Ambien, otherwise prescribed as zolpidem, is one of the top five psychiatric drugs people are taking in the U.S, according to JAMA Internal Medicine, reports Women’s Health.
That shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise, considering that one in three Americans doesn’t get enough sleep, per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Ambien basically slows down your brain to initiate sleep—sometimes as quickly as within 20 minutes, says Jocelyn Cheng, M.D., a neurologist at NYU Langone Health.
But Ambien is not meant to be a chronic solution to sleeplessness. “It’s meant to be used in a temporary setting: if there’s some sort of abrupt stressor or a change in someone’s schedule that’s making them experience insomnia or difficulty falling asleep,” explains Cheng.