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

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Shep

Re-learning how to sleep is much harder than I thought after 30 years. Many of my symptoms are already getting better, but sleep is still elusive. 

 

I started taking melatonin three nights ago at .5 mg, like it's recommended in the melatonin thread.

 

Now I'm dealing with early awakening, around 2 am. I PMd Alto and she said there are several other supplements that could help for early awakening - glycine, taurine, and magnesium.

 

She also said I could try .25 mg extra melatonin if I awaken prior to 2 am (but no later than that) and to post on this insomnia thread.

 

So I'll post my questions here: 

 

1. Is it better to go a few weeks or even months working with one supplement before adding anything else?

 

I have no background in supplements and I'm finding them to be confusing and expensive, so I thought maybe I'd work with the melatonin timing and dose, letting it get as high as 2 mg and no more due to my compromised CNS. Since you have to give any changes 3 or 4 days, I'm thinking that it will get very confusing to add in additional supplements, as they will need additional days use to gage effectiveness. 

 

2. Does anyone have any insight into the best way to gage when it's a good time to add in another supplement? Or which one such as glycine, taurine, and magnesium to add? I'm able to fall asleep with melatonin, but not able to stay asleep. 

 

Thanks to anyone who can help me with this. It may be all individual trial and error, but I thought I'd ask. 

 

 

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leahy

I am working on this very same thing, Shep. I can't say what helps yet. But I am trying the things you mention. I always take magnesium.

 

Since you are isolating melatonin, I am wondering how you feel the next day after taking melatonin? Do you feel more rested or better rested?

 

Sometimes melatonin helps me, sometimes it doesn't. I feel hungover most of the time - the feeling go not getting good sleep. It's hard to tell what helps because I feel sick from not sleeping no matter what else I do.

 

I've added taurine again and did not use melatonin last night and slept pretty well...

 

I'm not saying this is the case that taurine works better for me than melatonin. So far this is a one night experience.

 

L

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Shep

Hi, leahy.  I'm happy to hear you had a good night's sleep with taurine. 

 

I'm feeling really tired, but I'm not sure it's the melatonin. It's just my third night, so I guess I do need to give it more time.

 

I fear the tiredness may be a bit of depression, so I'm being very mindful of this.

 

I hope the taurine continues to work for you, as sleep is so important. 

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apace41

Recent addition to this club that I don't want to be a member of. Was sleeping fine after a 2 year taper off klonopin followed with a taper from 100 Zoloft at end of 2014 to 25 now. Had a few glitches in restarting my taper after a 4 month hold and I've just been hit with awful insomnia. I'm on my 4th consecutive night of no sleep. Every time I start to nod off I get a combination of a muscle twitch (could be stomach, foot, arm, etc.) and a wave of anxiety that wakes me again. This is very challenging and has come out of the blue. I'm hoping that once the taper glitches even out I can restabilize and this issue goes back where it came from but I know that I'm also adding second fear to the mix as I am afraid of not sleeping each night.

 

A few more nights like this and I'm afraid I will lose it.

 

Andy

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Shep

I'm sorry you're in the insomnia club, Andy, but it sounds like you're psyching yourself out.

 

Sleep will come. I just posted on your Intro with a link to one of the mindfulness threads because that's what I used to help with the "fear" part of insomnia.

 

Insomnia is one of the worst symptoms of withdrawal because it makes all of the other symptoms so much worse. It's a "haunted" type of symptom because it really can mess with your head. 

 

I'm "haunted" that I won't be able to work, to function, to survive. But that's never happened and I've had really bad insomnia for 2 years now. It's slowly getting better and yours probably won't be as bad because you've been a lot smarter than I was and you've done a slow taper.  I'm still struggling, but I do know that giving into the fear makes it that much worse. 

 

Give yourself time to stabilize from those "glitches" and incorporate as much self-care as possible. I've been on this site and on benzos sites and I've seen a LOT of people go through long stretches of insomnia and make it through just fine. 

 

Hang in there. 

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apace41

Here's an interesting article on the benefits of mindfulness for sleep disturbances in antidepressant use.  Not sure if it's been posted but fairly compelling.

 

http://www.karger.com/Article/FullText/332755

 

Andy

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Help777

How long did your insomnia last? I am implementing these suggestions, but just wondering how long the intense insomnia lasted for others?

Thanks for sharing.

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grandmaD

I've been doing a slow taper since 2011 @5% every 6-12 weeks and for that year insomnia was occasional

2012 was a 2.5% taper every 6-12 weeks and was occasional

2013 was a 2.5% taper every 6 - 12 weeks and was once a week

2014 was a 2.5% taper every 6 - 12 weeks and was once a week occasionally twice

2015 was a 2.5% taper every 6-16 weeks and was almost twice a week

2016 was a 2.5% taper every 8 weeks and is now regularly 3 times a week and occasionally 4 times

 

Each year gets worse for insomnia.

