Had to chime in. I take the Ambien CR - it is absolutely a life saver. I was on it 6 months ago and both my rheumy and my allergist noticed drastic improvement in my health.
Then, because they can, my health insurance decided that there were other, generic, sleep aids I could use and they refused to cover the Ambien CR. What they refused to acknowledge was that the Ambien was the only sleep aid available with "controlled release" (hence the "CR").
So, I had to try 3 or 4 other products and none of them worked. They all helped me get to sleep, but within 3-4 hours I would wake up from pain and that was it for the night. After about
a week on each I was a total zombie and my heath deteriorated.
Finally, my doctor sent a very nasty letter to my insurance and they reinstated the Ambien CR. Thank goodness. I slept through the night for the first time in 6 months and I woke up feeling rested. It was wonderful!
I try not to take it every night, but I have accepted that it is necessary for me to get a lot of sleep to fight this stupid disease and if I need a pill to sleep, then I need a pill to sleep!
Dx: Lupus, sjogren's, celiac, severe allergies.
Daily Meds: Plaquenil, Zyrtec. Prilosec, Nasacort, Prozac.
As Needed Meds: Epinephrine, Benadryl, Proventil, X
openex, Tylenal, Prednisone.