Sleep Without Taking Pills

Dawn's CBT-I is a recommended, evidence-based, and medication-free solution to your sleeping troubles.

Experiencing Side Effects of Medication?

Chances are, like many others, you use sleeping pills to help you sleep better. And unsurprisingly, you may suffer from a slew of drug side effects – just like 80% of all sleep medication users.

Sleep medication side effects can range from seemingly benign–such as weight gain, headaches, and dry mouth–to serious, such as daytime drowsiness and even cancer. Some commonly reported side effects are:

  • Benzodiazepines (Restoril, Halcion)- these are older sleeping medications that stay in your system longer and can cause a hangover effect (in 80% of its users), impairing balance, memory, and cognitive function. Sleepwalking and amnesia are also common among users. They also have a high risk for addiction and dependence.
  • The non-benzodiazepines (so-called “Z” drugs, such as zolpidem, zalplon, and eszopicline) raise the risk of falls by four-fold and have been associated with behaviors such as sleep-walking or sleep-driving. They also may increase the risk of cancer.
  • Mirtazapine and other sedating antidepressants have been associated with restless leg syndrome, periodic limb movements, and vivid nightmares among its users.
  • Sedating antipsychotics have been used off label for sleep (such as quetiapine and olanzapine) but carry long term risks of weight gain, increase risk for diabetes and a movement disorder called tardive dyskinesia that may or may not go away once the medication is stopped.
  • Over the counter sleep aids such as Unisom and melatonin are widely used to treat sleep problems as they are available without a prescription. However, these medications often contain antihistamines that can lead to daytime drowsiness and impair cognition.

Despite how dangerous sleeping pills can be, some may be willing to accept these consequences as long they help them sleep better.

But the truth is, your body adapts to these drugs over time. Thus, you’ll find that you need to keep increasing the dose for the same effect. What's more, beyond a specific quantity of medicine, these effects are mainly placebo.

Ironically enough, you may even experience 'rebound insomnia' when you stop taking the drug, so your sleeping problems will be worse off than before when you discontinue the medication.


less time needed to fall asleep


less time awake in the middle of the night


decrease in ISI symptoms

90 min

increase in total sleep time

Based on users who followed the program for 1 month or more

Let Dawn’s Proven CBT-I Treatment Help

Sleeping without medication is easier than you think. After all, that’s what you have been doing since the day you were born.

Think about it; all through childhood, you didn't need medication or any other 'quick-fix' to help you sleep. So why should you now? Neither you nor your genetic makeup has changed. However, your thoughts and behaviors have, and CBT-I directly addresses them.

The American College of Physicians recommends CBT-I as the first-line approach to many forms of insomnia. It is incredibly effective – even more so than medications – with up to 80% of participants reporting remarkable improvements. These benefits include not only an increase in overall sleep duration but also quality. And the best part, the results are long-lasting with no side effects!

Even if you are a regular sleeping pill user, CBT-I can help you wean off them. In fact, a meta-analysis of 16,000 participants proved CBT-I to be the safest and most efficient way to improve your sleep while discontinuing the use of sleeping pills.

Built on research backed CBT-I

Why does
not work
for me?

Meditation can give you a sense of calm, peace and balance. It can also quickly become a sleep effort - something that you try to do with the expectation that it will improve your sleep. Sleep is counter-intuitive, the less effort you spend trying to sleep, the more it comes naturally.

While meditation in itself isn’t harmful, doing it every night with the expectation that it should help you sleep can be. Everytime you try it and it doesn’t work constantly reinforces the notion that sleep is something that can be controlled. Dawn’s program helps you identify such sleep efforts and negative thinking patterns and helps you sleep better naturally.

How Dawn Works

Complete Questionnaire

Complete our 5 minute questionnaire to see if you are a fit for our sleep program.

Meet your Sleep Coach

Download the Dawn app, get introduced to your sleep coach, and work 1:1 with them.

Begin the Program

Identify harmful sleep efforts and get recommended behavioral changes from your coach.

Receive Ongoing Care

Our coaches are available at any time to answer any questions and change your program regimen.

Medically reviewed by

Dr. Janna Larson's profile picture
Dr. Janna Larson, MD

Dr. Janna Larson is a board certified Psychiatrist who received her M.D. at Louisiana State University in New Orleans. She received training in adult psychiatry at University of California San Diego where she served as Chief Resident in her final year of training.

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Quality sleep without pills is within your grasp. Jumpstart the process with Dawn’s evidence-based CBT-I treatment - for free!