Hypnotics are medications that are used to help people fall asleep and stay asleep. They work by slowing down the activity of the brain and nervous system. There are different types of hypnotics, including benzodiazepines, non-benzodiazepines, and other medications. The more common ones are zopiclone and zolpidem.
Indications for hypnotics are primarily insomnia, which is difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep. They can also be used to treat other sleep disorders such as sleep apnea and restless leg syndrome.
Common side effects of hypnotics can include drowsiness, dizziness, and next-day grogginess. Long-term use can lead to physical dependence, withdrawal symptoms and tolerance which means that over time, the patient may need higher doses to achieve the same effect.