 

I can be awake anything from 1 to 4 hours.

 

My sleeping pattern for several years now has been that it takes 2 hours to get to sleep and I wake up every 2 hours.  When it gets to around 1 or 2am it gets harder to get back to sleep and when I wake at 3 or 4am it is often impossible. 

 

I average about 6 hours sleep on a good night and 4 on the bad nights.

 

This current drop averaged 3 nights each week but week 3 of the drop saw 5 nights of insomnia and week 4 of the drop I had 4 nights of insomnia.

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compsports

Grandma D,

 

After I finished tapering in 2010, my sleep seemed to get worse.   Whether it was due to dealing with pap therapy intolerance or the effect of the psych meds, it is hard to say.  Probably a combination of both.

 

When I posted on David Healy's board that I felt like these meds had caused narcoleptic like issues, he told me that was a valid description.

 

I just feel being on these meds long term does something to the sleep cycle.

 

Good luck with your issues.

 

CS

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grandmaD

Hi CS,

So sorry to hear of your sleep issues.  As you can see mine have been getting worse each year.  I hope this trend doesn't continue as I still have quite a way to go before I get off.

 

I see you did a 4 year taper.  What percentage and how often did you taper?

 

Now you have been finished for 4 years and still having sleep problems!  This is awful. 

 

What does narcopleptic issues mean?

 

What is your insomnia like?  How often?  What sort of hours are you awake?  How much sleep do you get?

 

Do you see any improvement in that 4 years? 

 

Do you hope to see any change, what are the prospects in that?

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grandmaD

Hi CS,

So sorry to hear of your sleep issues.  As you can see mine have been getting worse each year.  I hope this trend doesn't continue as I still have quite a way to go before I get off.

 

I see you did a 4 year taper.  What percentage and how often did you taper?

 

Now you have been finished for 4 years and still having sleep problems!  This is awful. 

 

What does narcopleptic issues mean?

 

What is your insomnia like?  How often?  What sort of hours are you awake?  How much sleep do you get?

 

Do you see any improvement in that 4 years? 

 

Do you hope to see any change, what are the prospects in that?

I forgot to ask whether you have any other w/d symptoms still, or just the isomnia?

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btdt

8 years 6 months back into insomnia 

 

I no longer take much notice of it 

 

I try to do what I have to do 

 

often dragging myself around like a dead weight 

 

no real life can be had on the days sleep is gone 

 

I no longer worry about it too much 

 

I guess I have adapted to not sleeping 

 

After years of sleeping every 4th day and then getting a solid 1-3 hrs a night I found I could fake being human enough to keep those closest to me from worry.  That was not enough sleep to actually live a life I survived by developing other strategies to improve my experience of down time.  First don't worry about it as it did not help so why bother... rest as much as possible when you can't sleep via deep relaxation I used videos and head phones with ocean sounds as I could not get there by myself. I just could not.  

 

Melatonin I tried in recent months was a huge mistake for me which threw off my limited sleep since that tail spin I have not fully recovered I took .5 mg and I will not be trying it again.  I became quite strange to myself for days after taking it.  Magnesium I can tolerate now in ground up bits ... tiny amounts.  It sometimes helps me rest and even sleep now it has taken this many years to make peace with tiny doses of mag. Epson salt baths are still the best sleep enhancer I have found but I don't like how my skin feels when I do these baths... hate it actually.  I will bow down and do them when I really need to the chlorine in the water bothers me so I would rather shower now as I have a shower filter... filling the tub from the shower has been tried it is not a worthwhile option .  

 

Maybe in more time... 

peace all 

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OCDee

I have not been able to fall asleep for an entire month. Can someone please give me a recommendation as tonwhat can help? I have tried valerian, benadryl, forte's calm, melatonin, hot baths none of it worked. I had to go to the er and they gave me ambien it wirked well for the first day and then stopped working. Altostrata can you tell me what worked for you and how long this persisted? It is so painful to be without sleep it makes the anxiety so much worse

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Altostrata

Please read this topic, there are dozens of suggestions.

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grandmaD

8 years 6 months back into insomnia 

Do you mean that it went away for a while?  If so, how long?

I no longer take much notice of it 

Easier said than done, but this is they key.  I spent years getting annoyed, frustrated and angry about it, which didn't help.

