How effective are benzodiazepines for treating insomnia?

Donna Hill Howes, RN
Family Practitioner

Benzodiazepines are effective for helping people with insomnia fall asleep faster and sleep longer. People using benzodiazepines as sleep aids tend to have less deep sleep (stage 4 and REM), but longer total sleep time and a sense of a deep or refreshing sleep. The benefits usually diminish after being used several nights in a row. When the drug is stopped, total sleep time may drop, but sleep may continue to feel refreshing.

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