Sleeping Pill Withdrawal Symptoms

Symptoms of sleeping pill withdrawal will vary by the individual, particularly in cases of dual-diagnosis or co-occurring mental illnesses, which may require inpatient treatment and medical detox at a drug rehab center. It is advised that people with sleeping pill addictions seek professional drug treatment to monitor their withdrawal process in a safe environment.

For more information about prominent sleeping pill withdrawals, read the following pages:

  • Ambien: Ambien is the brand name version of zolpidem and is regarded as a non-benzodiazepine sedative hypnotic. It’s one of the most popular sleeping pills and also the most abused sedative in the United States, with about 20,793 people being sent to the emergency room for zolpidem-related incidents, according to SAMHSA. Ambien addiction is often seen with other substance addictions, such as alcohol or Xanax, and can have intense withdrawal symptoms once a person decides to quit.
  • Sonata: Zaleplon, known by its brand name Sonata, is another non-benzodiazepine sedative-hypnotic. Much less potent than its counterparts, Ambien and Lunesta, Sonata is typically prescribed to people who have trouble falling asleep as opposed to people who need help staying asleep. Though Sonata is said to be one of the least habit-forming and addictive sleeping pills, there is still a possibility of developing a physical and psychological dependence to the drug. Most users do not realize they have an addiction to Sonata until they stop taking the pill.
  • Lunesta: Lunesta is the brand-name sleeping pill for eszopiclone, also a non-benzodiazepine sedative-hypnotic. A result of a recent surge in television publicity, Lunesta has established itself as one of the top three prescribed sleeping pills in the United States, with about 3 million Lunesta prescriptions being dispensed to Americans in 2013. Addiction to Lunesta can form in as little as two weeks with withdrawal symptoms being similar to benzodiazepine withdrawal, including potential risk for seizures, hallucinations, and suicidal thoughts.
  • Amytal: Amytal, otherwise known by its generic version amobarbital, is a barbiturate used as a pre-anesthetic for surgeries and sometimes as a heavily regulated sleeping aide. It is distributed as a white powder that gets dissolved in water and injected into the user. Because Amytal is a barbiturate, addicted persons will need to go through a detox period for treatment.
  • Temazepam (Restoril): Restoril, or temazepam, is a federally controlled substance (C-IV), a sedative-hypnotic that is used to treat insomnia. Used for both helping insomniacs fall asleep and prevent consistent waking up at night, Restoril is a product that people can easily develop a physical dependence and addiction to. Tolerance levels can adjust within three days, which is why Restoril is normally not prescribed longer than 7 to 10 days and is closely monitored by a doctor.
  • Estazolam: Estazolam, marketed under the brand names ProSom and Eurodin, is an oral benzodiazepine commonly prescribed as a short-term sleeping pill. There is potential for abuse if people use estazolam to achieve a high and/or continue long-term use of the sleeping pill against medical instruction, and especially if mixed with other substances, such as alcohol. People who quit taking estazolam may experience benzodiazepine withdrawal symptoms and rebound insomnia.
  • Phenobarbital: also known as phenobarbitone and sold under the brand name Luminal–is a prescription medication used to treat a number of conditions including seizure disorders, insomnia, tension and anxiety. Prolonged use of phenobarbital can be habit-forming, even at therapeutic doses, and result in a higher tolerance for the drug

Sleeping Pill Withdrawal FAQs

  • What is considered a sleeping pill?

    Sleeping pills, sometimes referred to as “z-drugs,” are sedative-hypnotics, which is a specific class of drugs used to induce and maintain regular sleeping cycles. Most sleeping pills fall under non-benzodiazepine sedative subclasses—such as Ambien (zolpidem), Lunesta (eszopiclone), and Sonata (zaleplon)—but other sleeping pills may contain benzodiazepines or barbiturates, such as Restoril (temazepam) or Amytal (amobarbital).


  • Can you get addicted to sleeping pills?

    People can become addicted to sleeping pills after developing too strong of a physical and psychological dependence on them to sleep. Those who are only prescribed for short-term usage (one to two weeks) are less likely to develop an addiction to sleeping pills, but this is not a guarantee. Most people do not realize they are addicted to sleeping pills until they stop using them, which is why patients should be carefully monitored by their doctors and follow prescription orders.


  • Do you need to go to detox for sleeping pill addiction?

    It is advised that you go to detox for sleeping pill addiction, especially if you have a co-occurring mental illness. Quitting sleeping pills cold turkey or using self-detox home remedies for sleeping pill withdrawal symptoms can put users’ health at risk and increase the intensity of the withdrawal symptoms. Going to drug detox treatment for sleeping pills will provide clients a medical team that will monitor their withdrawal process, along with their vitals and sleeping patterns, and gradually taper clients off their sleeping pill medication by decreasing the dosage on a schedule.


  • How long does sleeping pill withdrawal take?

    The duration of sleeping pill withdrawal varies between each individual and each drug, but average withdrawal timelines can span from a few days to several weeks to several months. Timelines for specific sleeping pill withdrawals are detailed in the pages listed above.


  • Can you die from sleeping pill withdrawal?

    Depending on the severity of the sleeping pill addiction and withdrawal, certain health risks can escalate to death. Sleeping pill withdrawal can be very similar to alcohol and barbiturate withdrawal, which involve intense withdrawal symptoms, such as hypothermia, delusions, severe vomiting, and seizures, among others. Certain sleeping pills have stronger withdrawals than others. Refer to the pages listed above for more details.


  • What’s the best way to stop taking sleeping pills?

    The best way to stop taking sleeping pills is through an inpatient or outpatient drug treatment program. Clients going through addiction treatment can gradually reduce their sleeping pill dosage while being supervised by their doctors and other trained medical staff. Going to drug rehab for sleeping pill addiction will also allow clients to take advantage of counseling services and group therapy meetings, which can give clients the proper psychological and psychotherapeutic support they need throughout their sleeping pill withdrawal.


  • Going Through Sleeping Pill Withdrawal? Get Treatment Now

    Not sure how to find the right drug rehab center for you? Drug Treatment Center Finder can help. Our database of drug rehabs covers all 50 states, allowing you to find a drug rehab in your area or location of choice. If you have any questions about the type of drug treatment that best suits your needs, call our 24-hour helpline at (855) 619-8070 and talk to one of our call agents, who will guide you toward the right drug treatment center for you. Start your recovery today.