Is Ambien (zolpidem) safe to take for jet lag, what is the best time to take it?

Melatonin. Ambien (zolpidem) has been studied and found to have some benefit for jet lag, however I generally recommend melatonin taken 30 minutes before the intended bedtime; it is better tolerated and a more natural way to adjust to a new time zone.
See below. Yes, Ambien (zolpidem) is prescribed to regularize the sleep cycle and it is safe as the fda has tested it for short-term use for inability to fall asleep. However, the elderly and those with other medical problems or sedating medications are at greater risk of side effects, including daytime sleepiness.