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Tips to help sleep - so many of us have that awful withdrawal insomnia

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Why

Well considering sleep cycle is dependant of levels of hormones and other chemicals it's not hard to believe the poisons wich mess the whole brain chemistry up would disturb it.

 

By the way lorazepam is one of the most dependance inducing benzos . That coupled with intermittent use must have caused tolerance and withdrawal.

 

Good luck and be faithful your body will fix the damage and pray God to heal you (He is helping me going through this all)

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Happy2Heal

the videos by this woman have been helping me- well I mean the audio portion, I put them on  and lay down and just listen to her voice

 

she has some that are 2hrs long and one that is 3hrs long. this is great for those of us who have very long sleepless and possibly anxious periods thru out the night or early morning

 

I have been feeling more and more calm as I listen to these.

don't be put off by the "hypnosis" part of these relaxation videos- as she says, ALL hypnosis is self hypnosis.

No one can come along and put you in a trance and make you do/feel things you don't want to feel or do.

 

If I find any video/audio that has triggering words or suggestions, I shut them off immediately and look for one that aligns with what I am wanting to hear, words and ideas that help me relax and feel stronger.


this series of videos have had a lot of suggestions and images of empowerment, calming thoughts, ideas to improve self confidence, etc, that I really wanted and needed to hear, so they've been very useful to me

 

YMMV* of course, depending on where you are in recovery and what sorts of things are important to you

 

 

*your mileage may vary

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merry

Hello, fellow ssri-induced insomniacs!

 

I wanted to share something that might have helped my sleep, in case it could help any of you.  After being away from the pool for a few weeks, my insomnia cleared up--and then when I went back to the pool, I was hit rather hard.  Several sources suggest that chlorine can affect sleep, and it really seems to affect me.  That would also explain why epson salt baths in chlorinated water never seemed to help. 

 

There are a lot of products out there that remove chlorine from water, but from what I read, and my personal experiences, we absorb the most chlorine from pools, baths, and showers.

 

Sleep is still a problem, but much improved!  I hope others can find relief, too, on this terrible journey.

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uncomfortablynumb

I am now two months off Ativan and everything. I am still hypersensitive to light and never feel sleepy. First month I didn't sleep more than 10hrs total. Second month about 15hrs. I must be getting some stage 1 sleep that I don't even know because I would be ill, psychotic or dead by now. I had a sleepy study done and I had 3hrs total sleep when it felt like not more than minutes. But I had 30 arousals every hour! So no wonder it didn't feel like I had any sleep. It is like my body is fighting hard to stay awake.  

 

I tried medical marijuana, otc aids, tryptophan, and melatonin.  Nothing makes me the slightest bit sleepy so I have given up on everything. Thinking about exercising but it seems to keep people awake. But I guess I won't know until I try.  

 

How long can acute last? 2-3hrs of sleep every night or two would feel much more survivable than this.  

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Dan998

There is very little known about the science of sleep. We know that all animals need to sleep, but we don't know why it is necessary or the exact mechanisms of how it happens. It is believed that a lot of the body's repair work happens during sleep. There is a cascade of neurotransmitters and hormones that signal to the brain that it needs to go into this recuperation mode.  It therefore makes sense that any disturbance to the balance of neurotransmitters, which is what happens during withdrawal, will interfere with this cascade and prevent the onset of sleep. What seems to happen to a lot of folks in recovery is that sleep has a tendency to return to normal once the production of neurotransmitters and receptors become more stable.

 

Although it may feel like you are not getting much sleep, the truth is that you are probably getting enough through the cumulative effects of microsleep. This is where your brain goes into an altered state of consciousness for a few minutes. You won't even know it has happened. I once fell asleep whilst I was speaking to someone. Literally passed out mid sentence.

