How long does Ambien last?

Ambien lasts and can affect the body for 8 hours after one dose. Learn more about Ambien dosing, dangers, and more here.

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Ambien sedative effects last for about 8 hours after you take the medication. But the half life of Ambien is only 1.5 hours. More on the duration of action and Ambien uses and side effects here. Plus, a section for your questions about Ambien at the end.

Ambien effects on the body and brain

Ambien prescription drug (zolpidem) is used to help relieve the symptoms of insomnia and help facilitate sleep. Ambien is a central nervous system depressant, and its effects on the body include heavy sedation. Ambien can also cause you to act out activities in your sleep, with no memory of these activities the next day. This can include very dangerous activities such as driving. Other effects of Ambien on the body include:

  • dizziness
  • drowsiness
  • lightheadedness
  • unsteady balance
  • unusual dreams

Ambien duration of action

The half-life of Ambien is only about 1.5 hours. In fact, the main ingredient in Ambien -zolpidem – hits peak levels in the blood after only 30 minutes. This is why it’s important to take Ambien immediately before going to bed. The sedative effects of Ambien can linger for over 8 hours after taking the medication.

Ambien time in the body

After more than a day or two, it’s unlikely that Ambien will still be present in the blood. Ambien will show up on urine screens for 1-2 days, but can stay present in hair samples for 90 days or even longer.

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How long do Ambien effects last

The effects of Ambien usually last 7-8 hours, which is why it should only be taken when someone is able to get a full night’s rest. If you take Ambien and don’t sleep, or get up too early the next morning, you may suffer memory problems and drowsiness.

How long does a Ambien high last

Self-reported accounts of getting high on Ambien claim that the length of an Ambien high is about 4-5 hours. However, due to the memory problems and sleepiness caused by the drug, it can be difficult to say exactly how long an Ambien high will last. In addition to increased risk of Ambien dependence, getting high on Ambien can be dangerous, because abusing zolpidem can raise the risk of serious adverse effects.

Ambien high effects

Ambien does have a possible side effect of causing a high. But when taken to try to achieve a euphoric high or for long periods of time, Ambien can become addictive.  In self-reported examples, people have reported some of these effects from getting high on Ambien:

  • drowsiness
  • euphoria
  • relaxation
  • numbness

If you like the Ambien high and take Ambien regularly to get high, you can become addicted to Ambien. An Ambien addiction can result in unpleasant withdrawal symptoms, uncontrollable cravings for the drug, and compulsive use of the drug despite negative consequences.

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Addicted to Ambien? There is hope! Recovery through sleeping pills addiction rehab treatment programs can restore your quality of life and help you find a manner of living that is free from all mind-altering substances. If you or a loved one are having trouble with Ambien, reach out for help. You are not alone!

How long Ambien lasts questions

Do you still have questions about the duration of action for Ambien? Are you interested in how long it takes to develop Ambien dependence vs. addiction? Please leave your questions about Ambien below. We are happy to try to answer you personally and promptly. And if we do not have the answer to your question, we will refer you to someone who can help.

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Reference Sources: ToxNet: Zolpidem Tartrate
MedlinePlus: Zolpidem
About the author
Lee Weber is a published author, medical writer, and woman in long-term recovery from addiction. Her latest book, The Definitive Guide to Addiction Interventions is set to reach university bookstores in early 2019.


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  1. All my couches, arm chairs, lamp shades and furniture developed mouths and eyes and started talking to each other and to me and kissing each other, strange to hallucinate such things.
    Only on first use, 2nd,3rd uses nothing like that just sleep. My opinion worst side effect : severe dehydration/dry throat n mouth the next day when u wake up.

  2. All my couches, arm chairs, lamp shades and furniture developed mouths and eyes and started talking to each other and to me and kissing each other, strange to hallucinate such things.
    Only on first use, 2nd,3rd uses nothing like that just sleep. My opinion worst side effect : severe dehydration/dry throat n mouth the next day when u wake up.

  3. Took for the fist time .5 mg of Ambien. I slept two hours and was wide awake Waited an
    hour and took another and slept two hours again. That was it. No more sleep! Is this normal?

  4. If I have chronic pain and take only Ambien at bedtime, 5-10 mg at 10 pm, and the pain keeps me awake anyway, can I then take an oxycodone 5 mg after about 4 hours?

