How Long Do Sleeping Pills Stay in Your System?

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The length of time that sleeping pills stay in your system can vary significantly depending on several factors, including:

  • Type of medicine (short or long-acting)
  • Dosage
  • How fast your body processes the sleeping pills

In this article, addiction rehabilitation specialist, Avenues Recovery, explains everything you need to know about how long sleeping pills stay in your system, when they will show up on different drug tests, and how to get sleeping pills out of your system fast.

Do Sleeping Pills Show up in a Drug Test?

Sleeping pills do show up on drug tests. The length of time they show up depends on the type of test:

  • Urine test: Sleeping pills can be detected in urine for up to three days after the last use. Labs can usually get the most reliable results within 24 to 48 hours.
  • Saliva test: Zolpidem, the active ingredient in Ambien, can be detected in saliva within one hour and up to 24 hours of taking sleeping pills.

How long do sleeping pills stay in your system? Avenues Recovery explains that tests can tell.

  • Blood test: Sleeping pills are cleared from the bloodstream quickly. For example, Ambien can only be detected in blood for up to approximately 12 hours after the last use.
  • Hair test: Traces of sleeping pill ingredients, like zolpidem, can be detected in hair for up to ninety days after taking sleeping pills.

What Is the Half-Life of Sleeping Pills?

The half-life of sleeping pills refers to the time it takes for half of the drug to be cleared from the body. For example, if a sleeping pill has a half-life of 4 hours, after 4 hours, half of the original dose will remain in the body. After another 4 hours, half of that remaining amount will be left, and so on, until the drug is cleared entirely from the body.

Knowing the half-life of a sleeping pill can help determine how long the effects of the medication are likely to last, and how often it needs to be taken. Shorter-acting medications last for shorter durations than long-acting medications.

How long do sleeping pills stay in your system? Avenues Recovery says the pills beat insomnia.

How Long Does Ambien Stay in Your System?

Ambien, the sleeping pill with zolpidem as the active ingredient, stays in your system for approximately 2.5 hours.

How Long Does Lunesta Stay in Your System?

Lunesta, the sleeping pill with eszopiclone as the active ingredient, stays in your system for approximately 6-7 hours.

How Long Does Sonata Stay in Your System?

Sonata, the sleeping pill with zaleplon as the active ingredient, stays in your system for approximately 1 hour.

Sleeping Pill Detection Time for Urine, Blood, Saliva, and Hair

The chart below summarizes the amount of time for which short, medium, and long-acting sleeping pills can be detected in urine, blood, saliva, and hair. 

Sleeping Pill Type






1-2 Days

6-8 hours

1-2 days

Not typically tested



2-4 Days

1-2 Days

2-3 days

Not typically tested


3-7 Days

2-3 days

2-3 days

Not typically tested  

What Factors Affect How Long Sleeping Tablets Stay in Your System?

Many factors can influence how long sleeping tablets stay in your system, including: 

  • Type of Sleeping Pill

The type of sleeping pill you take plays a significant role. Different medications have varying half-lives, - the time it takes for half of the drug to be metabolized and eliminated from your body. For example, short-acting medications like Sonata have a short half-life of about 1 hour. Longer-acting medications, like Valium, have a half-life of 20-100 hours.

  • Age

    If someone has kidney or liver problems, it will take longer for the medicine to clear out of their system.
  • Liver Function

If someone has kidney or liver problems, it will take longer for the medicine to clear out of their system.

  • Additional Medicine

If you take other medicines besides sleeping pills, they will also affect how long it takes for the medicine to clear from your body.

How long do sleeping pills stay in your system? Don’t rush detox, Avenues Recovery warns.

How to Get Sleeping Pills Out of Your System Fast 

If you want tips on how to flush sleeping pills from your body fast, consider the following steps:

  • Drink water: Drinking plenty of water can help flush out toxins from your body, including medications.
  • Eat healthy: A balanced diet can clear toxins.
  • Exercise regularly: Physical activity can help speed up your metabolism and clear drugs from your system.
  • Consult a healthcare professional: If you're concerned about the effects of sleeping pills or want to clear them out of your body, it's best to consult with a healthcare provider. They can provide personalized advice based on your situation.

What Help Is There for Sleeping Pill Abuse? 

Below we’ve outlined some of the steps you can take to get help for sleeping pill abuse:

  • Consult a healthcare provider: Start by talking to a healthcare provider, such as a doctor or psychiatrist. They can check your situation, provide medical advice, and recommend treatment options.
  • Detoxification: If you're physically dependent on sleeping pills, a healthcare provider may recommend a professional detox program like Avenues Recovery. This process involves gradually reducing the dose of the medication to safely manage withdrawal symptoms.
  • Therapy: Therapy, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), can help address the underlying causes of sleeping pill abuse, such as stress or anxiety. It can also help you develop healthier sleep habits.
  • Support groups: Joining a support group, such as Narcotics Anonymous (NA) or a similar group, can provide you with support from others who are going through similar experiences.
  • Medication management: If you have a sleep disorder that requires medication, a healthcare provider can help you find alternative treatments that are less likely to be abused.
  • Lifestyle changes: Making lifestyle changes, such as improving sleep hygiene, reducing stress, and avoiding caffeine and electronic devices before bed, can also improve sleep quality and reduce the need for sleeping pills.
  • Follow-up care: It's important to follow up with your healthcare provider regularly to monitor your progress and make any necessary adjustments to your treatment plan.

How long do sleeping pills stay in your system? Organic sleep is possible, Avenues Recovery assures.

No Matter How Long Sleeping Pills Stay in your System, Get Them Out for Good

If you or a loved one suffer from sleeping pill abuse, reach out to Avenues Recovery so we can guide you on your road to recovery. Our experienced and dedicated addiction specialists have helped thousands of people overcome their addictions, and they can help you too. 

Discover a world of support and premier addiction care at Avenues Recovery. We use a wide range of therapies and personalized treatment plans to provide every person with the individual help they need. Our professional team will be at your side every step of the way to the sober future you deserve.

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