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.

MedicationBrand Name(s)General Dosage (Mg)Average Half life
LoprazolamDormonoct
Havlane
Sonin
Somnovit
1 – 26 – 12 hours
Lormetazepamn/a0.5 – 210 – 12 hours
LorazepamAtivan
Orfidal
0.5 – 49 – 16 hours
TemazepamRestoril
Normison
Norkotral
Nortem
Remestan
Euhypnos
Temaze
Temtabs
Tenox
10 – 308 – 20 hours
NitrazepamMogadon
Arem
Insoma
Alodorm
Nitrados
Nitrazadon
Nitrosun
Ormodon
Paxadorm
Remnos
Somnite
2.5 – 1016 – 38 hours
DiazepamValium2 – 1020 – 100 hours
ClonazepamKlonopin
Rivotril
Linotril
0.5 – 218 – 50 hours
ClorazepateTranxene
Novo-Clopate
3.75 – 152 days
EstazolamProsom
Eurodin
1 – 210 – 24 hours
AlprazolamXanax0.25 – 310 – 16 hours
OxazepamAlepam
Medopam
Murelax
Noripam
Opamox
Ox-Pam
Purata
Serax
Serepax
5 – 308 – 12 hours
QuazepamDoral
Dormalin
7.5 – 1539 hours
TriazolamApo-Triazo
Halcion
Hypam
Trilam
0.125 – 0.251.5 – 5.5 hours
FlurazepamDalmane
Dalmadorm
15 – 301 – 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.

MedicationBrand Name(s)General Dosage (Mg)Average Half life
ZopicloneZimovane
Imovane
3.75 – 7.56 – 9 hours
EzopicloneLunesta1 – 36 – 9 hours
ZolpidemAmbien
Ambien CR
Intermezzo
Stilnox
Sublinox
Zolsana
Sandoz
5 – 102 – 3 hours
ZaleplonSonata
Starnoc
Andante
5 – 101 – 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.

MedicationBrand Name(s)General Dosage (Mg)Average Half life
AmitriptylineElavil
Tryptomer
Tryptizol
Laroxyl
Saroten
Sarotex
Lentizol
Endep
10 – 5016 hours
DoxepinSinequan
Sinquan
Aponal
Adapine
Doxal
Deptran
Gilex
3 – 617 hours
TrazodoneDesyrel
Oleptro
Trialodine
Molipaxin
Trazorel
Depyrel
Trazodil
Trittico
25 – 507 – 10 hours
TrimipramineSurmontil
Rhotrimine
Stangyl
10 – 10011 – 23 hours
ImipramineTofranil
Melipramine
10 – 7520 hours