I am Bipolar 2 and although my moods seem under control now, I cannot sleep at night. I have tried all the usual sleeping pills with no success at all (I have always had a very high tolerance for any barbituates or anti-anxiety meds). My dr prescribed Seroquel for me, which will make me sleep at night, but then I'm tired all day and I'm only on 50mg. If I split it to 25 mg I won't sleep at all. I've also tried herbs - L-Trytophan, Valerian, Melatonin, again with no success. Did the hot bath routine, meditation, yoga, no caffeine, but nothing has helped my chronic insomnia. My next step is to try acupuncture for the insomnia. Is there anybody who has had success with acupuncture and insomnia, or any other suggestions for help with sleeping.
I don't take any pills and although I may be very tired the next day I just deal with it. It usually works out. Although my sleeping needs fluctuate as my bipolar fluctuates
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I can really relate to you. I was put on Seroquel and it helped a lot with my sleep, but I felt like a slug the rest of the day. He decided to take me off of that and put me on Latuda which isn't as strong as Seroquel (which means I was getting better). Once I went off Seroquel I couldn't sleep and I started getting really hyper. I felt like I didn't need sleep, even though I know I need it. I also wanted to shop a lot. I called the doctor and he said for me to double the dose of Latuda. It makes you feel sleepy, but it isn't as much as Seroquel. He also prescribed me a sleeping pill. So at night when I'm ready to go to bed I take 80mg of Latuda and 2mg of Clonazepam. I've been on Ambien and I had weird side effects with it like cooking and eating in my sleep, with dishes in the kitchen and not remembering it the next day. Also, I still remember my dreams and I don't feel like a slug during the day.
I can so relate--I've had chronic insomnia since my teen years. It's awful! It's gotten worse the past several years (I was diagnosed with BP II ~ 4 years ago). I take Xanax 0.25 mg -0.5 mg on an empty stomach to get me relaxed, then I take 10 mg of Ambien (also on an empty stomach). Melatonin helped me when I took the 5 mg dose about 30 minute before bed. I had good luck with it for about a month and had actually stopped the Xanax and Ambien (woo hoo!). But...it seemed to stop working from then on, as though I built up a tolerance or something, so I had to go back to my stand bys. Since then, when I try Melatonin it always brings on a migraine--very odd.
It's important for me to avoid lights or stimulating activities close to bedtime, but I find it very important to get a fair amount of physical activity during the day so my body feels more ready for sleep. Of course, having a routine, "good sleep hygiene," etc., is stuff we all have been told over and over, so probably no need to repeat here.
I've never tried accupunture--I've heard mixed reviews on its success rate. It can't hurt to try it, though!
I know this may seem like a silly question, but have you talked to your doctor about whether any of your other medications or OTC preparations could possibly be contributing to insomnia?
Hello Fellow Bipolar Insomniac, I'm afraid I don't have much comforting news for you on this topic, but I've definitely been in your shoes regarding insomnia. I would change the terminology from chronic insomnia to Intractable Insomnia. I had intractable insomnia for over 20 years and I tried virtually everything, including all lifestyle changes and pills. I used to swallow astounding amounts of sleeping pills when I was younger, under my doctor's supervision, but to no avail. It seemed to defy all logic and beyond. I couldn't control my sleep cycles, but rather my sleep cycles controlled me and my whole life. Accupuncture did nothing for me, but helps many and hopefully you, too. Some of the OTC (over-the-counter) herbal remedies can be dangerous for bipolars and can have bad interactions with other meds, no joke! Anyway, I think the only reason Seroquel finally works for me at age 50 is because of the hormone/chemical shifts that come with age.
You didn't mention how long you tried Seroquel, but the daytime sleepiness side-effect may diminish with time. I hope you give it enough time before abandoning it altogether. I suspect that, if not Seroquel, some other atypical antipsychotic will be the only thing that really works, because they "hit the neurotransmitters harder", although hot baths, etc, help you gear down and relax. Also, yoga is fantastic for keeping you calm and coping skills Up while dealing with this terrible problem. Good Luck!
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acupunture has helped me other issues...i think its a valuble medical treatment..go for it.
by, the way i have insomnia even if i'm not manic...so i feel ya. oh yeh, just remember that not all acupunturist are tuned into what your issue is so make sure you get one that is helpful with insomnia.