I try to do what I have to do 

I agree we should still try and do things we need to do

often dragging myself around like a dead weight 

It is awful feeling tired, but I tell myself at least it doesn't hurt (I've had a lot of physical pain)

no real life can be had on the days sleep is gone 

Maybe not, but what is "real life"?  I am learning to just sit outside in the sun, learning to relax and telling myself to enjoy it!

 don't worry about it as it did not help so why bother... rest as much as possible when you can't sleep via deep relaxation I used videos and head phones with ocean sounds as I could not get there by myself. I just could not.  

Good advice.  I am learning to lie down instead of pushing myself and surprised that sometimes (not long after getting up) I have dropped off for 5-15mins.

Melatonin I tried in recent months was a huge mistake for me which threw off my limited sleep since that tail spin I have not fully recovered I took .5 mg and I will not be trying it again.  I became quite strange to myself for days after taking it.

I almost got a script for this, but I already had all the side effects, so decided against it.  I have since read that it increases the serotonin, so that doesn't help when you are trying to reduce it!

 Magnesium I can tolerate now in ground up bits ... tiny amounts.  It sometimes helps me rest and even sleep now it has taken this many years to make peace with tiny doses of mag.

I have taken many years to try and take magnesium too.   I couldn't say it helped me sleep any better.  I was grinding 1/4 a tablet in 2L of water and drinking it over 2 days.

Epson salt baths are still the best sleep enhancer I have found but I don't like how my skin feels when I do these baths... hate it actually.  I will bow down and do them when I really need to the chlorine in the water bothers me so I would rather shower now as I have a shower filter... filling the tub from the shower has been tried it is not a worthwhile option .  

I found you can have too much epsom salts in the bath.  I must try it again.  1 cup caused me problems, so I tried 1/2 cup and I think I need to try 1/4 next time.

Maybe in more time... 

I sure hope sleep will improve for all of us, including you - you certainly had it a lot worse

peace all

Peace to you also

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compsports

Hi CS,

So sorry to hear of your sleep issues.  As you can see mine have been getting worse each year.  I hope this trend doesn't continue as I still have quite a way to go before I get off.

 

I see you did a 4 year taper.  What percentage and how often did you taper?

 

Now you have been finished for 4 years and still having sleep problems!  This is awful. 

 

What does narcopleptic issues mean?

 

What is your insomnia like?  How often?  What sort of hours are you awake?  How much sleep do you get?

 

Do you see any improvement in that 4 years? 

 

Do you hope to see any change, what are the prospects in that?

Grandma D,

 

Before I respond, keep in mind that my sleep apnea could be complicating the picture.

 

Anyway, narcoleptic like issues mean I can fall asleep any time during the day due to feeling like I consumed alot of ambiens even when I didn't.   This started about a year before I finished tapering and has only gotten worse.    

 

Waiting to see if a dental device for sleep apnea that I am expecting in 7 to 10 days helps with sleep which hopefully would prevent the sleep attacks.   If not, I am not sure what my next move will be.

 

I have both hypersomnia and insomnia.  If I avoid the sleep attacks, I only sleep about three to four hours at night on the machine.  If I don't, the total hours can be split into about 6 to 7.   But the quality of sleep is horrible.

 

Regarding taper, I started it at 10% of current dose and ended up at a 5% rate.  I did cold turkey Wellbutrin without any problem.

 

I don't think I have any other withdrawal issues.  

 

Yeah, I hope to have improvement but I seriously doubt it will be with the pap machine.  If the dental appliance doesn't work, the surgery for sleep apnea would be the next step.

 

Of course, my chances of getting doctors to adequately sort out these issues is as great as my winning the lottery.

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grandmaD

Thanks for your reply, I wish you all the best and hope you find an answer as there is nothing so basic and necessary as a decent nights sleep.

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compsports

Thanks for your reply, I wish you all the best and hope you find an answer as there is nothing so basic and necessary as a decent nights sleep.

Thanks, I hope you find answers too.

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grandmaD

Well I have read so many good reports about blacking out the bedroom, but never opted to do this as I did not think it was my problem.  I do wake with palpitions, rapid pulse and anxiety and at times fear around the time they say the cortisone kicks in.  It is usually difficult if not impossible to get back to sleep.

 

However, I also wake at 1am with the same symptoms and can be up for 1- 3 hours, so I didn't think it was a problem with the light, so never bothered with blackout.

 

Hubby has just decided to install some shutters that are for keeping out the heat in summer and cold in winter.  They also block out about 99% of the light, so it has been interesting to see the results.

 

The first night was no different, but there was light coming in through the hall and ensuite.  next night I shut those doors and as usual it took 2 hours to fall asleep and I slept for 2 hours but THEN I SLEPT FOR 3 HOURS!  That's a first!  Then I slept another 2 hours!  That meant 7 hours, so I was very pleased!