  5. I’ve recently been on ambien for about a week and 3 days and my doc put me on citaprolam (however its spelled), Im doing a 3 week treatment for anxiety and high stress levels that make my mind so restless, he has given me 60 tabs and i havent taken as much as 5 because i dont need them all the time usually my own worry puts me to sleep, i think its really effective but also scary because it can be addictive, im soon to be 19 and ive only experienced the unusual dreams and dizziness because i wake up an hour and a half before meeting the 8hr time frame of the side effects. I dont know if things will only get worse with citaprolam because i feel nothing with that medication only ambien.

  6. I have had limited results with Ambien. In any form, whether CR or otherwise, I’m awake after four hours. I find it ineffective. I threw it out, and resigned myself to reading a good book. Hopefully, I’ll sleep one day.

  7. I am so scared of Ambien my husband uses them and sometimes he abuses them and it’s very dangerous I don’t know what to do to get him help but he definitely needs help. I hate Ambience I just wish the doctor stop giving it to him but he keeps continuing and giving it to him and he’s going to get hurt like taking this crap

    1. Hi Denise. Your husband lives in denial, and he cannot see his problem. I suggest that you talk with him about this. And if the talk doesn’t help, then ask help from a certified interventionist who can help you stage an intervention for your friend. Here are useful links where you can search for a certified intervention Specialist:

      Also, you may look into the CRAFT model for families and interventions. One NGO called Allies in Recovery has some online reading that can help:

  8. I was given by my gp, at the age of 16 a repeat prescription for 70mg vallium a day, and have been hooked now for 23 years
    I’m now on 30mg daily but I have fit’s if I go lower should I seek legal advice?

  9. I took 4 Ambien about an hour ago..i felt the sleepiness but i was busy it went away..i took a few more.. is the few more going to work and did i wipe out what i did take already.. like do i now have to wait 5-7 hours till it’s all out of my system b4 taking any more will do anything..i don’t take them for any thing other than to get to sleep

  10. I take a 5 mg of Ambien just to get some sleep maybe a few time a week….Now my pain management Doctor say no more Ambien…….. used to take a Xanax every once in awhile and they stop them now we can’t take Ambien just because we go to a pain management doctor

  11. I have been on 10 mg. Of Ambien nightly for 10 years. Tried Trazadone for a full week and got virtually NO sleep whatsoever!! Tried all natural methods;melatonin, yoga, tranquil music, warm baths warm milk. Only reason I tried other methods to sleep with is because heard so much negativity about the long term use of the long term usage is Ambien. It is the ONLY thing that gives me s restful 8 hours sleep. Is otcallright to just continue the Ambien?

  12. I am 32 years old. I have suffered from insomnia for 11 years now. Some years being worse than others. I have been taking ambien for the past 1 year now almost everyday. For the first 6 months I was talking 10 mg everyday and now for the last 6 months, I take 5 mg everyday. I have nightmares/ unpleasant dreams and I like ambien because I don’t remember my dreams and I get about 6 hours of sleep on 5 mg. Only problem is I don’t feel sleepy even after 1.5 hrs of ambien. I have to force myself to shut my eyes and sleep but when I do sleep, I don’t remember my dreams so don’t get up and sleep for 6 hours straight.

  13. I have never used this medication and have used malitonia 10mg. 2days in a row Which did not work for more the 2hrs how will this affect me taking zolpiden tartare 5mg.? And how often can I take it?

  14. can you become addicted after 2 months of fairly careful use?5 mgs maybe 20 times a month my doctor recommends trazodone 50 mgs daily will that help?

  15. I was on ambien for about a year my appt with my family Dr was changed I run out of my prescription I called office and Dr won’t fill it till my next appointment it’s been a week and a half since I have had my medication until I looked this up tonight I didn’t understand why I feel the way I do. I haven’t slept for days, Dr said substitute benadryl for it nothing has worked benadryl, Tylenol p.m. night time cold tablets I am pacing, yelling at my family for no reason I am very depressed crying on phone with a friend., I have been up for 3 pluses days I have Dr app tomorrow I am tired, I am exhausted to point of collapsing what do I please help.

    1. Hi Debra. It seem to me that you are experiencing Ambien withdrawal. I suggest that you consult with your doctor about your dosage, as well as dependency level.

