Sleeping Pill Withdrawal

Sleeping pill withdrawal triggers strong mental and physical repercussions due to distinct components found in various sleeping medications, which can create dependency. Sleeping pill reliance is much more common than most people think. It emerges with the promise of getting a good night’s sleep, which later becomes a strong craving for people who badly need rest. Rejecting these medications after constant use will cause strong withdrawal effects.

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Two most common types of chemicals

Negative sleeping pill withdrawal symptoms initiate due to diphenhydramine. Common over-the-counter pills contain diphenhydramine (DPH), which is an antihistamine (a remedy that inhibits the psychological function of histamine).  Antimuscarinic is another compound which can be prolonged even after you wake up in the morning.

Some prescribed medicines contain benzodiazepine, which triggers a tranquilizing chemical in the brain. Aside from sleep disorders, it is also used for treating anxiety and alcohol withdrawal. The brain becomes well acquainted with the drug which reacts to being stimulated, and once taken away, dependent urges begin.

Types of Sleeping Pills

There are a wide variety of sleeping pills for sale which contain different components aside from DPH and benzodiazepine, that aim for the same purpose, treating insomnia. Keep in mind, mixing various forms of prescribed and over-the-counter pills can worsen addiction and withdrawal symptoms later on.

A few common sleeping pills are:


Ambien contains zolpidem which acts on the brain’s receptors, releasing a neurotransmitter called GABA. Ambien is also a drug to be taken less often as it takes longer periods of time to take effect. This drug is known to make people act and do things they later have no memory of doing such as sleepwalking, making phone calls, acting in anger or confusion, amongst others.


Lunesta contains eszopiclone, which works by slowing down the functions of the brain, causing the patient to feel sleepy and fall asleep.


Sonata contains zaleplon which acts in a similar way as zolpidem. Effects felt that arise with this hypnotic drug (zaleplon) are the feeling of drowsiness, numbness in the body, alongside problems with memory and/or concentration. Adults who use these pills begin to develop strong unusual behavior or mood changes.

When it comes to withdrawal, many people not only suffer from psychological discomfort but also physical problems. It is important to state that many people will suffer different side effects, some more severe than others. The diagnosis can vary due to various factors such as variances in mental disorders; or the intensity or period in which the patient has taken the drug. Taking these factors into consideration, some of the common symptoms are:

  • Mental Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Nausea
  • Tremors
  • Hallucination
  • Insomnia
  • Drowsiness
  • Delirium
  • Confusion
  • Memory Loss
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Sleeping Pill Withdrawal Timeline

Everyone’s body is different, therefore sleeping pill withdrawal symptoms commence at different stages after people stop using them.

What is common in most patients, is that these symptoms start very early on after the medicine is no longer ingested in the body.

Some people may begin to feel strong side effects after just a few hours, some days, other’s a week, etc.


Sudden sleeping pill stoppage can cause a significant alteration in the mind and body.  The first signs of trouble arise when a patient begins to have trouble sleeping or starts to have harsh anxiety equal to or worse than prior use of pills.  Soon after, manifestations of anxiety and prolonged shivering are noticeable features in sleeping pill withdrawal. Many people at this stage feel the need give in to the dependency and try higher doses of sleeping pills, which can lead to a relapse. It is often recommended to gradually minimize the pill doses in order to allow the body to adapt to smaller and smaller quantities of medicine.


If the patient continues not taking sleeping pills, things can get harsher. Sleeping pill withdrawal taken with medication containing benzodiazepine can be more troubling. The side effects of immediate cease of intake can cause muscle cramps and seizures that are considered life-threatening by doctors. Less dangerous but still damaging symptoms are sweating, poor sleeping and initiations of depression.

Sleeping Pill Withdrawal Treatment

Doctors recommend decreasing the dosage progressively over time rather than to stop taking it completely.  This will help reduce strong withdrawal symptoms. The body will slowly adapt to this course of action, but will not solve the issue. However, this alone is not a final solution to the problem.

Professional treatment is necessary. Self-recuperation is not recommended since most people tend to fall back into the same habits and issues that negatively affect them. Professionals can prescribe the correct steps to take to revert sleeping pill withdrawal with supervision.

Road to Recovery


Detox is the first and most crucial step into sleeping pill withdrawal recovery. Trained professionals, such as physicians and nursing staff, will monitor a patient’s medical status as they transition through the withdrawal of the drug.

They are experienced in observing specific sleeping pill withdrawal symptoms that patients may be suffering. The goal with detox is to completely get rid of the toxins and additives that a person’s body relies on. They may be given specific treatments such as medication to help alleviate strong discomfort and illness.

Few drug treatment centers offer on-site treatment for patients. The benefit of this is medical treatment can be delivered regularly, with supervision It is important to take into consideration that many people have different levels of withdrawal, some more life-threatening than others.

Detox is about regaining a balanced state of mind and body. On-site treatments help evaluate which types of withdrawal symptoms a person may be suffering most. Maryland House Detox offers attentive evaluations of what caused the initial addiction in the first place.


The most common and accessible treatment for many patients is to be partially hospitalized. This entails the patient to regularly check up with medical staff in ongoing treatment to recovery. Outpatient programs allow people to function regularly within their life commitments. This form of treatment consists of regular therapy sessions and medical check-ins every week.


Those who have suffered longer periods of addiction should consider treatment for an extended period of time. Facility or residential treatments are often considered for people who have severe dependencies or have been using drugs, such as sleeping pills for an extensive period of time. Facility experts are around all day, every day, which makes this option a great one for many recovering patients.

Get Help Today

If you’re suffering from sleeping pill addiction or strong symptoms of sleeping pill withdrawal, Maryland House Detox can help. We offer various drug treatment programs that can fit your needs, such as family services, detox, and others.

You don’t have to face darkness alone or feel ashamed when battling addictions or withdrawal symptoms. Feel free to call us toll-free today at (855)-969-8748 in to seek the recovery you need today.