Many people worldwide struggle with insomnia and search for treatments to help find a good night’s sleep. Ambien is one the most common medicines used to help people to fall asleep, and for good reason, as the effects Ambien has on your sleep patterns are extremely positive. That being said, side effects and risk factors give this drug the potential for abuse. A patient typically reliant on Ambien for an extended period may find it difficult to stop cold turkey — without a bit of assistance.

How Long Have You Been Taking Ambien?

If you’re considering quitting Ambien cold turkey, the first thing you should ask yourself is how long you have relied on the drug. A shorter period of time with Ambien naturally reduces the likelihood that you have a substance abuse problem and the need for help through some form of treatment program or addiction treatment center.

Ambien is one of the few drugs that have a high dependency rate. It doesn’t take long for bodies to become reliant on the drug. You can begin experiencing short and long-term withdrawal symptoms in as little as two weeks after quitting Ambien. If your usage is around this time frame, a medically assisted detox might be a much safer option to avoid a sudden relapse.

What Happens to My Body When I Quit?

When you stop taking Ambien cold turkey, zolpidem (the medical name for a sleeping pill) quickly leaves the body. This rapid loss can trigger a body dependent on zolpidem to experience withdrawal symptoms in as little as 4 hours. Your body finds it difficult to live without the drug, causing your central nervous system to overreact and find ways to cope. This reaction leads to Ambien withdrawal symptoms and can also lead to side effects, including nightmares, panic attacks, and a rebound of insomnia that may even be worse than the original case.

Ambien Withdrawal Symptoms

Ambien was developed as a drug meant to avoid the harmful side effects and addictive properties of benzodiazepines and other sedative-hypnotic drugs with severe side effects. These drugs are much easier to become reliant on, and many people find themselves in benzodiazepine rehab centers looking to address their addiction after short-term usage periods.

When Ambien was introduced, it was touted as a drug that prevented these addictive methods, but after 20-plus years of usage, it’s becoming clearer how Ambien affects the body. While following doctors’ orders reduce the likelihood of an Ambien addiction, it’s important for you to note any of these withdrawal symptoms:

  • Anxiety
  • Fear
  • Rebound Insomnia
  • Drowsiness
  • Irritability
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle Cramps
  • Intense Sweating
  • Tremors

How Can I Treat or Avoid Ambien Dependency?

So how exactly can you prevent the withdrawal symptoms and eliminate your dependence on zolpidem? For one, tapering off your usage makes your body less likely to crash. Being supervised medically and engaging in drug therapy programs can help give you the guidance needed to not fall back into reliance on the drug.

Tapering Off

Many patients who end up relying on Ambien take a certain dosage for an extended period before quitting cold turkey. Tapering off your usage reduces the likelihood of an addiction and helps your body slowly cope and prepare for life without the drug. You can also begin to introduce healthier sleeping aids in the process of tapering off Ambien usage.

Medical Supervision

It can be difficult to fight your body and stick to a plan or treatment method without medical supervision. Supervision ensures that you don’t overdose and have access to the correct dosage you need throughout the process. In addition, professional medical care can help address withdrawal symptoms and warning signs your body may give of potential dangers.


Addictions can lead to multiple consequences, making it difficult to enjoy work, time with family, and even manage your finances effectively. Individual, group, and family addiction therapy programs are just a few options that addiction treatment facilities like Steps to Recovery offer that are proven to help make it easier to overcome addictions.

Don’t Let Addiction Symptoms Hinder Your Recovery

Stopping Ambien — or any drug — cold turkey can lead to difficulties that are extremely hard to overcome. Fortunately, you don’t have to be alone, and with Steps to Recovery, you can trust our addiction rehab and treatment programs to get you on the right path to recovery. If you or a loved one is fighting addiction, reach out to us today at 866-488-8349.