  16. I guess it varies, but I never slept more than 3 consecutive hours with it. I’m sure there are things out there that really work, they just won’t prescribe them. All there liberals are so intent on saving us from ourselves it’s disgusting. Like pain meds: opiates DO WORK, but no, they’re too good for us. So now we get opioids. Except now, they’re too good for us also, so they don’t want to prescribe those, either. They actually told me to use aspirin. ASPIRIN. My god, what is all this supposedly great medical care good for? THe FDA can take a flying F as far as I’m concerned. I’m 60, so if getting addicted is the price of pain relief, i say “so be it”. God damn socialsist running the country, and they wonder why people go to other countries and smuggle in things that they need?

  17. I took ambien ER and felt dizzy for 2 days afterward when lying down and getting up. I did have wine 6 hours before the first pill and the next night I had a glass of wine because I wasn’t going to take the ambien. Was dizzy again lying down and waking up in the morning. I won’t take this any more. I only get 3 hours from amy dosage of ambien s it isn’t worth t for me.
    My doctor doesn’t like prescribing it.

    1. Hi Sheryl. Ambien is really a short-term solution – should only be used for 1 to 2 weeks TOPS. Otherwise, many risk getting addicted with continued use, and many do get ‘hooked’ for a long time. Have you tried taking melatonin? You can ask your doctor and/or pharmacist to get a professional’s opinion. But, I believe it could help you every-now-and-then to have a few nights of restful sleep.

  18. How long after taking 2.5 mg dose half of a 5 mg pill of Ambien would it take to show up in specific to Ambien Blood Test ? Or would it even show up ?

  19. How long do the side effects of Ambien last? I took one tablet of 10 mg three days ago and I still feel dizzy and nauseous. I had no doctor’s prescription.

  20. I took Ambien ER 6.25 MG 4 days ago and still feel lightheaded. I did have wine 6 hours before I took the ambian and have had a glass of wine each day since. Has this exacerbated the effect of the Ambien after 4 days?

  21. request:
    I only like it for my frequent major headaches from smoke, pollution, and major sinus problems. I haven’t had a problem with the 5 or 10/30, dosages. i didn’t think there was a er just a CR on the medication. is there samples that i could have sent to my box in Merritt island, Florida please. i was wondering if they are different from the ones at store pharmacies…. Thank you.

  22. I wake exactly 2 hours after taking 5 msg of Ambien ( zolpidem in the UK) every nigh . I top up with another dose, sleep 2 more hours & so on, throughout the night.
    This is v unsatisfactory. Is there another course I should take?

  23. Help.63 years old.ambien for years,even for stomach ache( I have gastroparesis and gasteroligist gave me 2 10s a day. Now I must stop. Pain in belly inevitable. Go to er ? Have stopped before but intense gut pain always brought me back. Really scared. Off all narcotics and alcohol this will be it. Help me explain what needed in er at key die before getting to Miami. Broke feme in 7 places..orthopedist thought ambien fabulous drug. I’ve gone off, incredible gut pain,and way too much. Wean or cold gut pain,,I’m so scared

  24. My mom becomes a different person on ambien. She is usually a sweet caring person but on ambien she becomes mean and sometimes verbally cruel. My sisters and I have all tried to talk her into taking another sleeping medication because she is definitely addicted to the ambien but she won’t listen. She even said that if we ever went to her doctor about the addiction she would just go to another to get more. As of right now I have to sleep with the ambien in my pillow case in order to keep her from taking too much and overdosing. I’m scared she is going to hurt herself or someone else one day. It’s normal for her to go through a whole bottle in just 3 or 4 days. Any advice on how I can help her? How can I convince her that she has a problem?

    1. Hi Stephanie. First, I suggest that you call the number on the website to speak with a trusted treatment consultant who can help you find suitable solutions for your mother. Then, take a look into the CRAFT model for families and interventions. One NGO called Allies in Recovery has some online reading that can help:
      Finally, you may consider check out some rehab options for your mother. So, download our free e-book The Definitive Guide to Rehab that can help you choose the right rehab for her:

  25. My husband accidently took the 10 ambien thinking it was his morning medication. That was at 6am this morning he has been very foggy off balanced and moody wanting to go do things but I could tell he wasn’t right. I didn’t know he took wrong medicine til now and he seems to be little better it’s 830 pm now. He has seizures any way but he hasn’t had any today

  26. In withdrawal from ambien, from 1.5 10 mg/day..on third night, taking 1/2. Insomnia for two nights. Going to work today, Monday. Will drink more herbal tea, warm milk good? How long do I detox at 1/2, then cut off totally? You can’t die from lack of sleep, right? Hope you have some good news.