 

Does sleep return to normal? Yes, in my case it did. At one point I had pretty much every sleep disorder, all at the same time; insomnia, narcolepsy, light sensitivity, apnea, hypnagogic jerks, snoring, nocturia (frequent urination). I was probably getting 1-2 hours sleep per night. This lasted for about 3 months before things started to improve. It wasn't a sudden improvement, it was more erratic. An occasional good nights sleep (4 hours), followed by more insomnia, then a few more reasonable nights. Eventually, it all starts to click back into place. Your brain knows how to sleep. it's as natural as breathing, digesting food or any of the other autonomic functions. But, it's a slow process. It took about a year before I was getting consistent sleep of 5-6 hours. It's only now, after two years, that I am totally back to normal and regularly get 7-8 hours. Although, I still get a relapse whenever I'm in a wave.

 

I agree about giving up on the sleep meds. They tend not to work for people in withdrawal anyway and can actually exacerbate symptoms. They will make you feel really groggy the following day and you can also develop tolerance and become addicted to them.

 

Exercise has been proven to help people with sleep problems, it has something to do with the hormone endorphin that is released during physical activity which is believed to be very beneficial for initiating and sustaining sleep. While it is true that some people in withdrawal cannot tolerate exercise there are also many who can, you wont know until you try it. Just do enough to get yourself slightly out of breath for 30 mins; a brisk walk, swimming or cycling are ideal. If it goes well then you can slowly work towards doing something more vigorous. I find exercising late afternoon/ early evening works best for me.

 

I know it may feel endless now, but just hang in there and try not to worry about your lack of sleep as this can actually create a negative feedback loop that will make things even worse. Try not to let your whole life revolve around sleep. It won't solve anything. Your sleep will eventually improve of its own accord. 

 

Additional resources can be found on this thread... Tips to help sleep -- so many of us have that awful withdrawal insomnia

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uncomfortablynumb

Thanks for the message Dan! It is rough and I am trying my best to hang in there. Obsessing about sleep isn't helping but it is such a desperate need for relief. If I only have to suffer another month before I start getting 3 hours that would be a life-saver. There are so many horror stories of the insomnia lasting years on here and benzobuddies. Matt Samet, Monica Cassini, and Jennifer Leigh are examples.  

 

Is there anything in particular that helped you? Did you experience the constant wired and never tired feeling? This is disturbing. I haven't felt the drifting off sensation in 8 months now.  

 

I am going to start exercising in the mornings first and see how it effects me.  

 

Thanks again for messaging. Need all the help and reassurance I can get now. 

 

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Petunia

This is what helped me when I wasn't able to sleep:

 

On 7/8/2017 at 7:49 AM, Happy2Heal said:

 

I had to get to the point where I just didn't care any more if I slept or not, and just accepting the insomnia helped me to be able to get a bit more sleep.

 

 

I used to make sure I was comfortable and listen to some kind of pleasant audio all night long, to help keep me calm. For me, it was spiritual talks and semi-boring documentaries. The hardest part was finding enough of the right kind of material to listen to. It needed to be comforting and soothing, but stimulating enough to occupy my mind enough to distract it from anxiously worrying about not sleeping. I would often be awake all night, but would doze off for a minute or two and then be startled awake.

 

Like you, I had that wired feeling. I was physically, mentally and emotionally exhausted, but my brain just wouldn't shut down. It was like it couldn't let down its guard for one second. I liken the experience to what it might be like trying sleep while in the middle of combat in a war zone.

 

Using any drugs or herbs for sleep eventually made it worse. But it took me a while to figure that out. I went through the no sleep stage before I had found this site so didn't really know what was going on.

 

My sleep is back to normal now. Over the course of 5 years I slowly went from practically zero sleep per night to now where I'm getting about 8 hours of mostly unbroken sleep.

 

edit: I found this channel last night, full of audio bedtime stories to help you fall asleep. I wish I had found this when I was having sleeping problems. The narrator has a calm, soothing voice and the stories are boring and don't make much sense.

