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Hypnotics, or soporifics, are a class of drugs which promote and induce sleep. They are the opposite of eugeroics which promote wakefulness.[1] They are commonly distributed in the form of pharmaceutical drugs prescribed to treat insomnia.

They differ from sedatives which are anxiolytic, muscle relaxing, and euphoric.[2] They both often overlap leading to the term "sedative-hypnotics." Many hypnotics such as zopiclone can disturb the first sleep cycle and should not be used as a long-term solution to insomnia for this reason.[3]

See also

External links


  1. Dorlands Medical Dictionary:hypnotic, 2008 
  2. Goodman & Gilman's The Pharmacological Basis of Therapeutics | Chapter 17. Hypnotics and Sedatives | http://accessmedicine.mhmedical.com/content.aspx?bookid=374&sectionid=41266223
  3. Mendels, J. (September 1991). "Criteria for selection of appropriate benzodiazepine hypnotic therapy". The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry. 52 Suppl: 42–46. ISSN 0160-6689.