Ambien, also known as Zolpidem, is a prescription drug used to treat insomnia. It is a nonbenzodiazepine hypnotic agent, which means it does not have sedative or muscle relaxant properties. Ambien’s main mechanism of action is by binding to GABA receptors in the brain and increasing the activity of GABA neurotransmitters.
As with many other sleep aids, Ambien has been found to be effective in treating insomnia and other sleep disorders. However, there are some side effects associated with taking Ambien that you should be aware of. It is important for you to discuss these with your doctor before starting treatment so that you can make an informed decision about whether or not this medication is right for you.
Why do I need Ambien to sleep?
When taken as directed, Ambien can help you fall asleep quickly and sleep soundly through the night. But why do you need it? It’s not your fault if you have trouble sleeping—it’s just that your brain is doing its job. Here’s how:
Your brain has a built-in mechanism called the circadian rhythm, which controls things like your body temperature and hormone levels throughout the day and night. The circadian rhythm also regulates sleep. When it’s time to go to bed, your brain sends signals to other parts of your body that prompt them to get ready for sleep—like slowing down metabolism, relaxing muscles, and lowering heart rate and blood pressure.
Ambien works by mimicking these natural signals from your brain—but it does so much more quickly than your own body could ever manage! This is why it helps people fall asleep so quickly when taken as directed. And because it creates a smoother transition from wakefulness to sleepiness than what would happen naturally, Ambien can also help people stay asleep throughout the night without waking up early (or at all).
Does Ambien help with insomnia?
Ambien works by binding to GABA receptors in the brain, which helps to create a feeling of relaxation. As you may know, GABA is an inhibitory neurotransmitter—it slows down brain activity and induces sleepiness. Ambien also seems to work by binding to histamine receptors, which has been shown to make people drowsy as well.
While this sounds like Ambien might be an ideal solution for those struggling with insomnia, it doesn’t quite work out that way. Ambien can cause side effects such as drowsiness, dizziness, impaired coordination, blurred vision, sleepwalking and even hallucinations in some users. These side effects can last for up to 12 hours after taking the drug!
So while Ambien might help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer than usual (in addition to causing unpleasant side effects), we recommend looking into other options before turning to prescription meds like this one.
If you have trouble falling asleep regularly, you may want to consider one of the other options available. If your primary problem is that you wake up too early in the morning (i.e., before your alarm goes off), then melatonin might be a better option than Ambien; it’s available over-the-counter and will help you fall back asleep once you’re awake so that you can get back into REM sleep cycles without disrupting them too much (which can cause grogginess during the day).