 

Sleep With Me Podcast

Edited by Petunia
adding link

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Dan998

I was going to write something quite similar to what Petunia said about listening to audio. I found that audio books worked quite well for me. It wasn't so much about the content, although I wouldn't recommend horror or crime stories, it was more about the soothing voice of the narrator. I would have the volume at a level where I could just about hear it. I suppose it works in a similar way to reading a story to a child at bedtime. A reassuring voice that creates a safe environment for the brain to switch off and relax. You'll know when you've achieved some sleep, because the words will become a babble and the story will no longer make any sense.

 

Another thing that really made a big difference was eliminating all the light from my bedroom to prevent those pesky photoreceptor cells from registering daylight and releasing the 'wake up' hormones. When I say blocking out the light, I mean that my bedroom was as black as a cave, so black that I couldn't even see my hand in front of my face.

 

Investing in good quality bedding with a high cotton count is also worthwhile. I found that my skin became extra sensitive at night and scratchy sheets would keep me awake.

 

I managed to trick my brain into thinking that I was going to have a nice lay down in a dark room with a soft bed and listen to a lovely story. It sort of lessened the fear and stress I had about bedtime and insomnia. I would also recommend going to bed and getting up at the same time regardless of whether or not you get any sleep. Brains love routine.

 

I didn't have the wired and never tired feeling, mine was more like wired and tired. Sort of like being awake and asleep at the same time, which gave rise to a sinister dream like state, hallucinations and severe cognitive dysfunction. Not nice, but it's all in the past now.

 

 

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fj929

I had severe insomnia for about 18months and then it passed. I now sleep with no issues whatsoever. To survive I used ambien once or twice a week only and it saved me. I would not sleep for a day or two straight and still never felt sleepy. It gets better.

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DLB

I had the exact type of insomnia that you are having, it was horrible and I learned to just live on 1-2 hour a night of sleep for 2 years and it has slowly gotten to the point where I actually get sleepy and tired at night!! What a great thing to feel again!! I also was unable to EVER even doze off for a nap for many years including while on Paxil. What REALLY helped me when I couldn't take it and needed sleep was doxylamine succinate pills. No other sleep aid worked at all. It is the strongest legally available OTC you can get, way stronger than Benadryl type sleep aids. 

Give that a shot and I'm sure it will work.

by the way, I can sleep 6-7 hours now no problem WITHOUT any pills..

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TryingToHoldOn
On 8/12/2017 at 9:36 PM, fj929 said:

I had severe insomnia for about 18months and then it passed. I now sleep with no issues whatsoever. To survive I used ambien once or twice a week only and it saved me. I would not sleep for a day or two straight and still never felt sleepy. It gets better.

How much sleep did you initially get when the insomnia started and how did it progress?  My insomnia began in Dec 2016.  The first 2 weeks I got ZERO sleep.  Then i got 2-4 hours of broken sleep.  Recently, I now suffer 4-5 days without any sleep, one day with 4-5 hours of broken sleep, and then back to 4-5 days without sleep.  It's been 8 months and don't see significant improvement.

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TryingToHoldOn
On 8/13/2017 at 5:43 PM, DLB said:

I had the exact type of insomnia that you are having, it was horrible and I learned to just live on 1-2 hour a night of sleep for 2 years and it has slowly gotten to the point where I actually get sleepy and tired at night!! What a great thing to feel again!! I also was unable to EVER even doze off for a nap for many years including while on Paxil. What REALLY helped me when I couldn't take it and needed sleep was doxylamine succinate pills. No other sleep aid worked at all. It is the strongest legally available OTC you can get, way stronger than Benadryl type sleep aids. 

Give that a shot and I'm sure it will work.

by the way, I can sleep 6-7 hours now no problem WITHOUT any pills..

Wow!  It took 2 years for your sleep to come back?  Can you tell me a little bit about the progression of improvement.  Please see above at my battle with insomnia.  It's been ongoing for 8 months now.  Thank you!

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fj929
On 8/21/2017 at 1:55 PM, TryingToHoldOn said:

How much sleep did you initially get when the insomnia started and how did it progress?  My insomnia began in Dec 2016.  The first 2 weeks I got ZERO sleep.  Then i got 2-4 hours of broken sleep.  Recently, I now suffer 4-5 days without any sleep, one day with 4-5 hours of broken sleep, and then back to 4-5 days without sleep.  It's been 8 months and don't see significant improvement.

