It appears you have not yet Signed Up with our community. To Sign Up for free, please click here....



Sleep Disorders Message Board
Post New Thread   Closed Thread
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 05-10-2005, 08:21 AM   #1
Junior Member
(female)
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 12
adrbassplyr HB User
Insomnia - is there help besides medication?

I have not slept well and not much at all in the past 3 years of my life resulting in severe depression. It has become worse now than ever and I see myself drowning and falling deeper and deeper into the well. I have tried so many medications and seen many many doctors and psychiatrists and specialist, etc. and have been told that there is nothing that can be done. I recently just underwent ECT treatments also, which escalated the problem. My question is, is there treatment besides medication? Is there some machine they can hook me up to, to inflict sleep? If I could know that at night I would just be hooked up to something and sleep, I would not have to worry, but now it's something that is on my mind 22/7. I just want to sleep!! I know this would cure my depression!

 
Sponsors Lightbulb
   
Old 05-10-2005, 05:08 PM   #2
Senior Veteran
(male)
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: melbourne, vic, aust
Posts: 7,378
hry33 HB Userhry33 HB User
Re: Insomnia - is there help besides medication?

theres no machine sadly

have you tried trazodone, it makes some people drowsy when taken and helps them get off to sleep
with insomnia it helps to make the best of things and get some sleep whenever you can

 
Sponsors Lightbulb
   
Old 05-10-2005, 05:21 PM   #3
Member
(female)
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: UK-USA
Posts: 85
A_rafferty HB User
Re: Insomnia - is there help besides medication?

try brain wave patterns, Or you could try drinking warm milk. I won't take pills either. I usually use a sleep machine (rain sounds etc.) and have to lie there for hours before I fall asleep.

Last edited by moderator2; 05-10-2005 at 09:30 PM. Reason: please carefully review the posting rules

 
Old 05-11-2005, 05:51 PM   #4
Junior Member
(male)
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 28
amright HB User
Re: Insomnia - is there help besides medication?

What are your daily activities? Can you describe them? Do you work in an early shift? How often do you exercise? Do you eat healthy food?

AMRIGHT

 
Old 05-11-2005, 07:30 PM   #5
Inactive
(female)
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 3,597
Jennita HB User
Re: Insomnia - is there help besides medication?

Quote:
Originally Posted by adrbassplyr
I have not slept well and not much at all in the past 3 years of my life resulting in severe depression. It has become worse now than ever and I see myself drowning and falling deeper and deeper into the well. I have tried so many medications and seen many many doctors and psychiatrists and specialist, etc. and have been told that there is nothing that can be done. I recently just underwent ECT treatments also, which escalated the problem. My question is, is there treatment besides medication? Is there some machine they can hook me up to, to inflict sleep? If I could know that at night I would just be hooked up to something and sleep, I would not have to worry, but now it's something that is on my mind 22/7. I just want to sleep!! I know this would cure my depression!
Medications and ECT are things that only tend to worsen existing problems with sleep. In some cases, they can even cause the problem in the first place. Believe me, I know where you are coming from. I developed a sleeping problem due to a reaction to codiene for an illness; before that I had no problems.

Instead of telling me the codiene was to blame and it would subside if I were patient, more drugs seemed to be the only answer they could give. I ended up on worse drugs(benzodiazapines) than the codiene and the sleep got much worse.

At first the benzo helped; then the infamous tolerance set in and I found myself going 4, 5 , 6 days without any sleep at all ....while STILL taking medication! Yep, it got that bad. Yet I couldn't just drop the med, I was told I could have a seizure if I did!! Whaaa? I was in shock, had no idea what I was dealing with.

After many months I felt I would die if things didn't change. Typed in benzo withdrawal and found much info on the subject and how pills destroy the brains own ability to sleep. I was scared but determined to get natural sleep back because I read even though the brain can't sleep on it's own, it can recover that function over time, sometimes very slowly, but it can.

I weaned myself off the benzo and into hell for awhile. But slowly, natural sleep did return...not as fast or as much as I wanted but it was natural and refreshing, even short periods of it felt so good, much better than the few hours I might happen to get from the med if I was lucky.

