Prescription

Sleep medication Helps you fall asleep Helps you stay asleep Can lead to dependence
Doxepin (Silenor)
Estazolam
Eszopiclone (Lunesta)
Ramelteon (Rozerem)
Temazepam (Restoril)
Triazolam (Halcion)
Zaleplon (Sonata)
Zolpidem (Ambien, Edluar, Intermezzo, Zolpimist)
Zolpidem extended release (Ambien CR)

Lunesta

Lunesta also helps you fall asleep quickly, and studies show people sleep an average of seven to eight hours. Don't take Lunesta unless you are able to get a full night's sleep as it could cause grogginess. Because of the risk of impairment the next day, the FDA recommends the starting dose of Lunesta be no more than 1 mg.

Restoril

Restoril may be useful when you want an insomnia medication that stays in the system longer. For instance, they have been effectively used to treat sleep problems such as sleepwalking and night terrors. However, these drugs may cause you to feel sleepy during the day and can also cause dependence, meaning you may always need to be on the drug to be able to sleep.

Ambien CR

These medicines work well at helping you get to sleep, but some people tended to wake up in the middle of the night. Zolpidem is now available in an extended release version, Ambien CR. This may help you go to sleep and stay asleep longer. There is, however, a warning from the FDA that you should not drive or perform any activities that require you to be alert the day after taking Ambien CR because it stays in the body a long time. You should not take zolpidem unless you are able to get a full night's sleep -- at least 7 to 8 hours. The FDA has approved a prescription oral spray called Zolpimist, which contains zolpidem, for the short-term treatment of insomnia brought on by difficulty falling asleep.

Estazolam

Estazolam is prescribed for the short-term treatment of certain sleep disorders. It is an effective hypnotic drug showing efficacy in increasing the time spent asleep as well as reducing awakenings during the night. Combination with non-pharmacological options for sleep management results in long-term improvements in sleep quality after discontinuation of short-term estazolam therapy.Estazolam is also sometimes used as a preoperative sleep aid. It was found to be superior to triazolam in side effect profile in preoperative patients in a trial. Estazolam also has anxiolytic properties and due to its long half life can be an effective short-term treatment for insomnia associated with anxiety.

Sonata

Of all the newer sleeping pills, Sonata stays active in the body for the shortest amount of time. That means you can try to fall asleep on your own. Then, if you're still staring at the clock at 2 a.m., you can take it without feeling drowsy in the morning. However, if you tend to wake during the night, this might not be the best choice for you.

Halcion

This medication is used to treat a certain sleep problem (insomnia). It may help you fall asleep faster, stay asleep longer, and lessen how often you wake up during the night, so you can get a better night's rest. Triazolam belongs to a class of drugs called sedative-hypnotics. It acts on your brain to produce a calming effect.

Use of this medication is usually limited to short treatment periods of 1 to 2 weeks or less. If your insomnia continues for a longer time, talk to your doctor to see if you need other treatment.

Rozerem

This is a sleep medication that works differently than the others. It works by targeting the sleep-wake cycle, not by depressing the central nervous system. It is prescribed for people who have difficulty falling asleep. Rozerem can be prescribed for long-term use, and the drug has shown no evidence of abuse or dependence.

Silenor

This sleep drug is approved for use in people who have trouble staying asleep. Silenor may help with sleep maintenance by blocking histamine receptors. Do not take this drug unless you are able to get a full seven or eight hours of sleep. Dosage is based on your health, age, and response to therapy.

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