly UK, Erl Wood Manor, Windlesham, Surrey GU20 6PH, UK.


Sleep is essential for our physical and mental well being. However, when novel hypnotic drugs are developed, the focus tends to be on the marginal and statistically significant increase in minutes slept during the night instead of the effects on the quality of wakefulness. Recent research on the mechanisms underlying sleep and the control of the sleep-wake cycle has the potential to aid the development of novel hypnotic drugs; however, this potential has not yet been realized. Here, we review the current understanding of how hypnotic drugs act, and discuss how new, more effective drugs and treatment strategies for insomnia might be achieved by taking into consideration the daytime consequences of disrupted sleep.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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