just composed way long reply then somehow lost it. ugh!! i'll try to replicate it...the important points, at least.
i began taking ambien 16 years ago. i believe the sleep it provided was the reason i experienced a remission for several years, which, tho not symptom free, enabled me to continue to teach in-depth Bible studies along with training and leading the leadership of these studies...until i experienced a relapse about 3 years ago, which led to my retirement after 30 years of serving in BSF, Intl.
about 3 months ago i began to have difficulty falling asleep. staying asleep hasn't been an issue for me. then, i would occasionally take an additional 5mgs when it began to not work at the 10mgs prescribed, which is the ceiling for ambien. but, since it's a controlled substance, as i'm sure you know, i would nervously approach the time for a refill, trying to get it filled at the first available date. i knew something had to change. my doc tried switching me to ambien cr, then lunesta, neither of which worked for me.
after reading Cort's article re: the combinations of meds that docs prescribe for cfs patience...http://aboutmecfs.org/Trt/TrtSleepPrescrip.aspx
i printed the meds chart and took it to my doc. she prescribed trazadone with the ambien. one of the helpful things about trazadone is that it has a higher ceiling...i.e., more wiggle room to increase it. the first night i took trazadone i slept well. over the course of a few weeks, i increased it by 1/2 of the 50mg tabs till i reached 2 tabs each night, along with 10mgs of ambien. this seems to be my majic formula. i have slept well every night since beginning this combination, with the exception of the night i posted this thread. and an additional help...both meds are generics, so not expensive.
i used to struggle over the dependence i have on sleep meds. by through docs who understood the need, then discovering the Pheonix Rising website, and later this forum, i have gained freedom from that concern. it is evident that this illness requires us to take what is provided to give us the rest from the struggle with sleep and the deep sleep which is so vital to optimum health within the perimeters of cfs.
i encourage you to take the chart to your doc. i realize our bodies each react differently to the same meds. i'll be praying you are able to hit on the exact combination you may need.