  27. I have a friend that has been on Ambien for over 20 years,her daughter told the doctors to take her off it and they haven’t,she drinks everyday too.She is 82 years old.

  28. I have been in stilnox (Australian version) since 1997 after a family tragedy. I was diagnosed with depression due to the tragedy and the fact i was pregnant for the first time
    Fast forward 12 months and a bigger tragedy takes place again whilst I’m pregnant.
    I have a gp who prescribed 40 tablets with 5 repeats. I cannot sleep without taking 2 tablets a night. My bedroom is cool and dark. I wear earplugs nightly since 1997 due to a snoring husband. My kids aged 17 and 19 tell me whatni did while on dozy pills.
    I am just recovering from surgery and feel i need a little nap in the arvo. but can’t without the stilnox.
    I am on anout 5 other antidepressants but this is the one that worrirs me

  29. 4.5 hours ago I took 10 mg of Ambien. Still wasn’t sleepy, so I took 10mg more. Slept 1.5 hours. Just took 10mg more. Feeling high. But I can’t sleep. Using medical marijuana as well. How much more Ambien can I take to sleep?

  30. I have been on 10 mg ambien for 20 years, I recently had them drop me down to 5 mg so I can get off of them, but I cant sleep without a sleep aide, the 5 mg dont let me get to sleep so I find myself taking two so I can sleep, im going back to the tens but I reallt want off of them because im having short term memory loss, do I change to something else or just keep ambien ?

    1. Hi Darel. I suggest that you consult with your doctor. Also you may try with alternative methods for sleep disturbances.

  31. When taken as directed 10mg of ambien. What would the results of 73ng/ml indicate in a drug test with testing limit at 15ng/ml. Is that a normal amount to be found in a blood test?

  32. I used to take zolpidem 10mg years ago, I’ve been having hard times falling asleep. I still have some left but it says discard after 1/28/2012… Can I still take these? Or would that be a bad idea?

  33. I have bee on Ambien every night for the last year. I have such sever arthritis that it seems to be the only thing that allows me any sleep. I still wake up in the night but I just readjust my body to relieve the pain and then go right to sleep. However it leaves me pretty tired throughout the day. Any other suggestion to help me sleep through the pain?

  34. Can I have a drink at dinner st 7pm and take 5 mg ambien at midnight without a problem in the morning? Or just what should the spacing be between the two drugs alcohol and Ambien?

  35. I take Ambien 5mg I have a problem sleeping my Wife died and lost my job I am seeing psychologist, my doctor gave me the prescription for Ambien but I only can sleep for 3 hours a night I use to sleep very well now I have a hard time during the day to function meaning I can’t remember things what is wrong with me can someone help me I never had this problem I started a new job and it is very hard for me to remember things because of this I hope I don’t loose this job

  36. I have been taking ambien/generic for about 5 years. I tried time release for awhile, but it was not helpful. I have gone from 10mg to 5mg recently and then to nothing these past three days. I have had chronic insomnia for many years. Frankly, even with the ambien, I slept only 4 to 6 hours at a stretch. I am experiencing some withdrawal symptoms such as restless nights with sporadic sleep. I have been taking 1/2 tab of muscle relaxant to help getting to sleep as I wean myself off of the ambien. I fall asleep for about 2 hours and continue that pattern throughtout the night. I am hopeful that I will return to my usual sleep pattern of 4 to 6 hours soon. The only good thing about ambien is that it helped me fall asleep quickly. I experience chronic pain throughout the day and night and this is the main reason for my insomnia. At 72 years of age, I don’t see an end to my chronic insomnia. Since, Ambien is becoming a controlled drug, it is not worth the trouble to get it. My husband and son might miss, however, the often humorous conversations that I have had with them, which I cannot remember the next day.

  37. 1/12/16 My doc had me on 20mg/day of Ambien for ten years and then had me stop cold turkey off of it last May.
    I have not had a decent night sleep since. 3-5 hours a night is typical. I am not able to nap during the day. I have tried every OTC sleep available since and nothing has worked. A sleep clinic has not helped either. I was never told how bad this stuff was. If you are on Ambien , get off before it ruins your life.

