I really like phenibut, but I can only use it three or four times a week, or it quits working. So I need to take a pharmaceutical sleep aid once or twice a week.
My doctor suggested Lunesta and gave me some 2mg samples. The 2mg dose didn't help much -- it took me more than an hour to get to sleep and I still awakened every hour or two. I tried 4mg, and I got to sleep but it wasn't nearly as deep a sleep as phenibut.
My question is: Is Ambien stronger? Should I ask for some Ambien samples? Or is Lunesta as good as it gets?
Have you discussed this issue with your doctor yet? I'd start by making your doctor aware of everything you've been taking -- including phenibut; and that it seemed to be working for you. That might give him (or her) some perspective on how to treat you best.
I'm taking a quick look at the Lunesta's Patients Instructions for Use
page and it indicates:
LUNESTA belongs to a group of medicines known as "hypnotics" or, simply, sleep medicines. There are many different sleep medicines available to help people sleep better. Insomnia is often transient and intermittent. It usually requires treatment for only a short time, usually 7 to 10 days up to 2 weeks. If your insomnia does not improve after 7 to 10 days of treatment, see your doctor, because it may be a sign of an underlying condition. Some people have chronic sleep problems that may require more prolonged use of sleep medicine. However, you should not use these medicines for long periods without talking with your doctor about the risks and benefits of prolonged use.
If you've already tried the drug for seven to ten days, and no luck, I guess it would probably sound like a good idea to consult your doctor to see if something else may work better. If a drug doesn't work on first administration, that might be for several reasons; for example, let's assume that Lunesta works on the GABA system; given that you've been taking a GABA agonist (which phenibut appears to be), that may change the effectiveness of the drug (I'm not saying Lunesta unnecessarily acts on the GABA system). It may be that Lunesta takes a couple of days to work for some individuals.
Have you tried meditating, praying (if you are religious), or exercising? My sleep seemed to improve when I began cardiovascular exercise on a regular basis. Even what you eat can affect the effectiveness of drugs; as I tried to illustrate here
with the cytochrome P450 3A4 (CYP3A4) scenario.