At 5 months off pills, I went to a new doc for a chest cold and gave her the background. At that time I only was sleeping 14 hours a week, a big improvement from the months before but still not much sleep. She told me at 5 months off, I should be done recovering and I would not sleep more that 14 hours unless I went on an antidepressant or benzo.

Did that scare me? A little. But the information I got on the internet said different, and since doctors got me in this mess to start with, I decided to decline her advice.

I stayed off all medications. Guess what? 14 hours turned into 18, then 21 hours a weeks, then 28, then 35, 40, well, you get the picture....that doctor was completely and totally wrong.

I won't kid you; sometimes recovery is VERY protracted in some people...not all people...but I was one of those....took me 4 years off pills to sleep everynight without fail and at almost 5 years off I am still not up to my normal amount but closing in on it with slow, continuing improvements. In between I still can have a horrible night but I just chalk it up to not being fully recovered yet. This is why many people continue to have problems because it is extremely hard to wait it out and many just go back to pills.

But such protracted withdrawal is usually from benzodiazepine severe tolerance/dependancy; other drugs/methods may not produce such long recovery.

I figured since tolerance left me no choice, I would reject all drugs that would claim to solve the problem. It's been hard, but well worth it.

Continuing with things like ECT or medications will just produce a dead end IMHO. My suffering was horrible but in the end I am winning, given back natural sleep at last......and with that, my life and health.

 
Old 05-12-2005, 01:34 AM   #6
Senior Member
(female)
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: canada
Posts: 170
dackard HB User
Re: Insomnia - is there help besides medication?

Doctors like to prescribe pills, which as Jennita pointed out, is often not the solution. Diet is definately something to look at. Sugar and caffeine are big no-nos. All those things we use to boost our energy after a sleepless night unfortunately can be the biggest culprits. It is hard to give them up, but it is possible and worth it. If I have 1 cup of coffee in the morning, it affects my sleep at night. I have cut all caffeine out of my diet. Also, I cannot have anything with sugar in it after 6pm or I have problems sleeping. I have found eating starchy things like whole wheat pasta as a bedtime snack help me sleep.

I won't ask you about exercise, anyone who's actually been sleep-deprived will understand why. I tried sleeping pills too, for my problem, with no result. I have found melatonin to work very well, it is one of the most natural things you can try, still a pill, but it has worked wonders for me. It has helped more than strict schedules, not reading in bed etc., turning the lights down after dark etc.

I think if it wasn't for artificial lights and processed foods, there would be far less people with sleep problems. These things just keep us overstimulated.

 
Old 05-19-2005, 11:27 PM   #7
Senior Member
(male)
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 108
MMS1 HB UserMMS1 HB User
Re: Insomnia - is there help besides medication?

JENNITA,
How long were you on the benzo's before you decided to cut them off? I've been on Xanax (.5mg) since this last Feb. to get me to sleep and get through the night. However, I've always just taken half a tab (.25mg) to get to sleep which usualy works within an hour. However, I'd be up two hours or so later and although I could still be tired enough to fall asleep, I'd wake up another hour or two later and then need to take the other half (.25mg) of the pill to sleep yet another hour!
I've had to take these due to a sudden hearing loss I aquired which set me into a state of GAD from day one! Now, I'm still on the Xanax, but the same doesage sometimes does'nt work for more than an hour and instead of being able to fall right back to sleep,, I have to take another half, then an hour or so later another half. My Anxiety had tripled since the onset of this hearing problem and is now accompanied with Depression and a major weight loss (I'm a 53 year old male, normally 185 and at last weigh in, I'm down well OVER thirty pounds and dropping)!!
A couple times, in an attempt to not be dependant on this med for sleep, I tried "Nyquil". It worked the first night but I only slept for about an hour and a half. Then after waking up, I had to go to the Xanax, and laid there an hour waiting to get back to sleep! I've tried Valerian (USELESS PLACEBO), "Trazedone" worked the first night (for an hour and a half) then the two nights after that, had me climbing the walls in a Hyper anxiety, panic attack (worthless crap)!!
I'm usually WIRED and hyper late at night (actually all day and night) due to the loud ringing in my ear and the thought of how I'm going to be able to live with this disabilitating ANNOYANCE the rest of my life! It's caused me to be Clinicaly Major Depressed and General Anxiety Disorder which has ruined my life completely so far and getting worse by the day!!!
I've just started Lexapro two days ago but I'm starting at a quarter tab a day since I KNOW I won't be able to tolerate the adverse side effects of weaning on it! I already have uncomfortable effects even on this tiny of a dose. I don't know if I'll be able to make it through the gradual increasing the dose, or if it'll even work for me, but I can't continue another week as I've been going!
My question is,, if I were to somehow get off the Xanax at this point (in view of how long I've been on it 4 months and the doseage .5mg - .75mg a night, from what you've researched and your experience,, would it take long for me to regain my normal sleeping pattern? I also realize, as long as the ear is so ALL ENCOMPASSING in the fact of my life being so destroyed with Anxiety and Stress and Depression, that will also play a MAJOR roll in the recovery of "Natural" sleep.
Your comments and suggestion are always appreciated! Thanks so much.

