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Sonata Withdrawal

About 30 percent of the U.S. population struggles with sleep disorders. In fact, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has declared sleep deprivation a public health epidemic because sleep disorders, including insomnia, are so common in the United States. 

Sonata (brand name for the drug zaleplon) is a type of sedative known as a “Z-drug” that is used to treat insomnia. Drugs known as benzodiazepines (“benzos” such as Valium and Xanax) were found to be highly addictive and had difficult withdrawal symptoms, so Z-drugs were created in the 1980s as an alternative. 

The thinking was that Z-drugs—also known as hypnotics— would not be addictive or cause difficult withdrawal symptoms like benzos. Unfortunately, Sonata and similar drugs cause the same side effects as benzos, and they can also be addictive. Plus, because the drug is a central nervous system depressant, Sonata withdrawal symptoms can be difficult and even dangerous.

What Are the Sonata Withdrawal Symptoms?

Symptoms of Sonata withdrawal may include: 

  • Low mood
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Muscle cramps
  • Stomach cramps
  • Vomiting
  • Sweating
  • Tremors
  • Convulsions
  • Seizures

What Are the Stages of the Sonata Withdrawal Timeline?

The early symptoms of Sonata withdrawal are similar to those of other Z-drugs and benzodiazepines. These symptoms may include: 

  • Agitation
  • Restlessness
  • Tremors
  • Dizziness
  • Shakiness
  • Trouble swallowing
  • Panic attacks
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Heart palpitation
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sweating
  • Flushing
  • Feeling like you’re choking
  • Chest pain
  • Fatigue
  • Seizures
  • Bowel and/or bladder problems
  • Appetite changes
  • Poor concentration

Longer-term symptoms of Sonata withdrawal, which may take months or even years to go away, include:

  • Anxiety
  • Confusion
  • Depression
  • Psychosis
  • Paranoid delusions
  • Rebound insomnia
  • Poor memory and mental ability
  • Muscle pain, twitching, and weakness
  • Seizures

Why Should I Detox?

Quitting drugs cold turkey may sound like a good idea, but it can be difficult and painful. In some cases, it can be dangerous and even deadly. 

Sonata pills spilling out of a pill bottle

Given the difficult physical symptoms, withdrawing on your own without professional medical help can be very challenging. It’s important to find a professional, medically assisted detox program to support you during the process of Sonata withdrawal. 

Doing this will ensure that you are carefully monitored in a safe environment while your body goes through the difficult detoxification process. Participating in an addiction treatment program also gives you a better chance at lasting recovery as a result of the structured medical and emotional support you will receive.

What Is the Next Treatment Step?

A full continuum of treatment ensures the best opportunity for a successful recovery. Following a full continuum of treatment means starting with the medical detox process and then progressing gradually from an inpatient status to outpatient treatment. You will then have the opportunity to participate in an alumni program after the formal treatment program is completed. The stages of addiction treatment include:


Your primary goal is medical stabilization during the first stage of withdrawal treatment, which is known as detox. Expect the detox stage to last from a few days up to a week. When you arrive, your medical team—which will include doctors, nurses, and support staff— will give you a complete medical assessment. This will help determine your level of addiction and additional medical needs you may have. The assessment includes a medical exam plus a urine or blood tests to screen for drugs. 

Your medical team will monitor you 24/7 to help manage uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms and prevent dangerous Sonata withdrawal symptoms.

Many people also experience anxiety, depression, and other emotional and psychological challenges during the detox period. Your treatment plan will also include emotional support to help you with these symptoms. A longer-term treatment plan will be put into place for you once you are medically stabilized. 

Residential Treatment

If your physician determines that you need further medical treatment, you will continue the next stage of treatment on an inpatient basis. This might be because of co-occurring medical conditions or post-acute withdrawal symptoms. Inpatient treatment is intensive and includes 24/7 clinical monitoring. At this stage, you will start seeing a therapist regularly to help you process the emotional and psychological aspects of addiction and recovery.

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Partial Hospitalization

Partial hospitalization (PHP) is in-between outpatient treatment and inpatient care. The goal of PHP is to better prepare you for success once you return to living independently after you leave the treatment center. During this stage, you’ll live at a transitional living facility while undergoing a supportive and rigorous treatment program. This program will be five days a week for six hours each day. You will be able to participate in individual, group, and family therapy programs to help you address emotional and mental health needs. 

Learning positive life skills, coping mechanisms, and techniques to help prevent relapse so that you will be prepared for long-term recovery will be the primary focus during PHP. 

Intensive Outpatient

The next stage is the intensive outpatient program (IOP). An IOP allows you to live at home while also attending counseling and programs to help support your recovery. Depending on your treatment plan, you will participate in about nine or more hours of clinical therapy several times each week. 

Intensive outpatient therapy will help you to continue learning new ways to manage cravings, stress, and other challenging issues that may arise once you live on your own again. After you complete the IOP stage, you will transition into the alumni program, which is also known as aftercare.


You will have the opportunity to meet other treatment center alumni during weekly support groups and social events after you complete the formal treatment program. These aftercare opportunities spent with other alumni members can help you develop new friendships and build social support with others who understand the recovery process. 

Being a part of this supportive network can help you grow while focusing on your recovery and adjusting to life after the treatment program. It can also be a safe space to share relapse prevention strategies, new experiences, and techniques for stress management. Most of all, it can be a way to enjoy time with new friends. 

Start Your Journey to Recovery Today

If you are seeking Sonata withdrawal help, call the admissions specialists at Pathway to Hope at 844-311-5781 today for free and confidential help. Our specialists are here 24/7 to answer your questions. They can provide the guidance and support you need to start the addiction treatment process. 

After speaking with a Pathway to Hope specialist, you will know what to expect from our evidence-based services. Then you can feel prepared to make an informed decision about your treatment plans. Our support specialists can also check with your private health insurance to see if your treatment costs will be fully covered. Remember, there is help. Call us today and let us help you start your journey to recovery today.


Jaffe, Adi (2010, January 13) Alcohol, Benzos, and Opiates — Withdrawal That Might Kill You. Retrieved from

Pinholster, Ginger (2014, March 14) Sleep Deprivation Described as a Serious Public Health Problem. Retrieved from

(2014, August) Benzodiazepine and Z-Drug Safety Guideline. Retrieved from

(2017, June 5) Sleep and Sleep Disorders. Retrieved from

(2018, April 18) Sonata (Zaleplon). Retrieved from

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