Benzodiazepines are a group of sedative drugs whose core chemical structure is a combination of a diazepine ring and a benzene ring. La Roche pharmaceutical company marketed the first benzodiazepine drug known as Librium (chlordiazepoxide) in 1960. Within a decade, benzodiazepines became the most prescribed medication in the world. According to a study published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology benzodiazepines are the most effective drugs for the short-term treatment of severe insomnia.
The medication works by affecting neurotransmitters known as gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). The action on the GABA receptors results in sedative (sleep inducing), anticonvulsant, muscle relaxant, and anxiolytic (anti anxiety) properties. As a result benzodiazepine medications are used for the treatment of various disorders including insomnia, seizures, muscle spasms, and anxiety. Two of the best sleeping pills that belong to the benzodiazepine group include Valium (Diazepam) and Xanax (Alprazolam).
Valium is used for the treatment of insomnia and anxiety. It is also sometimes prescribed for the treatment of muscle spasms, alcohol withdrawal, and seizures. Xanax, on the other hand, is used mostly for treatment of panic and anxiety disorders. The medication provides calming effects in as little as 20 minutes. Both medications are extremely effective as a short-term treatment option for insomnia. Benzodiazepine drugs including Valium and Xanax are considered much safer compared to the older group of sleeping medication known as barbiturates.
Barbiturates can prove fatal in the event of an overdose which is not the case with benzodiazepines. Moreover, there are fewer side effects associated with benzodiazepines. This makes this group of drugs some of the best sleeping pills that you can buy to treat insomnia. On a final note, you must remember to take the medication according to the recommended dosage and safety instructions.