The Names of the Different Types of Sleeping Pills

Sleeping Pill NamesBelow are the names of a range of different sleeping pills. Listed for each sleeping pill are the commonly used brand names, the half-life (how long it takes for your body to remove half of the medication) and the commonly used dosages.

The information in the tables was collated from a variety of sources. I am not medically trained and cannot validate their accuracy.

Benzodiazepines

Benzodiazepines first became available as a sleeping aid in the early 70s. They gradually improved over the next 10 years and have been used ever since.

They were developed to replace barbiturates. These were dangerously addictive drugs with a variety of unpleasant side effects. They could easily cause death when taken with alcohol.

Benzodiazepines all have around the same level of effectiveness. The key difference is how long they stay in your body after taking them.

Medication Brand Name(s) General Dosage (Mg) Average Half life
Loprazolam Dormonoct
Havlane
Sonin
Somnovit
1 – 2 6 – 12 hours
Lormetazepam n/a 0.5 – 2 10 – 12 hours
Lorazepam Ativan
Orfidal
0.5 – 4 9 – 16 hours
Temazepam Restoril
Normison
Norkotral
Nortem
Remestan
Euhypnos
Temaze
Temtabs
Tenox
10 – 30 8 – 20 hours
Nitrazepam Mogadon
Arem
Insoma
Alodorm
Nitrados
Nitrazadon
Nitrosun
Ormodon
Paxadorm
Remnos
Somnite
2.5 – 10 16 – 38 hours
Diazepam Valium 2 – 10 20 – 100 hours
Clonazepam Klonopin
Rivotril
Linotril
0.5 – 2 18 – 50 hours
Clorazepate Tranxene
Novo-Clopate
3.75 – 15 2 days
Estazolam Prosom
Eurodin
1 – 2 10 – 24 hours
Alprazolam Xanax 0.25 – 3 10 – 16 hours
Oxazepam Alepam
Medopam
Murelax
Noripam
Opamox
Ox-Pam
Purata
Serax
Serepax
5 – 30 8 – 12 hours
Quazepam Doral
Dormalin
7.5 – 15 39 hours
Triazolam Apo-Triazo
Halcion
Hypam
Trilam
0.125 – 0.25 1.5 – 5.5 hours
Flurazepam Dalmane
Dalmadorm
15 – 30 1 – 5 days

 

Z Drugs

Z drugs were developed in the 90s, billed as the next generation of sleeping pills.

Z drugs were designed to leave the body quicker to limit the hangover effect. They were said to limit all the unwanted side effects whilst still being equally as good at sending you to sleep.

Recent research however has shown that z drugs share many of the same long term health concerns as the benzodiazepines they were intended to replace. They were never the miracle drug its founders had in mind.

Medication Brand Name(s) General Dosage (Mg) Average Half life
Zopiclone Zimovane
Imovane
3.75 – 7.5 6 – 9 hours
Ezopiclone Lunesta 1 – 3 6 – 9 hours
Zolpidem Ambien
Ambien CR
Intermezzo
Stilnox
Sublinox
Zolsana
Sandoz
5 – 10 2 – 3 hours
Zaleplon Sonata
Starnoc
Andante
5 – 10 1 – 1.5 hours

 

Antidepressants

Sometimes depression medication is prescribed to be used as a sleeping aid. Some, but not all depression medication have a sedating effect that causes drowsiness.

The advantages of depression medication over regular sleeping pills are that it doesn’t disrupt the quality of sleep. You don’t become physically addicted to it and there’s no rebound insomnia when you stop taking it. The downside is that you’re more likely to experience daytime sleepiness, even on low doses.

Medication Brand Name(s) General Dosage (Mg) Average Half life
Amitriptyline Elavil
Tryptomer
Tryptizol
Laroxyl
Saroten
Sarotex
Lentizol
Endep
10 – 50 16 hours
Doxepin Sinequan
Sinquan
Aponal
Adapine
Doxal
Deptran
Gilex
3 – 6 17 hours
Trazodone Desyrel
Oleptro
Trialodine
Molipaxin
Trazorel
Depyrel
Trazodil
Trittico
25 – 50 7 – 10 hours
Trimipramine Surmontil
Rhotrimine
Stangyl
10 – 100 11 – 23 hours
Imipramine Tofranil
Melipramine
10 – 75 20 hours