 

Initially I got very little. Some days it was only 2 hours or less. With the Ambien I could get around 4.

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TryingToHoldOn
4 hours ago, fj929 said:

 

Initially I got very little. Some days it was only 2 hours or less. With the Ambien I could get around 4.

But your sleep is back to normal now?

How are you doing?  I read through your thread,but it looks like you haven't updated in years.  I hope you've seen vast improvement from your WD symptoms.

Take care.

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DLB
On August 21, 2017 at 1:57 PM, TryingToHoldOn said:

Wow!  It took 2 years for your sleep to come back?  Can you tell me a little bit about the progression of improvement.  Please see above at my battle with insomnia.  It's been ongoing for 8 months now.  Thank you!

Yes, for steady basically normal sleep it took 2 years. It started with 2 hours of sleep per night and the occasional 3-4 hours ( RARE) for about a year while I was at 2 mg. then a year later when I was off for 5 months it got to a steady 4 hours max. With some 2 hours thrown in. Then since then almost 2 years from that point it slowly and gradually improved to my now normal sleep. I get about 6 hours and rarely 7 per night. I never really slept more than that anyways. I now get tired and fight to stay awake. While on this crap I could NEVER even think of falling asleep mid day, now on a rainy crappy day I can watch a movie and fall asleep in daytime again. This was unheard of for the previous 13 years on this crap. 

 

You absolutely will get through this. Sleep will come back. On my absolute worst sleepless times I would use doxylamine succinate for sleep and it works wonders. Only when I really needed it though. I don't believe in poisoning my body with medicines as long as I can avoid it.  You have to just forget about it and roll with it and not constantly worry about it because that adds to it. Just flow with it and it will work out. I was just like you wondering if I would ever get tired again. Hang in there and just be patient. You got this!!

 

Oh, I just read your signature, it seems you have been on a drug cocktail. You must make sure not to keep letting dr.s use you as some experiment. I'm not a doctor and can only give you advice for what worked for me as I never had been on all those meds and never needed to be on any in the first place. Not sure why you went on all them and a VERY small group of people actually do need meds, so I can't tell you not to take them but I can tell you to be real careful in deciding if you are one of the real small amount of people who needs them. I personally try to avoid doctors and medicine now at all costs. Most doctors are completely clueless and are some of the most unintelligent people I have ever encountered. They are robots who can't think of solutions themselves and rely on books entirely and think one size fits all. Also none have a clue about side effects from ANY medicine. 

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TryingToHoldOn
16 hours ago, DLB said:

Yes, for steady basically normal sleep it took 2 years. It started with 2 hours of sleep per night and the occasional 3-4 hours ( RARE) for about a year while I was at 2 mg. then a year later when I was off for 5 months it got to a steady 4 hours max. With some 2 hours thrown in. Then since then almost 2 years from that point it slowly and gradually improved to my now normal sleep. I get about 6 hours and rarely 7 per night. I never really slept more than that anyways. I now get tired and fight to stay awake. While on this crap I could NEVER even think of falling asleep mid day, now on a rainy crappy day I can watch a movie and fall asleep in daytime again. This was unheard of for the previous 13 years on this crap. 

 

You absolutely will get through this. Sleep will come back. On my absolute worst sleepless times I would use doxylamine succinate for sleep and it works wonders. Only when I really needed it though. I don't believe in poisoning my body with medicines as long as I can avoid it.  You have to just forget about it and roll with it and not constantly worry about it because that adds to it. Just flow with it and it will work out. I was just like you wondering if I would ever get tired again. Hang in there and just be patient. You got this!!