  38. My daughter took Ambium yesterday & was having hallucinations & today she is still seeing things like people in trees . She said she took 3 at one time. How long will the hallucinations last . It’s been two days already . Worried Mom over here , please send me some answerers as soon as possible . Thank you !!

  39. I have taken Ambien 10 k for about 15 straight days, toight about 9:45pm I took my 16th Ambien, it is still12:48 a.m. and it is not making me go to sleep. I do not have anything to eat before I take Ambien. Is there a consistent amount taken tat will not work for you as I my case. I was told you can take them quite often and still get to sleep.

  40. I have 5 mg of zolpidem from mid 2013…..will they still be usable or will there be no effect? I ask only because I will run out of my Rx 7 days earlier due to trying a new type (samples) of sleeping aid (6 mg silenor) this past month and after trying the 3 mg for a few days, they originally worked, then stopped. Dr upped dosage to 6 mg and sent another Rx for 7 more days but told me not to take them every day and wouldn’t write for a full month’s Rx…, after going back and forth between Zolpidem and Silenor, which, actually stopped working completely, put me back on Zolpidem, but as I said, I will now run out a week earlier this month….I found a bottle of Zolpidem from September 2013 in my medicine chest and was wondering if they would still help me fall asleep at night for those 7 nights as I am 66 and an insomniac. Thank you very much.

  41. just took 3, ambien(zolpidem) 5mg/ will i get high will i hallucinate ? anything that can help me hallucinat/ get higher ?

  42. i am suffering with insomnia .. i am taking zolpidem 5mg but i didnt get full night sleep i want atleast 8 hours sleep so please suggest me any sleeping pill

  43. I was on ambien for a few years. At first it was great. I fell asleep in under 20 mins and awoke refreshed and not groggy. I started with half a pill and worked up to a full pill. Finally there were times I took two pills. It got to the point I was just sleeping at the most 4hrs a night. My doctor switched me to trazadone about 6 months ago. It really has not helped much. It takes a lot longer to fall asleep and I don’t stay asleep for long. I had no problems switching the drugs and no bad side effects a lot of people have. Do you think I have been off the ambien long enough to go back to it and get the original effects again? Does it work that way or once I’ve built up a tolerance would I just have to keep taking more? I try all the healthy habits to get to sleep but I work shift work. Every four weeks I shift, from mids to afternoons to day then back to mids. There is no way I can go to bed at the same time consistently. I just get used to one shift and I change to another. I am sure this is the biggest contributor to my insomnia. I really liked the ambien but was afraid of increasing it any more. Thank you in advance.

  44. My doctor has put me on 300mg of bupropion –two 150mg a day at breakfast. I have noticed some problems with small muscle coordination–can’t write very well. Could I take one tablet at breakfast and one at lunchtime?

    1. Hi Theo. You should contact your doctor first and report the side effects you are experiencing. Then your doc will decide if your dose should be lowered and then gradually increased, or decide another course of action. Anyway, I’d advise you not to attempt anything on your own.

  45. I’ve been taking ambien for 30 days and I’m suffering from depression ..what is the best way to stop taking it ?? I want to go to a all natural drug… Any help would be appreciated

    1. Hi Debbie. You can see your doctor for medical advise on Ambien withdrawal. Because Ambien withdrawal can be dangerous, sometimes it’s important to be monitored by a medical expert. The best way to go off is to taper doses down gradually and over the course of few weeks. It’s important to reduce your Ambien doses slowly because when the doses are being tapered, symptoms are less severe.

  46. Hello Tom. Ambien dependence (which is different than addiction) begins after a few weeks of daily dosing on Ambien. In fact, it should be used intermittently no fewer than three and no more than five pills per week for a period of 12 weeks. This is how experts recommend that DOCTORS prescribe it…check in with your pharmacist for confirmation. Best to you and your mother!

  47. My mother is taking 10 milligrams a day of ambien, 5 early in the day and 5 at night to get to sleep and such. She has had insomnia because she is getting off Xanax (alprazalom) and dealing with the withdrawal symptoms of that and one big one is insomnia. So now she is taking another habit / addictive drug ambien to get rest or she won’t sleep, isn’t this very dangerous??? Also, how long does it take till the body becomes dependent on it on average??? She sure don’t need to go through the withdrawal symptoms of trying to get off the ambien since she already went through that with quitting the xanax…which almost killed her I think because she had blood pressure problems already and on blood pressure meds too, she just got prescribed a calcium channel blocker as well….so how long is safe for her to use this ambien and not get hooked on it ??? Thanks.