MMS1

Last edited by MMS1; 05-20-2005 at 11:16 AM.

 
Old 05-20-2005, 12:38 PM   #8
Inactive
(female)
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 3,597
Jennita HB User
Re: Insomnia - is there help besides medication?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MMS1
JENNITA,
How long were you on the benzo's before you decided to cut them off? I've been on Xanax (.5mg) since this last Feb. to get me to sleep and get through the night. However, I've always just taken half a tab (.25mg) to get to sleep which usualy works within an hour. However, I'd be up two hours or so later and although I could still be tired enough to fall asleep, I'd wake up another hour or two later and then need to take the other half (.25mg) of the pill to sleep yet another hour!
I've had to take these due to a sudden hearing loss I aquired which set me into a state of GAD from day one! Now, I'm still on the Xanax, but the same doesage sometimes does'nt work for more than an hour and instead of being able to fall right back to sleep,, I have to take another half, then an hour or so later another half. My Anxiety had tripled since the onset of this hearing problem and is now accompanied with Depression and a major weight loss (I'm a 53 year old male, normally 185 and at last weigh in, I'm down well OVER thirty pounds and dropping)!!
A couple times, in an attempt to not be dependant on this med for sleep, I tried "Nyquil". It worked the first night but I only slept for about an hour and a half. Then after waking up, I had to go to the Xanax, and laid there an hour waiting to get back to sleep! I've tried Valerian (USELESS PLACEBO), "Trazedone" worked the first night (for an hour and a half) then the two nights after that, had me climbing the walls in a Hyper anxiety, panic attack (worthless crap)!!
I'm usually WIRED and hyper late at night (actually all day and night) due to the loud ringing in my ear and the thought of how I'm going to be able to live with this disabilitating ANNOYANCE the rest of my life! It's caused me to be Clinicaly Major Depressed and General Anxiety Disorder which has ruined my life completely so far and getting worse by the day!!!
I've just started Lexapro two days ago but I'm starting at a quarter tab a day since I KNOW I won't be able to tolerate the adverse side effects of weaning on it! I already have uncomfortable effects even on this tiny of a dose. I don't know if I'll be able to make it through the gradual increasing the dose, or if it'll even work for me, but I can't continue another week as I've been going!
My question is,, if I were to somehow get off the Xanax at this point (in view of how long I've been on it 4 months and the doseage .5mg - .75mg a night, from what you've researched and your experience,, would it take long for me to regain my normal sleeping pattern? I also realize, as long as the ear is so ALL ENCOMPASSING in the fact of my life being so destroyed with Anxiety and Stress and Depression, that will also play a MAJOR roll in the recovery of "Natural" sleep.
Your comments and suggestion are always appreciated! Thanks so much.

MMS1
I'm very sorry to hear you have such a horrible condition. What do the doctors' call your condition? Did they give a possible cause? Is there not anything they can do to improve it or did they say it would improve on it's own?

I'm not sure how you can get to natural sleep with such a condition; I do not know much about hearing problems and how they work. I think the brain does, in the end, find a way because sleep is so vital to it.

But as far as the Xanax, I do know that it sounds like you have developed a slight tolerance to it since it is becoming less effective. However, Xanax normally does have a short half-life so it isn't meant to stay in your system very long. IMHO, it is a better drug for panic attacks, not sleep. It stops the PA quickly with it's potency, and then exists the system in a few hours.

