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Old 03-26-2008, 12:01 PM   #1
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Insomnia

Since I was a teen I've not been able to sleep very well. For days on end I'll stay awake. When I do sleep I wake up alot I'm a very light sleeper so I wake up off and on for about 5 to 6 hours. I get woke up by my neighbors turning on their car in the middle of the night, my husband turning, my dog's dog tags shifting etc.
I had been taking unisom and other over the counter drugs to help with it, but they stopped working. I tried meletonin and a few other herbal drugs, they didn't work. So, I tried one of my husband's Ambien and tried to sleep but I didn't fall asleep I just stared at the ceiling till I started hallucinating. I remember most of what happened but not all. My husband didn't believe that Ambien could have that effect so he messed with me (flickered the lights tried to suggest things like dragons etc) for a few hours to see if I was telling him the truth. Like some one would lie about seeing elephants and crap in their bedroom. Any way sort of scared the crap out of me exspecially when I started reading about others reactions with it. I've stopped drinking anything with caffeeine, I don't drink liquor etc, smoke or anything bad like that. I try to go to bed at the same time everyday. I don't snore, have sleep apnea, or any allergies.
So I went to the doctor. Basically he explained that I'm screwed and doomed to pretty much not get any good sleep ever. He said the only thing that he could think of to try is Paxil or other SSRI's, not exactally sure why cause I'm not depressed or anything that its normally used for. He also gave me a few restoril's but limited me to up to 3 times a month usage on it, which I understand he doesn't want me to get addicted to something like that but I seriously need good sleep more then 3 times a month. On top of that he said the Restoril will probably make me hallucinate too, but I'll remember all of it instead of parts... like thats really any better.
Does any one have any suggestions? I'm not sure my doc is the best person for this. I've read about other people that take sleep meds 3 times a week and switch to diffrent ones occasionally so they don't loose their effectiveness. Sitting in bed for hours on end having nothing happen then when I do fall asleep waking up alot is really getting old. I'm thinking about going back to try to get a referal for some one else... I'm so tired.
I did a little research. I found a few things that fit whats going on when I try to sleep. I have horriable nightmares alot, I move around the bed in my sleep, and I hear just about anything else that moves in or outside my room.

Last edited by Seras; 03-26-2008 at 01:15 PM.

 
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Old 03-27-2008, 08:39 PM   #2
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Re: Insomnia

Try only taking your Unisom on alternate nights, you wont get tolorant that way. Have a week off tor estore your sensitivity, then try one on alternate nights.

Temazepam might hely you, if used intermitantly (it can be habit forming if taken every night)

 
Old 03-28-2008, 07:01 AM   #3
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Re: Insomnia

Have you had a sleep study? How did they rule out sleep apnea or one of 80 some odd other sleep disorders? Snoring and allergies are not a requirement... just common symptoms. Unless you are seeing an ABSM certified sleep specialist.. you can not rule out sleep apnea, or one of the movement disorders like restless leg syndrome or peroiodic limb movement. A sleep specialist ABSM certified would be the best one to help you in this matter. Sleep meds are notorious in amplifying certain sleep disorders. Thus only a certified sleep specialist should be allowed to dispense them in my opinion. Has your husband seen a sleep specialist? Why is he on Ambien?

In case you have had a negative sleep apnea performed by a properly credited professionals... have you looked into your thyroid and endocrine system? The thyroid is well known to cause chornic insomnia. Hyperthyroidism and some adrenal issues are legendary for it. I would only take pills as a last resort. You are never too young to get a thyroid issue. Medication, virus/bacterial infections, hormonal changes (puberty, pregnancy, menopause(sp)) are just a few things that can trigger the thyroid to fail if the genetic predisposition is there... look to your family, see if this is a trend.

MG
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Last edited by mkgbrook; 03-28-2008 at 07:06 AM.

 
Old 03-28-2008, 11:15 AM   #4
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Re: Insomnia

Seras,

I have the same problem as you. I did go to a sleep clinic, however, testing was negative for sleep apnea, etc. My insomnia really got bad around menopause. I didn't sleep through the night for over 5 years. As a result, I developed fibromyalgia, cancer, etc. Once I retired I began to sleep through the night with only intermittant problems related to stressful events. My husband has always worked the midnight shift so nothing disturbed me during the night. A month ago he changed jobs and now arrives home at 1 a.m. He's very quiet, but just the thought of being awakened was enough to set off bad insomnia once again. I've only slept all night 3 times in the past 4 weeks. I've taken Ambien without having hallucinations, however, it gives me a bad stomach-ache the next day. In addition, it's very addictive to me. I've taken something similar to Paxil for years for Fibromyalgia in a very low dose. It's supposed to make you tired. It really doesn't work much for me anymore, but I'm psychologically dependent on it now. I've tried all the other sleep meds both over the counter and rx, but they either don't work or have bad side-effects. I'm beside myself right now thinking that I'm in for years of not sleeping again. I can certainly relate to your problems but, unfortunately, can't give any advice since I'm in the same boat. Would welcome any suggestions from others.

