Stress is one of the most common causes of insomnia1. However, the relationship between insomnia and stress is complex—with the one often causing or exacerbating the other. A divorce or financial troubles, for example, can cause stress that leads to transient insomnia. This, in turn, can make the person less able to cope during the day, creating further stress. In a vicious circle, the further stress can eventually lead to intermittent or even chronic insomnia, where many patients name stress symptoms such as a pounding heart as what keep them awake at night2.
Where traditional hypnotics “force” people to sleep by depressing the central nervous system, ZleepaxTM (ZLX-1) acts by diminishing the physical symptoms of stress that keep people awake at night.
ZleepaxTM is the first sleep aid with beta blockers as the major active agent. First generation beta blockers inhibited natural melatonin secretion and had a negative impact on sleep3. Recent publications have shown that certain third-generation beta blockers actually improve quality of sleep for patients with mild hypertension4.
These third-generation beta blockers has been widely used to treat hypertension since the early 1990s, is well tolerated in chronic use, has an attractive side-effect profile5, and should thus perform excellently applied as a sleep enhancer. Our patent applications6 cover the use of beta blockers such as Nebivolol—alone or in combination with other anti-insomnia drugs—for the treatment of stress-related insomnia.
According to patients, the No. 1 problem with traditional sleeping pills is residual daytime sedation. The potential for tolerance build-up and addiction are also major perceived disadvantages7. Based on beta blockers, ZleepaxTM dramatically reduces these and many other unwanted side effects. This means that, in stark contrast to existing hypnotics, ZleepaxTM should be able to give many patients a better night’s sleep with fewer of the side effects they do not want.