Zolpidem is a sedative, also called a hypnotic. It affects chemicals in the brain that may be unbalanced in people with sleep problems (insomnia).
Zolpidem is used to treat insomnia. The immediate-release forms are Ambien, Intermezzo, Edluar, and Zolpimist, which are used to help you fall asleep. The extended-release form of zolpidem is Ambien CR, which has a first layer that dissolves quickly to help you fall asleep, and a second layer that dissolves slowly to help you stay asleep.