  48. Hi,
    I have trouble sleeping for about last 2 years. My doctor prescribed Zofresh(5mg) (although 5 mg doesnt work well , 10mg does). I have an exam tomorrow and i need to make sure that i sleep well tonight. I have heard that zolpidem causes memory problems,like not having the memory of your activities(what you have done after taking zolpidem) the next day. My question is “DOES IS HAMPER YOUR PERMANENT MEMORY ALSO” (as in whatever i have studied or learnt in a year.
    Is it OK to take a Zolpidem before exam day??

    Please help!

  49. Im taking 5mg of ambiem and the first night i took it. I did things in my sleep i dont remember. My roomate told me. Sould i stop taking beause that happened?

  50. I have been on Ambien for 5 plus years. I have terrible colorful nightmares if I don’t take one. What to do to get unaddicted?

  51. Ivans
    Thanks for your quick answer. Doesn’t Flumazenil have to be taken intravenously? Or is it also dispensed in pill form?

  52. Hello Gifford. NIDA recommends that you undergo withdrawal from Ambien under medical supervision because some symptoms can be too difficult to handle on your own. Especually if you’ve been using Ambien for a longer period and in bigger doses. Doctors sometimes prescribe Flumazenil to help patients in Ambien withdrawal. They may also switch you to Valium and slowly taper you off of the valium over the next few months.

  53. I have been taking Ambien for many years , up to 20 mg a day . I also take it because I have chronic pain and it seems to be the only thing that allows me to sleep.. I am trying to cut back slowly with natural remedies like melatonin but it doesn’t seem to help. I take 5 mg at night just before’s sleep but also take iduring today because it seems to help with my pain. Up to 20 mg a day. My doctor says just cut back to one 1.5 mg per day for a week then one week then .5 for another week and then zero for the week . I’m finding this very difficult. Melatonin and other non-prescription sleep aids have not helped me reduce the dosage. Is there other prescriptions sleep medication that I could take it that is as effective as Ambien that I could along with the Ambien to help me reduce the amount of Ambien?

  54. Well thc marijuana is perfect if u wanna get off ambien. It helps ypu sleep as well. No side affets no addiction. The pther day hard scientist came out withhow marijuana is an incredible medical drug. Stops nausea. Helps anxiety makes pepple relaxed. You get sleepy so it helps people sleep. Also helps cancer patients. Helps with pain. And i also heard doctors are gonna start giving weed to the loonies scyh unit. It helps come down the voices in the head. Helps the bi polar episodes and also scientifically proven that it helps depression. Guys marijuana is the way to go. And if ur worried about the legal problems of it. Grow a pair!

  55. Hello Conan. And, yes. It’s best if you take your Ambien and go to bed shortly after that. And make sure you have time for at least 8 hours of sleep, before you need to wake up the next day.

  56. How long will Ambien show in your blood? I have taken ambient nightly for almost the last 2years with no problems…..I was driving one day and blacked out and don’t remember much….the police thought I was drunk or under the influence of narcotics….the police detained me all day with no medical attention and eventually they did a blood test which only showedvambien in my blood. Later that night my wife took me to the hospital with a high heart rate….I was admitted for 3 days! Eventually had an ablation to my heart to repair a vein from my heart to my brain! The police still blame the ambien !

  57. Thank you! I have an appt tomorrow. I stopped the Ambien 2 nights ago. Still having bad withdrawals but the crying has decreased.

  58. Hi Kim. When tapering off Klonapine, many people who have taken even a single pill of Ambien get similar effects. Some say it even exacerbated the problems they were having in withdrawal in the first place. Many think since it’s not a benzo, it wouldn’t harm them, but that’s so wrong! You should still talk to your doctor and have him prescribe another medication to help you in the detox process.

  59. I have been taking ambien on and off ( mostly on) for about 15 years. I am in the process of detoxing from klonapine for anxiety. The dr took me off ambien and put me on trazadone. I ran out early and resumed the ambien. Since then my withdrawl symptoms are extremely worse. Very bad anxiety . Could this worsening be from the ambien?
    Thank You

  60. Hello Ann. Have you tried speaking with a psychologist? I think that you are right in questioning the use of Ambien as a sleep aid. It works as a hypnotic to relax the central nervous system, but it does not address underlying psycho-emotional issues.

