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Ambien IR/Ambien Cr/Lunesta

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So my doc put me on Ambien and have to say it did help me sleep very well... and from what I’ve read it does very similar  things to your Gaba-A receptors as traditional benzos but has a completely different chemical structure than benzos so it’s in its own class called a non-benzodiazepine. I woke up feeling like I took a bunch of Xanax the night before. Muscle tension was gone, felt refreshed, no side effects etc. the only problem I have with it is it’s great for putting you to sleep but not necessarily keeping you asleep so I might ask my doc to switch to Ambien Cr which has an outer shell to put you to sleep and inner shell to keep you asleep. Lunesta, which I’ve never tried yet is in the same class and apparently keeps you asleep longer as well like Ambien Cr. Definitely not a med to be taken every night but on those occasional insomniac nights it seems very helpful. Just wanted to share my report. I did not experience hallucinations at all but rather lucid like dreams... and of course take it when you are ready to go to sleep because if you stay up on it I read people can experience hallucinations but not in the sense of tripping on hallucinogens, more like dream like hallucinations because of its sedative-hypnotic qualities.

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Ambien is in a class of non-benzodiazepine drugs colloquially know as “z-drugs”. It works through positive allosteric modulation of gaba-a receptors just as benzodiazepines do.


Remember, just because something cannot technically be called a benzodiazepine drug due to its structure, does not mean it isn’t, for all intents and purposes, a benzodiazepine drug.

Ambien comes with all the same nasty withdrawal effects that normal benzodiazepines do. And, like many benzodiazepines, it will drastically increase the likelyhood you will experience some form of dementia later in life if taken for an extended period of time into old age. Hell, even if started in old age it will do this. Seniors who start any benzodiazepine drug have a 50% high chance of developing dementia within 3 years of starting the drug. 

So that’s how ambien is really just a benzo... and here’s how it’s waaaaay different from one:


1) ambien is one of e few benzodiazepine-like drugs that can cause hppd. Due to this, I would be incredibly careful with this drug. It is possible it will not trigger this in you the first time you take it, or the second, the 30th time, or at all. But, like hppd, you don’t always get the trigger on the first try. 

2) Ambien has also been known to bring some people in semi vegetative states back to consciousness while they are on the drug. Why this happens? Who knows. But it certainly doesn’t happen with Ativan or clonazepam. 

Im certainly happy that you have found relief from a condition that has been ailing you. I too have had issues with insomnia and it can be very aggravating. I do recommend that people try more natural remedies to their insomnia before chemical ones. The brain is particularly good at instigating tolerance in the face of chemical sleep aids. It is inevitable and something I have seen with ambien frequently. It is not fun to have to take ambien or you won’t sleep for days until you do.


if you are looking for ways to improve your sleep quality, these are the most important things I have found:


1) buy a blue light box for seasonal depression and use it year round. They are available on Amazon for very cheap. They are also lightweight, small, and portable. You need a box that creates 10,000 lux. If you use it for at least an hour before 11 am, you will receive an “melatonin dump” from your pineal gland in the evening of that day. It’s going to make you feel quite tired and you will want to sleep. The more you do this, the more reliable this effect becomes. Humans were meant to be outside in the mornings, and we rely on the angle of the sun hitting the atmosphere to produce blue light for our circadian rhythms.... but only in the morning. This is why people say screens are so bad for your sleep. It tells your brain it’s morning and to not release melatonin. 

2) only use your bed for sleeping. If you can, only use your ROOM for sleeping. Do not watch television in bed. Create a habit where the second you get into bed, your brain knows it’s time to sleep.


3) try to fall asleep by 10pm. Your brain receives its deepest sleep between the hours of 10pm and 2am. This sleep can not be made up by extra hours at different times. 10 hours of sleep between 10pm and 8 am is infinitely superior to 10 hours form 2 am to 12pm. 

There are plenty more things that can help you sleep better that will not harm you! These are the three most important things for me though. 

hope this helps :)



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Thanks for your input and response. I too am all about natural remedies and plan on doing so in the near future. To make a very very long story short I got this as a teenager and am now 25 years old. Getting it so young the first response is to seek out a psychiatrist and got on various meds while also making the mistake of getting into opioids to numb myself out because I was baffled at having such an awful condition. Basically big pharma f’ed me and years later meds don’t work anymore and I’ve been on Suboxone for years. Finally got off 2400 mg of Neurontin after being on it for 5 years and lowered my sub dose by a 75%. Now I’m on low dose Klonopin and low dose trileptal and use ambien as needed only, not every night. I know it can be habit forming just like Klonopin. I guess I’m in this catch 22 where I feel like natural remedies are best but cannot function in society without meds at this point. One day at a time i guess.... I hope I get there but have my doubts. I need to remain positive. Hope to replace trileptal with natural remedies like saffron, vitamin D, mag, exercise, etc. and use Klonopin to as a crutch to get myself together and off this Suboxone crap. I got along road ahead of me and thnx for your reply. 

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