A mild sleep medication. Zolpidem (Ambien) is fast-acting and usually clears the body quickly, so most people who take it do not experience any “hangover” effect the next morning. Taking zolpidem regularly for longer than a few weeks carries a risk of dependency, and of increased sleeping difficulty when it is no longer taken. Its intended effect is to cause drowsiness, and it can cause disoriEntation and confusion when a person gets out of bed at night, which can rarely “hangover” into the morning. Side effects can include headache, dizziness, and unusual or vivid dreams. Although zolpidem is not a benzo-diazepine, it has many of the same actions and should not be taken with bEnzodiazEpinE medications such as alprazolam (Xanax) or diazEpam (Valium) that may be prescribed as muscle relax-ants or to treat anxiety.