 

The next time was pretty similar, so I thought this is working!  However, last night after 2 hours of trying to get to sleep, I woke after 1 hour then 2 hours and was up for 3 hours.  By this time, is when I normally find it impossible to get back to sleep because it is close to getting light.  This is when I have discovered the benefit of blockout, because with the room very dark, I was able to get back to sleep for another 2 hours.

 

I suspect its greatest benefit for me is going to be this area of waking around 4am and now with blockout being able to get back to sleep instead of being awake too soon.

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flowerpower

I didn't have trouble sleeping before I'm afraid that my normal sleep patterns or my nervous system has become sensitive or deteriorated from an antipsychotic (invega sustenna injectable) which I've taken for 3 to 4 months and I have restlessness/trouble falling asleep and staying asleep. I feel or have felt activated or aroused while on the medication (even though I'm not that drug anymore). I can't sleep-in or even take a nap, what is going on? I got akathisia from it. I have found that I can only get to sleep with an Ambien and i don't even feel well rested on that,

 

I want to be able to get to sleep without an Ambien at night. Please HELP. My prolactin levels are a somewhat elevated to 183.9 does it have abything to do with that, if that means anything???

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grandmaD

Sorry Flowerpot to hear you have very similar sleep issues as me.  It takes me 2 hours to fall asleep so I just accept that now.  I know mine is from withdrawal, but I am not familiar with the injection you had, perhaps someone else can you with this.

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grandmaD

In the last week I have been able to get 7 hours sleep instead of 5-6, which is a result of the blackout blind, meaning when I am up from 4am and go back to bed when it is light, I can get another hour or 2 sleep.

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Area1255

Binaural beats may help. Try lemon balm extract, it helped me.

Maybe exercise during the afternoon and early evening, so that you are tired more to go to sleep at night?

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adrianctn

Propranolol or clonidine or cyproheptadine, along with melatonin and 0.5mg of lamotrigine have helped me sleep 7 hours per night.

 

Also, dosing 4mg of cyproheptadine and 0.15mg of clonidine will make me sleep in the middle of the day as well.

 

I hope this will help people out.

 

Also, I use all other recommendations posted here.

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Prozac20

I want to try taurine tonight after an Epsom salt bath . For those who have tried it can you tell me the recommended dose is ? I don't know the amount doses it comes in . Thanks in advance

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apace41

For those suffering with sleep issues, there will be a free online summit from August 8-15.

 

Here is the link:  http://sleepsuccesssummit.com/

 

Best,

 

Andy

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DaddyCee

For those suffering with sleep issues, there will be a free online summit from August 8-15.

 

Here is the link:  http://sleepsuccesssummit.com/

 

Best,

 

Andy

 

Interesting.... I will take a look. Thanks for sharing Andy.

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compsports

I also wanted to add my thanks Andy.   Very interesting.

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grandmaD

I tried switching taking the tablet at night instead of morning but it didn't affect the insomnia at all.

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Christian

Hi,
I'm sorry but I can't find the insomnia topic so maybe someone can put this in there if it's not too much trouble.

I have seen various posts from folks saying that you don't have to be actually asleep to get rest during insomnia spells. Well here is proof. Today I had an EEG done on my brain. They encourage patients to sleep during the procedure. I expressed my doubts of that happening today with me due to my insomnia. Well the tech said after she came back into the room, by looking at the waves, I did, in fact, sleep. But the funny thing is is that I didn't. I was awake with my eyes closed the entire time. So there you have it. We do get rest by just closing our eyes though we think we aren't sleeping.

Edited by KarenB
merged similar topics

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Ibid

 I did, in fact, sleep. But the funny thing is is that I didn't. I was awake with my eyes closed the entire time. So there you have it. We do get rest by just closing our eyes though we think we aren't sleeping.

Maybe the mods can move this too.

 

So glad to hear this and thanks for posting it. I do this too, quite often lately. But time passes much more quickly than I think it's passing so I must have conked out. And I feel pretty rested usually. Having been reading about sleep deprivation and dementia I've often worried about insomnia. Your EEG makes me feel better. 

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scallywag

Christian thanks for that information; this is the best place for it. 

 

It's good to know that even though we think we're not sleeping, we could actually be sleeping.  Nice to have a medical tech's input and your actual experience. :)

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Purplestars22

The importance of sleep and tips to sleep better:

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herewego
KarenB

The original link should work now.  I hope :).

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Christian

I found this article/study interesting. It describes how people that are dependent on benzo's for sleep have a difficult time justifying going off of them due to the reduced sleep they get. What the study found was that even though the sleep was reduced the REM sleep increased. The user bases their decision on the duration not knowing their quality sleep has improved by quitting.

 

https://binged.it/2a8dPpT

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