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Ambien is a prescription medication used to treat insomnia. It is a member of the sedative-hypnotic class of drugs, which are medications that work by depressing the central nervous system, making the user feel relaxed and sleepy. Ambien is one of the most widely prescribed sleep medications in the United States and is available in both short-acting and extended-release forms.

Ambien works by slowing down the activity of certain brain chemicals, including gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), that may be overactive in people with insomnia. This helps the user to fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. Ambien also has been shown to decrease the time it takes to fall asleep, increase total sleep time, and improve sleep quality.