 

Oh, I just read your signature, it seems you have been on a drug cocktail. You must make sure not to keep letting dr.s use you as some experiment. I'm not a doctor and can only give you advice for what worked for me as I never had been on all those meds and never needed to be on any in the first place. Not sure why you went on all them and a VERY small group of people actually do need meds, so I can't tell you not to take them but I can tell you to be real careful in deciding if you are one of the real small amount of people who needs them. I personally try to avoid doctors and medicine now at all costs. Most doctors are completely clueless and are some of the most unintelligent people I have ever encountered. They are robots who can't think of solutions themselves and rely on books entirely and think one size fits all. Also none have a clue about side effects from ANY medicine. 

Thank you for your response!  It gives me hope that that my sleep will recover one day.

 

I was put on sertraline for post partum depression.  Then was told I had 'soft' bipolar or bipolar 2 because o had irritability.  In hindsight,  I should have just rode out the postpartum.  I had a low mood, but still very much living life.  The BP diagnosis was wrong and I had a terrible reaction to the medication.  My intro gives a more detailed account.  I was wrongly medicated for an incorrect diagnosis (confirmed by two separate evaluations) and I should have never taken the AD.  I have no quality of life now and I am 1000 times worse off than when I had postoartum due to WD.  I am letting my body recover naturally and just hope I can ride out this storm.

 

Do you feel like you're fully recovered yet?

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uncomfortablynumb

Thanks for all your responding and keeping this conversation going. 

 

Petunia - thanks for the audiobook tip. Unfortunately any audio keeps me awake. I never drift out even from boredom. I know your insomnia is pretty legendary. I hope it doesn't take me 5yrs. I just can't imagine that. 

 

Anyone withdraw from ADs and benzos and have their sleep return? 

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DLB
8 hours ago, TryingToHoldOn said:

Thank you for your response!  It gives me hope that that my sleep will recover one day.

 

I was put on sertraline for post partum depression.  Then was told I had 'soft' bipolar or bipolar 2 because o had irritability.  In hindsight,  I should have just rode out the postpartum.  I had a low mood, but still very much living life.  The BP diagnosis was wrong and I had a terrible reaction to the medication.  My intro gives a more detailed account.  I was wrongly medicated for an incorrect diagnosis (confirmed by two separate evaluations) and I should have never taken the AD.  I have no quality of life now and I am 1000 times worse off than when I had postoartum due to WD.  I am letting my body recover naturally and just hope I can ride out this storm.

 

Do you feel like you're fully recovered yet?

Well that makes two of us that should never have been put on this crap. They just tried to put my wife on this for menopause and she told the doctor my story and what I have seen on these sites and Doctor says it is not true and that it can't cause what happened to us. Typical no common sense higher educated (indoctrinated) robot. Anyway, don't go near anything and eventually it will be fine. Just do what I said and accept what you are going through and float through it. I know how hard it can be especially when you are up at 2 am constantly ruminating about it. Like I said an occasional doxylamine succinate works wonders when you need it. Unisom is the brand I think. It will knock you right out. Take on empty stomach and it works great. But really try not to use anything unless it is absolutely necessary. Definitely not anything prescribed.

 

oh, and as for me being fully recovered? I can guarantee that I will be writing a success story on my 3 year off anniversary in April 2018. I consistently feel 95% of what I used to. There are some physical effects that some could be blamed on a autoimmune that hit me when I came off. So due to that autoimmune condition which I know came from these drugs I may never say I am 100% but emotionally I am back and enjoying all the things I used to with all the desire to do them again. Slight PSSD too which got way you better with time.

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Laetitia

Dear all

 

Insomnia is by far the worst symptom it ruins totally all my efforts to get better melatonin long- released seems inconsistent it worked one night then last night not one single minute of sleep. Jesus this is just unbearable. I am not even off drugs still on them. I am just scared to read all the horror stories about insomnia because the more you obsess about it the least you can sleep.

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pinkfairy

Hi just stopping by to say hello to every body An the insommina as me too,am still meds as well....I fought it An got in a right pickle with myself.Now I just think if I sleep I sleep if I don't my body is still resting!epstom salt baths 🛀 

warm milk if you can tolerate An a banana...noooooo phones on or t.v.If you ca read,try An read a good fiction book anything to take your mind off WD...

lets all crawl along together ❤️

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pinkfairy

Had like to share this with you all,I thought I wasn't sleeping at all....

