What is Ambien (Zolpidem)? Ambien is used to treat sleep problems (insomnia) in adults. If you have trouble falling asleep, it helps you fall asleep faster, so you can get a better night’s rest. Zolpidem belongs to a class of drugs called sedative-hypnotics. It acts on your brain to produce a calming effect. This medication is usually limited to short treatment periods of 1 to 2 weeks or less.