« on: June 10, 2004, 08:46:18 AM »
keating here again.
I take Ambien every night, and have been for about 18 months. It's not generally intended to be taken for that long, but I have fibromyalgia and lifelong insomnia and don't get restorative sleep. I have never slept well without something that helps me sleep. I have a white noise machine but am still a light enough sleeper that I can wake up in spite of meds. It's the worst!
The first night I took Ambien, I woke up feeling better than I ever have. It was amazing. However, if I take a full 5-mg. Ambien and don't go right to bed or sleep a full 8 hours, I will be groggy. But I'll sleep so deeply I won't remember any dreams at all (I always remember dreams). Because I'm a light sleeper and am often in pain it's extremely unlikely I'd sleep the 8 hours. So I take half an Ambien with one valerian, which is a natural herb, and the two together usually do the trick unless I have a lot on my mind, in which case I take two valerian with the Ambien. But with 2.5 mg of Ambien I will still have a very active mind all night.
The difference between Ambien and other sleeping pills like Sonata (which I've also tried) is that Ambien both helps you fall asleep and stay asleep, whereas Sonata only helps you fall asleep. With a 5 mg. Sonata I woke up and couldn't get back to sleep, but with the 10 mg I was groggy. The 10 mg Sonata also gave me some wacky hallucinations, ghosts floating above my bed and stuff! I've never gotten ill on either pill, though.
Ambien is great if you do have short-term insomnia or are really stressed, but it doesn't work for everyone. If you're like me and a chronic insomniac, then it becomes essential. My next step is a TempurPedic bed - getting one this summer. :-)