 
Old 03-28-2008, 04:22 PM   #5
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Re: Insomnia

I went in to the regular doctors office but for some reason he was busy so some other guy came in to talk to me. My normal doctor normally would have sent me to a specialist or something he's never told me ever when I actually talk to him about problems that I'm screwed like the other one did. I'm making another appointment on monday to make sure they let me talk to my real doctor about it and try to get a referal to a sleep specialist. I have had sleep problems for over 12 years now, since it started its just gotten worse. Being tired just made me want a quicker solution. To me there just has to be something better. I don't like normal sleeping pills cause as I said they make me hallucinate, which even if your aware that you are atleast for me is scary. Thanks for the suggestion. If they find anything useful I'll be sure to post it for you piano.

Last edited by Seras; 03-28-2008 at 04:24 PM.

 
Old 03-29-2008, 03:11 PM   #6
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Re: Insomnia

i had insomnia for years, and tried every remedy in the book to fight it. i would definitely stay off the unisom or anything like it-i just always found I didn't feel well after sleeping on that stuff. you may want to try brainwave entrainment, a new technology that worked for me. there's a good review of it and various options for it at no more insomnia on blogger. there's also a funny memoir of trying various sleep remedies at beating insomnia, also at blogger. good luck to you!

Last edited by jimmyduc; 03-29-2008 at 03:13 PM. Reason: had a link

 
Old 03-30-2008, 10:13 AM   #7
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Re: Insomnia

Sleep apnea is well known to intensify and make one worse on sleeping meds or ADD/ADHD meds etc. In apnea patients you need to wake up to restart your system if you are not on the proper treatment. Get that appointment. It may be very revealing.. then you can send out your I told you so notes to the clueless.

MG
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Old 04-05-2008, 11:20 AM   #8
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samsam77 HB User
Re: Insomnia

I urge you to check out a book called say good night to insomnia by dr. greg jacobs, who is a harvard professor. Please pay particular attention to chapters 5 and 6(in particular the stimulus control procedures). I followed his procedures and the first week or so and was tough to get through but I was rewarded with some of the best sleep ever and still continue to sleep well on most nights. It takes a commitment on your part but the long term benefits are worth it. If you could see a sleep psycologist it would be beneficial as well. Someone who can explain the procedure would help out. Good luck in which ever path you choose.

 
Old 04-05-2008, 02:11 PM   #9
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bethsheba HB Userbethsheba HB Userbethsheba HB Userbethsheba HB Userbethsheba HB User
Re: Insomnia

Quote:
Originally Posted by Seras View Post
.... So, I tried one of my husband's Ambien and tried to sleep but I didn't fall asleep I just stared at the ceiling till I started hallucinating. ....
Halluciinations can be a symptom of sleep deprivation. I would encourage you to see a specialist in sleep medicine, as apparently, your doctor lacks experience and education in the field of sleep medicine.

I think there is hope for you sleeping well, seras, but only with diagnosis and treatment from another medical provider.

Bethsheba

 
Old 04-11-2008, 07:55 PM   #10
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Re: Insomnia

Quote:
Originally Posted by Piano0105 View Post
Seras,

I have the same problem as you. I did go to a sleep clinic, however, testing was negative for sleep apnea, etc. My insomnia really got bad around menopause. I didn't sleep through the night for over 5 years. As a result, I developed fibromyalgia, cancer, etc. Once I retired I began to sleep through the night with only intermittant problems related to stressful events. My husband has always worked the midnight shift so nothing disturbed me during the night. A month ago he changed jobs and now arrives home at 1 a.m. He's very quiet, but just the thought of being awakened was enough to set off bad insomnia once again. I've only slept all night 3 times in the past 4 weeks. I've taken Ambien without having hallucinations, however, it gives me a bad stomach-ache the next day. In addition, it's very addictive to me. I've taken something similar to Paxil for years for Fibromyalgia in a very low dose. It's supposed to make you tired. It really doesn't work much for me anymore, but I'm psychologically dependent on it now. I've tried all the other sleep meds both over the counter and rx, but they either don't work or have bad side-effects. I'm beside myself right now thinking that I'm in for years of not sleeping again. I can certainly relate to your problems but, unfortunately, can't give any advice since I'm in the same boat. Would welcome any suggestions from others.
You story is much like mine. My sleep problems got really bad with menapause and one gyno said it was lack of estrogen and they put me on the estrogen and it helped but I had bleeding so I decided I didn't want to continue it. This was a while ago and when they would prescribe Premarin. I jsut asked my gyno and she said no relationship to sleeping and wouldn't prescribe it anyway because of problems. Since I have lung problems my Doctor is really picky about what I take as it can repress my breathing but if I don't take something I just lie there till about 4AM or earlier. I alternate what I take but nothing is working at the moment. Has anyone got any ideas of maybe something off label that can be taken? The OtC pills dry me out too much. I had a BP pill once that really let me sleep but they didn't want to continue that as my BP is not that bad to use that drug but I have to get some relief. Have tried, no TV, no reading, no radio, no computer and still just lie there. Even when I have been active all day I just don't feel that tired. I usually sleep best from about 5 to 9AM