    The process of grieving can last for years, and with the added trauma caring for someone diagnosed with a long term illness, your situation can be difficult to pass through. I’d suggest that you speak with a licensed clinical psychologist to help you understand the process of grieving more and to get practical, real-life practices for dealing with your thoughts and emotions surrounding his passing. Meditation can help. So can physical practices such as tai chi or yoga. Acceptance is a process that we move through, and it sounds like you can use some guidance. I wish you all of the best.

  61. My husband passed away 4yrs. With congestive heart failure, after taking care of him years before he passed I lost a lot of sleep crying an worring over him and when he passed I didn’t sleep for a while so my Dr. Put me on ambien to help me sleep, my ins. Co. Is only allowing me 15 per month I tried missing a couple of nights but I had bad dreams of my husband sickness and I would on an off wake all during night with dreams like that, I would wake crying it upset me so bad, I need an alturnitive. Can you help? I want to dream of him is sweet not ones of his sickness and death. PLEASE HELP ME.

  62. Thanks for your question. The best way to get off Ambien is to gradually taper doses with the help of a dosing calendar set up just for you by your prescribing doctor. Seek out medical advice from your doctor directly and ask for tips on how to manage insomnia symptoms after withdrawal. Be prepared for a few nights’ difficult sleep once you’re totally off Ambien, and then have a plan for how to manage difficulty sleeping via lifestyle change in the future.


  64. Hi Steve. I hear your dilemma. Going to sleep is like turning off the switch. What’s helped me go to sleep without the need for Ambien or other sleep hypnotics are a few simple tools.

    1. Going to bed at the same time every night.
    2. Learning to shut off thoughts that keep you awake (meditation)
    3. Melatonin supplements for nights when sleep is difficult

    Are you willing to make a lifestyle change?

  65. I have been on ambien for 27 years everyday! I am sure i am addicted to it. It now takes two 10 mg to flip the sleep switch for me. the only problem is now i can only get 1 ambien per night from the V.A. and that means i only sleep every other day. It is just a waste of ambien to take only one– there will be no effect for me! I am working with the doctors to get off ambien– only problem is there is nothing that will flip my switch off– to sleep mode. they say i need a psychological sludge hammer to get to sleep.. once the switch is flipped to off….. i have no problem sleeping through the night… what other drug is out there to get me to sleep besides ambien? any answers will be appreciated.
    Sincerely Steve

  66. Hello Ted. What side effects are you experiencing? It might take a couple of weeks to work out re-bound insomnia. But there are other techniques that you can use to help yourself get to sleep. Have you looked into meditation or even trying to get into bed at the SAME TIME every night?

  67. Hi Steve. Sleep disorders can be learned behaviors, but sleeping problems can also be treated using lifestyle changes. Not such a quick fix as Ambien or other hypnotics, but definitely worth the investment of time. I’d suggest that you check out the work of Dr. Rubin Naiman and look into his books and CDs.

  68. I have been taking ambien for the past 23 years on a daily basis. If i concentrate on relaxing while the drug kicks in– i get about 4 hours sleep. i am in fear that being on this drug this long will or could harm me. as of yet it is still a God send to me and would get no sleep. It is very harmful for me to get no sleep for prolonged periods of time. i get really messed up in the head. is there something else i could take that would (flip the switch) for me? may i be a case study? i would like help but still want to sleep and be able to go to work.. what do i do???

  69. Hi Daniel. Good for you. It can be difficult to get off Ambien. I’d suggest that you consult with your prescribing doctor and ask for a tapering calendar first. Then, you’ll really need to learn how to sleep. There are courses that you can take which involve meditation techniques such as progressive muscle relaxation, heart rhythm meditation or other body/mind awareness techniques. The point is that in order to sleep better, you need to learn more about the function of sleep (to process and sort out the day’s input) and to learn how to sleep well.

    I hope that this helps.

  70. I have been taking Zolpidem for the last 10 years, 5 mg before bedtime.
    I have read all the side effects but i don’t seem to have non of the listed on each web site.
    I suffer from insomnia for at least 20 years.
    Can you please help me to find the way to get out of Zolpidem?

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