Sedative-hypnotics are medications that depress the central nervous system and promote drowsiness (sedatives) and sleep (hypnotics). They are prescribed for insomnia and sleep disorders. These products have a very high abuse potential and should be used only for short periods of time and under close supervision. Barbiturates and benzodiazepines are the two major categories of sedative-hypnotics. Low doses of benzodiazepines (which influence the part of the brain responsible for emotions) may act as sedatives. In higher doses, benzodiazepines may act as hypnotics (to promote sleep).

Examples of sedative-hypnotics are gived as following:

  Methaqualone (Quaalude)

  Temazepam (Restoril)

  Triazolam (Halcion)

  Zolpidem tartrate (Ambien)