group of people sitting in a circle at aa meeting


Many people suffer from insomnia, a type of sleep disorder that makes it difficult to fall asleep or stay asleep throughout the night. Those who suffer from insomnia can have all kinds of life-disrupting side effects which may include extreme sleepiness and fatigue, increased stress, worsened skin conditions, lowered sex drive, weight gain, headaches, concentration problems and memory issues, irritability and mood swings, a weakened immune system, and even depression. With the severity of these symptoms varying for each person, it’s no surprise why people turn to their health care providers for help.


Ambien, also known as Zolpidem, is a sedative, or a nonbarbiturate hypnotic that affects chemicals in the brain that are out of balance. Ambien may come in tablet, capsule, or liquid forms with different doses. Other names for Ambien include Intermezzo (available in a sublingual tablet with different doses), Zolpimist (available in an oral spray formulation), and Edluar (available in a sublingual tablet).


Side Effects of Ambien Sleeping Pills

young african american woman sleeping on her hands in bed

Although Ambien can help you feel asleep, continual use can cause potential side effects including drowsiness, sleepiness, dizziness, headaches, nausea, or diarrhea. More serious side effects can occur in certain individuals like memory loss, moodiness, behavioral changes, sleepwalking,  and loss of appetite. When taking prescribed Ambien for prolonged periods of time, it can become addicting, which makes it very easy to abuse.


If you have been abusing, excessively taking more Ambien than what your doctor prescribed, or combining it with alcohol, there are potentially life-threatening consequences with a risk of overdose. Additionally, health care professionals do not recommend that you quit “cold turkey” as there is a risk for seizures. Instead, the safest option is to contact a professional, who can help you taper down slowly and assist with the entire process of Ambien withdrawal treatment to minimize symptoms or relapsing. 



Ambien detox symptoms include:

  • Cravings
  • Anxiety and irritability
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Mood swings
  • Abdominal cramps or discomfort
  • Sweats
  • Flushing
  • Tremors
  • Fatigue
  • Delirium
  • Uncontrolled Crying
  • Depression
  • Rapid heartbeat and breathing
  • Panic attacks
  • Rebound insomnia


Ambien Withdrawal Timeline

Many people will experience rebound insomnia after they stop taking sleeping pills like Ambien. Rebound insomnia is when people have extreme difficulty falling and or maintaining sleep. Some may notice that their insomnia gets significantly worse compared to prior to taking sleeping pills. Taking melatonin has been found to be effective in reducing sleeplessness and improving the overall sleep cycle.  


While some people begin experiencing mild Ambien withdrawal symptoms 6-8 hours after their last dose, most people will start to fully experience symptoms 48 hours after the last dose, and they can persist for 1 to 2 weeks. Generally, after 4-5 days the symptoms will begin to improve. Keep in mind that polysubstance abuse may add to the severity and duration of the withdrawal symptoms, especially alcohol, so the recovery time may take longer. 


Ambien Detox Treatment

 woman in bed pouring pills into her left hand

Since Ambien detox treatment is not a one fits all kind of situation, some individuals may experience post-acute withdrawal symptoms, which can last on and off for months and even years. Although detoxing from sleeping pills like Ambien isn’t easy, there are numerous programs, like PCTD’s, that are designed to keep people safe by medically supervising the detox process and helping to ease the symptoms people go through. It is also recommended that people continue treatment after the initial detox and withdrawal period in order to help reduce the potential for relapse months down the road.

Continued detox treatment options may include:

  •   Relapse prevention tools
  •   Coping strategies for dealing with triggers, anxiety, and depression
  •   One-on-one counseling sessions
  •   Group therapy with people who are going through the same process
  •   Mindfulness practices
  •   Implementation of daily meditation


PCTD Offers Compassionate & Personalized Detox Programs


Pacific Crest Trail Detox and Oregon Trail Recovery offer medically assisted detox treatment and recovery plans that are personalized to help you recover from Ambien use and withdrawal in the long term. Our caring and well-trained nurses have years of experience and are here for you 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. Whether you need help with Ambien withdrawal, or drug and alcohol addiction, PCTD is here to provide a safe environment where you can recover, regain control of your life, and become the strong and thriving individual you were meant to be. Contact us today to start your journey to become a better you!