SLEEPING PILLS/TABS, Sleeping pills are meant to be a temporary solution to insomnia (difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep). Most of these drugs are prescribed for a brief amount of time. Some people take sleeping pills outside of prescription limitations, which can lead to physical dependence and addiction. What Are Sleeping Pills? Prescription sleeping pills are sedative-hypnotic drugs that depress the central nervous system (CNS). This causes the mind and body to relax so a person can fall asleep. Extended-release sleeping pills, like Ambien CR (zolpidem), enter the body more gradually and regulate sleep throughout the night.