Sonata Sleeping Pills: The Consequences of Addiction

Last Updated: February 23, 2021

Authored by Roger Weiss, MD

Sonata (or zaleplon) is a sleeping pill that falls into the category of sedative hypnotics.
It is one of the most popular sleeping aids used today. A recent estimate shows that more than 6 million adults take sleeping pills at least once a month in the U.S. alone, and the numbers keep increasing.
As sleeping aids are growing in popularity, it should not come as a surprise that Sonata is becoming one of the most recognizable household names when it comes to treating insomnia. However, like most sleeping medicines, Sonata also has addictive properties. The drawback of this well-known sleep aid makes it an extremely risky pill, which should not be taken without a prescription.
More often than not, people struggling with insomnia disregard the importance of consulting a professional to provide medical advice. Instead, they take matters into their own hands and self-medicate.

After prolonged Sonata use, users may find themselves unable to function without the drug. This occurrence is a strong indicator that the individual has developed an addiction or dependence on the medication.
People often think of Sonata as an immediate sleep aid, not realizing that they can easily slip into the snare of recreational abuse. Furthermore, the majority of users neglect to consider the side effects of the pills and their addictive properties, which can cause significant harm to their overall health.

Sonata Addiction Overview

The number of people battling insomnia has been on the rise for the last decade. Dreaming about a good night’s sleep, these people are bound to turn to sleeping aids, often not realizing the dangers that may lurk around the corner.

Sonata Addiction Signs And Symptoms

Signs that of Sonata addiction may include:

  • Upping the dosage as the body develops a tolerance to the drug
  • Shaking when a dose is missed
  • Becoming violent after missing a dose
  • Feeling nauseous
  • Inability to fall asleep without a pill
  • Self-medication
  • “Doctor shopping”–procuring Sonata from more than one doctor

Sonata Withdrawal Symptoms

If an individual suffering from Sonata addiction decides to stop taking the medication suddenly, they may experience symptoms of withdrawal.
Sonata withdrawal symptoms may include:

  • Stomach and muscle cramps
  • Vomiting
  • Sweating
  • Shakiness
  • Seizures

Sonata and other sleeping aids may guarantee some shuteye, but it is important to note that sleeping pills can only simulate sleep. In other words, even though some drugs may allow the R.E.M. stage of sleep, the chemicals found in these sedative hypnotics do not allow the brain to process and store memories from the day before properly. Not to mention that sleeping aids like Sonata may cause drowsiness the next morning and may cause the user to feel even less rested.

Overall, Sonata should be taken with caution, and preferably with a doctor’s prescription to avoid the possibility of addiction.

Page Sources

  1. The US Food and Drug Administration. Sonata medication guide. 2013. https://www.fda.gov/media/85713/download.
  2. Danjou P., Paty I., Fruncillo R., et al. A comparison of the residual effects of zaleplon and zolpidem following administration 5 to 2 h before awakening. British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology. 1999; 48(3): 367–374. doi:10.1046/j.1365-2125.1999.00024.x. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2014318/.
  3. Medline Plus. Medicines for sleep. 2019. https://medlineplus.gov/ency/patientinstructions/000758.htm.

Published on: November 30th, 2016

Updated on: February 23rd, 2021

About Author

Roger Weiss, MD

Dr. Roger Weiss is a practicing mental health specialist at the hospital. Dr. Weiss combines his clinical practice and medical writing career since 2009. Apart from these activities, Dr. Weiss also delivers lectures for youth, former addicts, and everyone interested in topics such as substance abuse and treatment.

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