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How Ambien helps battle sleep exhaustion and insomnia

Person sleeping on the couch

Optum Perks Author

By Optum Perks Author

Whether because of stress, procrastination, or Twitter, insomniacs seem to be popping up everywhere more than ever. There are different levels of insomnia and proper treatment can only be determined by a qualified doctor. One of the more common prescriptions for this inability to sleep is Ambien.

The generic name for Ambien is zolpidem and it acts as a sedative (also called a hypnotic). It works by chemically altering the brain, attempting to fix the imbalances that cause insomnia. It's a fast-acting pill that produces a calming effect, therefore making it easier to get a good night's rest.

Ambien is for adult use and is not meant for long-term treatment. Prescriptions are usually for one to two weeks and should be taken orally on an empty stomach before bed. Doses  can depend on gender, age, any medical conditions, other medications being taken and individual responses to the medication.

Increasing the dosage or taking Ambien longer than prescribed can cause withdrawal symptoms when ceasing the medication (you'll also build up a tolerance meaning you need more of it for the same effect, AKA, more money).

Withdrawal symptoms include nasuea, vomiting, stomach cramps, and shakiness. To prevent this, doctors gradually decrease your dosage until no longer needed.

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One of my favorite benefits of Ambien is that addiction is rare. Although a history with alcohol or drug abuse may increase your chances of dependence on Ambien, the drug alone has a low risk of abnormal drug-seeking behavior.

If you wake before at least seven to eight hours of sleep after having taken Ambien, you might experience some memory loss and will be quite drowsy - I wouldn't do anything that requires any level of alertness if I were you.

As with any prescription medication, there is a risk of side effects. It may make you dizzy and sleepy throughout the day. Other unlikely but more serious side effects include memory loss, mood or behavior changes, hallucinations, confusion or anxiety. These are very rare symptoms. If a doctor choose to prescribe this medication, it's because he or she believes that the benefits far outweigh possible side effects.

In other exceptional cases, Ambien users have reported sleep walking, even preparing food, having sex, eating, and making phone calls.  This is a very rare circumstance and not something you should worry about too much.

Most Ambien users successfully relieve their insomnia symptoms and cease usage not long after. If you think you might need help relieving your insomnia, you can search Ambien on searchRx. Keep in mind only a physician can prescribe this medication but it's always a good idea to be informed on anything you put into your body.

Click the link to explore, find, and save on prescription medications like Ambien.