Uh, thats not true. While both are depressant medications, Ambien and similar FDA approved anti-insomnia drugs are classified here in the USA as "hypnotics." Whereas here in the USA, klonopin, valium, xanax and other anti-anxiety/mild anti-epileptic drugs are formally classified as benzos.
I dont know what ambien and similar meds are classified as in Canada or elsewhere. Additionally, there is at least one FDA approved insomnia drug that works on melatonin. It came out five or six years ago here in the USA, it is not a controlled substance, is not scheduled and not physically addictive anymore than say, aspirin. I tried it a few times but did not stick with it. It has no anti-anxiety properties. It might not be available in Canada, I have no idea.
The drug companies down here have been real careful about putting new insomnia drugs out since around the Ambien time (late nineties) that are in biotech terms, "very clean." That do not interfere with sleep architecture very much and do not cause sedation the next day. Ambien and other hypnotic insomnia drugs fit that, benzos do not fit that description.
Ambien does not interfere with slow wave sleep, klonopin does interfere with slow wave sleep. Additionally as I mentioned earlier, ambien is scheduled lower than klonopin and the addiction potential is low compared to benzos.
My need for insomnia drugs dissipated a lot when I got on CPAP. I did still need the benzos to be an adjunctive drug to help control my hypertension and frankly, to control daytime generalized anxiety. Klonopin is an effective anti-anxiety drug and lets face it, if you have bad panic or generalized anxiety problems, klonopin can really help and is a good drug.
I just prefer to use drugs that are "on label" as in, formally FDA approved. If my probem is insomnia, Id rather take a hypnotic like Ambien. If my problem is anxiety, I'd rather take a benzo like klonopin. There ARE people out there who do have severe and chronic anxiety and panic attack problems for whom long term benzo use is sometimes recommended. Again, this is coming from an American medical "what is standard here in the USA" perspective and not from a Canadian medical system perspective.
SleepyBobR wrote:Ambien and the other Z drugs are much like benzos and work on the same GABA receptors. Personally, I'd stay away from them as well but many people take them, apparently without difficulty. They are not as bad as Klonopin and the other benzos like Xanax but that may be damning with faint praise as addiction and tolerance are still a problem. Have you tried OTC anti-histamines sleep aids or valarian? They may work for you. That said, the best sleep aid, imo, is no sleep aid.