 
Old 05-25-2008, 02:24 AM   #11
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Leahcim HB User
Re: Insomnia

There are loads of medication called hypnotics which treat insomnia, they can be addictive though. Currently i'm on Zopiclone which knocks me out every night not slept properly for weeks before this. I get at least 6-9 hours solid sleep. Anyway heres a list of others..:

clorazepate (Tranxene)
diazepam (Valium)
estazolam (ProSom)
flurazepam (Dalmane)
lorazepam (Ativan)
midazolam (Versed)
nitrazepam (Mogadon)
oxazepam (Serax)
temazepam (Restoril)
triazolam (Halcion)
quazepam (Doral)

 
Old 05-25-2008, 06:16 PM   #12
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Re: Insomnia

I have tried most of those and they have little effect on me at even double dose with some. At most I sleep about 4 hours and even then I wake up after about 2 but at 4 can't go back to sleep. Because they are sedating and because I do have lung disease there are a couple that no Doctor would give me because it might repress my breathing too much according to them.

 
Old 05-26-2008, 08:04 PM   #13
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Re: Insomnia

I don't need a dental appliance to put me to sleep.

 
Old 05-28-2008, 10:36 AM   #14
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Re: Insomnia

Sorry to hear of your sleep troubles. I have been a chronic insomniac for over 15 years and it has had a devastating impact on my life.

I have tried everything....sleep hygiene, massage, accupuncture, OTC remedies of every kind, counseling/therapy, and then, so many prescription medications it's sad. I can take 6 Tylenol PMs or Unisoms, and still be wide awake. Ambien or Lunesta on their own don't really do much, either. And contrary to recommended sleep hygiene rules, I do better with the TV on, as it distracts my mind from any worries I might have and lulls me to sleep better than listening to my pounding heartbeat.

Things that have worked in the past: Elavil (aka amitryptilline), Topamax (but it makes you dopey), Klonopin, Lyrica (very bad weight gain and swelling in my case), and, Phenergan (aka promethazine), the med used to treat nausea. The latter has been very helpful as it has a sedating quality and at least for me, no side effects. I had some issues with the others but won't bore you with them unless you really want to know. Ambien CR seems to help me stay asleep most of the time.

Having apnea and Restless Legs Syndrome adds to the complications of my insomnia. I am on CPAP and Mirapex, respectively, and they do help, but it makes my sleep situation a bit more complicated. I wear ear plugs, a mask, and make my husband sleep in another room. I also keep the temperature in the room very cool. I haven't used alcohol or anything with caffeine in many years. I also am so sensitive that many vitamins aggravate my insomnia, so I am very careful about anything I take. A recent problem that required pain meds has been difficult to treat because many of the NSAIDs that I tried would cause my insomnia to flare up.

It was very bad after my hysterectomy several years ago, and my internist is convinced that hormones play a direct role in sleep disorders. When she ran some tests on me a few years ago, the results showed that I had no cortisol (the hormone which wakes you up) and norepinephrine, the hormone which puts you to sleep. My estrogen was 20 times what it should have been. My body had no sleep rhythm whatsoever. It is better now, but I still experience problems and have to really treat myself with kid gloves when it comes to sleep.

Don't give up until you find something that works. Hopefully you have a doctor who is willing to experiment (safely, of course) with medications that are not necessarily "sleep aids," but will accomplish helping your sleep. Sleep is so vital to your health, that when you don't get it, bad things happen to your body and your mind.

I will keep you in my prayers and will be happy to share my experiences with the meds listed above as well as the many others I have tried, if you're interested. Know that many here know exactly how you feel, and we want to help!

Blessings,
TexMom

 
Old 05-28-2008, 10:39 AM   #15
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Re: Insomnia

Slightly OT but in response to another post-

Regarding Premarin---see if you can get a bio-identical version of the hormones you need. Premarin is made from horse urine and has been known to be carcinogenic. You doctor can prescribe Estrace (estrogen) and/or Prometrium (progesterone), which are natural and much safer to take....and it might help your insomnia. A compounding pharmacy can make you a combo of the two if you need it.

Tex

 
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