I have a nasty combination of sleep apnea, so I have to use a breathing machine at night, and depression. A sleep specialist told me that he thinks (no studies yet) many cases of depression are caused by undiagnosed sleep disorders. I've been using Ambien for 14 years, and it works fine. The Ambien allows me to fall asleep despite the damn mask, and the mask keeps me from waking up in the night. A couple of weeks ago, I ran out of Ambien, so for one night I couldn't fall asleep for hours. Took off the mask and went to sleep, but the next day I was wasted, dead on my feet all day. I have noticed that I dream more without Ambien, or maybe I remember my dreams better.
In any case, when I get enough sleep, the daily battle with depression is a lot easier to win.
PS: Just joined this group. College English prof, single, dogs and cats, photography, bicycling. And I don't care what the TV ads say; I'm not getting better; I'm getting older.
I've had insomnia since shortly after high school. And even in HS I used to drive my friends crazy when we'd be out into the morning hours then I'd be out of bed by 7 the next day and wanting to do something.
I didn't do anything about it until about 10 years ago. It was so bad that I'd have trouble staying awake while driving. And not just long drives, even short trips across town. I'd go three or four nights with very little and highly interrupted sleep. Then I'd drink a good bit one night and catch up a little. I finally saw a psych doc and eventually got on ambein. I've tried trazadone, lunesta and a few other meds I can't remember the name of. I've tried various things like valerian root, melatonin and so on. The only thing that consistently works is ambein. I take the smallest dose I can function on. The doc started me on something like a 20. In the summer when I'm exercising regularly I get away with 5. In winter I get up to 10. I've been on it for 6+ years now.
Main thing, if insomnia is affecting your awake life, you need to find something.
I use Mianserin at night. 10 mg is usually enough. Citalopram in the mornings for OCD/depression. 1½ - 2 hours exercise a day. That seems to be an effective routine for me.