If you used sleeping pills before you probably got quite close to the effect benzos will have. Ambien and lunesta have a very similar feel when you first start them. I actually went from such meds to benzos as my insomnia got worse to get the same effect with a longer half life and higher possible dosages. Not all benzos are equally sedating though. The commonly used ones would not be so useful if everyone fell asleep while on them but it gives you an idea how you will react and how much of a problem it might be for you.
I'm not sure but I would think something with a longer half life and more controlled dosing schedule than xanax would be a better idea if you are likely to get addicted and abuse it. Xanax is very fast and short acting so you feel great really quickly and you crash off it really quickly making you want to take another one right away. Tolerance builds fast and bad things happen if you lack the self control. Whereas if you are told to take klonopin once or twice a day with a specific dose at a specific time that is useful for your schedule and the things that stress you out you can't just slip another pill in there as easily without having to tell your doctor. Longer half life also tends to mean it start working and wears off slower so you don't feel a sudden difference in mood. I wouldn't really know though because as soon as I feel I am relying on something I want to stop using it. I found benzos the easiest thing to get off of.
The best use of benzos is with some other change or form of therapy in your life. By themselves they will not improve SA beyond when you have a functioning dose in you and that will put you on them forever. The tolerance will build the dose and changes in exact med. Eventually you often get put on something more long term with a higher side effect rate anyway. If you combine benzos with changes in activity or behavior though you can take them just long enough to confirm a situation does not need to be stressful or possibly until the situation is no longer happening but that's not as positive of step as you'll probably be back on benzos in the future.
My greatest point is my persistence.