Better benzos for sleep include Restorial and Valium....the reason they are better for sleep is because they have longer half-lives, stay in the system longer for sleep. But they also come with dependancy/tolerance issues and can eventually stop working too. But if you want, you could ask to see if Valium would help for awhile, and according to an expert on benzos named Prof. Heather Ashton, Valium will be a smoother taper. She has a free online manual concerning benzos called "The Ashton Manual"

Of course, my opinion would be to not take anything but it sounds like your situation is very unusual here; perhaps you might need a little help for awhile.

Other options are OTC sleep aids, which are simply antihistamines. They will not cause problems usually but they aren't as strong as benzos. You really haven't been on Xanax very long or a large dose; however, caution and tapering are always recommended even during short periods of ingestion because they are strong drugs with sometimes terrible withdrawals.

I can't really say how long it will take to sleep natural again after you get off Xanax; even experts really don't know but the general thought is around one year to 18 months. I have heard of people being fine after only a few weeks or a few months..especially people who have been on less than 6 months.

That doesn't mean you won't sleep for that period of time...you will, just not as you would normally (normal=full night, every night, straight through without awakenings).

I was on for 8 months but my case was usually strange because I was switched around alot with meds in a short time...mainly because I didn't put up with something not working like it was supposed to...I was a complainer for sure; in hindsight that might be why my doctors always started me out with higher doses. That's still no excuse for them, I am not a large man but a small woman so my doses should have been small to start with from a practical point of view!


In my case, after I got off my last benzo Ativan, I had a slow building up of natural hours per week. My husband had a great idea of making a sleep chart to mark my progress.

Just recently, I have been sleeping more straight through nights which is another turning point for me since even my good nights had me awake several times a night. Right now, it seems a little weird to me to go to sleep and actually wake up in the morning instead of the middle of the night; but I definately can get used to that again!

Maybe you could look at the Ashton Manual, it's free online. It's possible Valium might help you sleep better for now as well, or if you want to try OTC that would be ok but always check with the doctor because of your condition. I really hope they can either do something about your hearing or it will eventually get better on it's own.

I know lots of things can cause hearing loss; I was reading that some medications can even cause it. This is another reason why I don't like meds because sometimes they up the risk of various diseases/conditions. Most people say the benefits outweigh the risks but tell that to the people who happen to end up with the conditions/diseases from the meds!

These psychoactive meds mess so much with the heart/circulatory/nervous system, the hormones, blood sugar/metabolism, sexual organs, liver and kidneys that it's no wonder society is sicker than ever.

Hey, you can get diseases/problems without touching a med, no doubt, but if a med increases/causes your chance of getting it, why would people ingest something like that? Most people avoid anything science discovers as harmful yet when it comes to psychoactive meds, people don't think twice.

For example, I am continously amazed how people are so afraid to give their kids a little sugar or a caffeine soda yet will willingly give them Ritalin or Adderall which is a form of speed. I'm not for alot of caffiene, it can be unhealthy, but they say one shouldn't self medicate with coffee but a toxic drug is ok?? This makes no sense to me.

 
Closed Thread

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Board Replies Last Post
Severe Insomnia, nightmares and meds Bilbo Sleep Disorders 52 08-17-2010 09:53 AM
Anyone tried Melatonin for insomnia? Luvmydog Sleep Disorders 6 09-24-2008 05:27 AM
Does taking/stopping your pain meds cause insomnia? TexMom85 Pain Management 14 05-29-2008 10:40 AM
Inderal LA (Propranolol) - Can it cause "Weight Gain, Insomnia, Hair Loss, Memory..." Just-A-Boy Hair Loss / Alopecia 3 12-01-2007 06:04 AM
insomnia and mania xxxzoexxx Bipolar Disorder 39 03-07-2007 12:12 AM




Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off




Sign Up Today!

Ask our community of thousands of members your health questions, and learn from others experiences. Join the conversation!

I want my free account

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 07:38 PM.



Site owned and operated by HealthBoards.comô
Terms of Use © 1998-2014 HealthBoards.comô All rights reserved.
Do not copy or redistribute in any form!