Non-Benzodiazepine Receptor Agonists for Insomnia

Sleep Med Clin. 2015 Mar;10(1):57-76. doi: 10.1016/j.jsmc.2014.11.002. Epub 2014 Dec 20.


Because of proven efficacy, reduced side effects, and less concern about addiction, non-benzodiazepine receptor agonists (non-BzRA) have become the most commonly prescribed hypnotic agents to treat onset and maintenance insomnia. First-line treatment is cognitive-behavioral therapy. When pharmacologic treatment is indicated, non-BzRA are first-line agents for the short-term and long-term management of transient and chronic insomnia related to adjustment, psychophysiologic, primary, and secondary causation. In this article, the benefits and risks of non-BzRA are reviewed, and the selection of a hypnotic agent is defined, based on efficacy, pharmacologic profile, and adverse events.

Keywords: BZRA; Insomnia; Non–benzodiazepine receptor agonists; Z-drugs.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Hypnotics and Sedatives / adverse effects
  • Hypnotics and Sedatives / pharmacology
  • Hypnotics and Sedatives / therapeutic use*
  • Sleep Initiation and Maintenance Disorders / drug therapy*


  • Hypnotics and Sedatives