 

i bought a very fit (cheap version of fit bit)

it tracks sleeping 😌 

i was shocked as it said I was getting 6 hours,I was like no way..

it said 3.25 deep sleep An the rest light sleep,it's like my little security  blanket on a night now!!

my mind was adamant I wasn't sleeping only to be told other wise!

i honestly thought I was going to go insane after 2-4 hours a night after 13th month...

1))I didn't 

2))it's creeping back up 

3))every single thing is mind games,these drugs are like been in a mentally abusive realtionship...

learn to ignore the games An lies it tells you..eventually when your time comes you will walk away from this An it will all be a million miles behind you..

4))when your symptoms are high,that's when all the healing is taking place.

5)) repeat 24/7 this is not me it's the drugs,you don't have to believe it,but eventually a little seed will get planted.

6))NEVER EVER GIVE UP 

because one day this will happen 🐛🦋

huge hugs 🤗 to you all pink 

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AtlanticCat

I have been struggling with insomnia for a little over a year. It started when I upped my Vitamin D from 2,000 to 3,000 mgs in an attempt to get rid of my apathy. Anyway I developed sleep anxiety several nights a week (I sleep fine on the weekends). I am afraid of not sleeping or getting so little sleep during a week night cause I have to drive 20 miles to work. I have found an online program (The Sleep School-not free but not outrageous in price) on using mindfulness and acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) to help me with getting to sleep. It has helped me somewhat but some nights I still struggle. I have also been reading more about ACT to help me not fight against my anhedonia and a recent symptom of mild depression.

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TryingToHoldOn

Just a little update.  After 8 months of insomnia, I had 6 hours of uninterrupted sleep last night!  I'm sure that this is just part of a window, but please don't lose hope!  I truly believed I would never be able to sleep again.

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bubble


The only thing I can suggest, is to stop focusing on sleep.  I know that must sound like an inane suggestion but it sounds like you are putting too much pressure on yourself to get some sleep.  I know we need sleep, and it crucial to healing but the more pressure you place on yourself to get some sleep, the more stress you are putting yourself under and it a vicious cycle.  Maybe start by saying to yourself that you will be happy if you get 1/2 hour sleep.  Close your eyes and think about happy times that you spent with your son or some other comforting thoughts that elicit peaceful memories and calm.  Even if it means counting fluffy purple sheep with happy faces, anything to put your focus on something else but getting some sleep. 

Sometimes I would just lay there in bed and close my eyes even though I knew that sleep wasn't going to come. Some nights I'd be successful on staying quiet and other times I'd feel like I couldn't sit still, so I'd open up my computer and read about what other people in withdrawal did to help with sleep or watch at show or read when my mind wouldn't rest at all. Eventually I just came to realize that this was my new normal, and all I could do was try and make the best of it.  

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Why

If you have light insomnia or just having a hard time falling asleep, you may try this exercise :

 

when you are in the bed, instead of thinking that you should sleep , just try to relax and think that you just have to rest . if sleep comes all good, if doesn't you will have rested anyway.

 

don't think about sleep, just breath and relax the muscles.

 

Also you can think about some good things you experienced in your life and people/places you keep a good memory of.

 

But yhe most important thing is not to focus on trying to sleep. just relax and accept either cases if sleep comes or not.

 

 

 

Tell me if this helped.

 

Oh , forgot to say,  eliminate coffee and caffeine sources from your diet asap, especially after the morning.

 

Also stop watching bright devices (smartphones, tv, pc)  for 2 hours before sleeping

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dj2010

try slowly counting backwards from 1000, that has been working for me most nights

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TryingToHoldOn
Hi.  I'm hoping someone can shed some light on this.  I have suffered from severe insomnia since December 2016.  Sometimes I can get a few hours of broken sleep and some days no sleep at all.  On occasion, I will sleep 5 hours straight through which you think would be something to celebrate, but it always brings on crippling anxiety!

