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Ten Safety Tips for Taking Sleeping Pills for Insomnia

Filed in
  • Treatments
  • Sleep Disorders

American Academy of Sleep Medicine  |  Jan 10, 2013
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The most effective treatment for chronic insomnia is cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT-I). However, medications can be helpful for some people who have insomnia. Follow these tips to make sure that you use sleeping pills safely and properly to treat insomnia:

1. Never take a sleeping pill without first getting approval from your doctor.

2. Make sure your doctor is aware of any other medications that you already take.

3. Notify your doctor if you have any other medical problems such as high blood pressure or liver problems.

4. Carefully read the package insert that comes with your medication.

5. Follow your prescription. Do not take more than the dosage that your doctor prescribes.

6. Never drink alcohol near the time when you take a sleeping pill.

7. Only take a sleeping pill when you will have enough time to get plenty of sleep. (Most sleeping pills, such as Ambien or Lunesta, should be taken at least seven to eight hours before you need to wake up. You can take Intermezzo in the middle of the night if you have at least four hours of bedtime left.)

8. Try to take the first dose on a night when you don't have to go anywhere the next morning.

9. Never drive a motor vehicle after taking a sleeping pill.

10. Contact your doctor or pharmacist right away if you have any problems while taking a sleep medication.

WARNING: Complex sleep behaviors such as sleepwalking or sleep driving can occur when you take a sleeping pill. Read this Consumer Update from the FDA to learn about these safety risks. 

Contact an accredited sleep center to get help for insomnia or another sleep problem. Find a behavioral sleep medicine provider who can offer CBT-I.

Updated May 3, 2019


  1. 1 raquel 22 Mar
    joe Collins. how long u been taking zopiclone?..
  2. 2 joe collins 19 Oct
    I take one zopiclone tablet every night one hour before I go to bed it works wonders
  3. 3 Riaz 23 Sep
    I eat 10tablets bromazepam 3mg daily. How can I forget this medicine. 

  4. 4 Ethan Chong 22 Dec
    Thank you for these interesting tips! Safety pills was never an option for me when I had insomnia. I read that it has adverse side effects after use so I choose to use a much more efficient method of curing my insomnia.
  5. 5 Sarah Hobock 03 Feb
    I'm 67 years old.  I take one Alprazolam, Generic for Xanex).5MG, oneTrazodone 100 MG, two Acetaminophen PM and 2 tablespoons of Z-Quill, and still I can't sleep! We have a history of insomnia in my family