 

Lately, if I fall asleep I get woken up by heart stopping anxiety.  It feels as though someone is pouring ice cold liquid anxiety into my chest over and over again and wakes me from my sleep.  If I'm fortunate enough to sleep a couple of hours I get this same feeling when I wake.  I know about morning cortisol, but this happens even earlier in the evening like at 9:00pm (when I'm woken from sleep) and feels different than the cortisol surges.  It also happens if I just lay down during the day to rest.  Even if I don't nap it seems as though my body has an aversion to me resting and that ice cold anxiety gets dumped into my chest leaving me in a panic and shaking.  The only way I can really describe it is that it feels toxic.

 

The irony is, I don't tend to get this feeling when I don't sleep at all.  Does anyone know why or what is happening?  My body is desperately sleep deprived and now is acting adversely to sleep.  Why do I feel worse getting sleep?

 

Thanks in advance for your insight.

 

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kateinsocal

Hello all, 

 

Seeking clarification when it comes to bedtime - 

 

I know getting in a set schedule is important, but is it more harmful than good to try to sleep when you don't feel sleepy? 

I can't decide which is worse for me, trying to sleep earlier knowing I likely won't, then end up getting frustrated, or staying up later until I am more sleepy and have a better chance of falling asleep. It's hard to decipher at times, as the melatonin makes me feel like I could fall asleep, but half the time can't get there (or stay there). 

I've been opting for #1 lately - and it's great on the random nights when I can fall asleep quite quickly, but on the ones where you can't, it tends to frustrate me more than it would if I just stayed up later. 

 

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apace41
38 minutes ago, kateinsocal said:

I know getting in a set schedule is important, but is it more harmful than good to try to sleep when you don't feel sleepy? 

 

Kate,

 

Unfortunately, sleep in withdrawal does not come with a playbook that can be universally followed.  It is marginally helpful to read what the sleep experts and thought leaders have to say and some of their tips can help at the margins.  Things like blackout shades and cool temperatures and turning off your screens well before bedtime are all of use, however, when the brain says "I think I'm going to flood you with cortisol and make it impossible for you to fall asleep" then all bets are off and none of those "secrets" are likely to help.  Distinguishing the "trouble falling asleep" days from the "I'm not going to sleep" days becomes an art form and is very hard to do.  Sometimes you can "force" sleep but that is, in my experience, the exception to the rule when the cortisol is really high.  On those days, I get out of bed so as not to disturb the wife and I go into another room with my iPad and read or watch a show or do something to try to pass the time and see if I come down from the high level of energy that is keeping me up.  If I do, I try to go back to sleep, but, frequently, I find that I'm up much or all of the night.  Like you, when I try really hard to sleep and can't it is frustrating so I can empathize.

 

I don't think there is a "right or wrong" answer to this and all you can do is let your body guide you.

 

Best,

 

Andy

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nr47
On 17/03/2011 at 2:38 AM, Altostrata said:

 

Can we revive the "Light therapy for sleep problems" thread, moderator? I've found that after 8 years of using antidepressants, a 10,000 LUX light therapy box used upon waking for 30 minutes was the only thing that fixed my sleep problems. I went from oversleeping every night to sleeping just the right amount (7-9 hours per night). I think the effects of this tool shouldn't be undermined. Thanks!

Edited by ChessieCat
added note about link update

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rupa

300m.l of lukewarm buffalo milk ,mixed well with half a teaspoon turmeric powder,one hour before bed time.

It is doing wonders for my withdrawal insomnia.

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Chochka
On 23/03/2017 at 8:46 PM, Kestrel777 said:

I am tapering off of Lexapro and have trouble finding more than three hours of sleep per night. This was the case before I started the drug also. I am dealing with a great deal of health related anxiety, financial anxiety and CPTSD. Getting help with all of the above but I feel that if I could get a good solid 4 for 5 hours of sleep that I could deal with life more successfully.

 

Recently I read that Benadryl has been found to contribute to dementia. It crosses the blood brain barrier. I used to take Benadryl 25mg for sleep no more than 3 times a week, about two weeks ago stopped after I discovered a link between the drug and back pain not to mention the dementia news. 

 

QUESTION: What can I take to help me relax and fall asleep? Any herbal teas? I have hot flashes several times in the early morning but I am used to them. I won't take hormones. Sleep is of utmost importance to me right now. Sleep is healing. 

 

I am starting a cardio routine 45 minutes a day now. I am practicing Mindfulness also each day. 

 

Your advice is greatly appreciated. 

 

Kestrel

I had the most terrible insomnia for the first year of w/d. I barely slept and eventually had to reinstate. I tried again a year later and had completely different symptoms with insomnia only a sporadic symptom. It was still bad though and would go on for a week or two at a time. I know this might be unwelcome advice for some but I was persuaded by a friend with MS to try cannabis and it worked a treat. Not strong stuff or 'weed' and I did have to start smoking but it was worth it. I know that some people can't handle cigarettes in w/d but fortunately I can and cannabis is the only thing that gets me to sleep when the insomnia is bad. It means I can still work and function. 

 

I hope this is helpful. I know it's not the most welcome of advice but nothing else touched it. I used to panic when I started to get insomnia because the idea of it lasting a year again was terrifying but now I'm more relaxed about it. I also meditate and have a ridiculously healthy lifestyle other than the occasional smoke. I really hope you find a solution to yours. I know how devastating it can be. 

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UniEase
On 9/2/2017 at 12:52 PM, pinkfairy said:

Had like to share this with you all,I thought I wasn't sleeping at all....

 

i bought a very fit (cheap version of fit bit)

it tracks sleeping 😌 

i was shocked as it said I was getting 6 hours,I was like no way..

it said 3.25 deep sleep An the rest light sleep,it's like my little security  blanket on a night now!!

my mind was adamant I wasn't sleeping only to be told other wise!

i honestly thought I was going to go insane after 2-4 hours a night after 13th month...

1))I didn't 

2))it's creeping back up 

3))every single thing is mind games,these drugs are like been in a mentally abusive realtionship...

learn to ignore the games An lies it tells you..eventually when your time comes you will walk away from this An it will all be a million miles behind you..

4))when your symptoms are high,that's when all the healing is taking place.

5)) repeat 24/7 this is not me it's the drugs,you don't have to believe it,but eventually a little seed will get planted.

6))NEVER EVER GIVE UP 

because one day this will happen 🐛🦋

huge hugs 🤗 to you all pink 

FIT Bit uses movement to track your sleep. So if you don't move if thinks you're asleep. I have one too and it said I slept 5+hrs on nights when I did not sleep at all. 

Read here: https://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/01/22/fitness-trackers-sleep_n_4637328.html 

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Athena

What is the least bad med to help sleep in cases of total insomnia and desperation? Benadryl? Mild sleeping pill? Thank you

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UniEase

Hi all,

 

These responses are from last year. I am just curious how folks are doing. Sleeping more, sleeping deeper/more continuous or still the same? 

 

For a skin infection, I used 2 mg of pimozide, an anti-psychotic for 2.5 months early 2017 then quit cold turkey and was fine. It did take away skin issue temporarily. But then skin condition recurred then I started drug again Sept-Nov. By mid-Nov, my brain snapped into severe insomnia. I quit cold turkey. I did not sleep 2 months straight. You can read full story on my profile.

 

Its been 4+ months now, I am through with rx for insomnia that can cause insomnia as well. I am now detoxing with hot yoga taking only herbs at night and averaging about 4-6 hrs/night but very broken sleep 1-1.5 hrs at a time and very light. Having dreams are the only way I can tell if I'm sleeping. Wondering when my brain will bounce back from withdrawal.

 

On top of that my skin symptoms are recurring minimally but I don't want to touch this drug anymore after what it did to me. Would love to hear from folks especially any success stories. Thanks!

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