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kittencaboodle 11-05-2005 03:40 AM

Need help w/sleep med.....
Okay, I still can't get a couple of hours of sleep even if hubby hit me over the head w/ a 2x4. Like many here, I am a CPer going on 7yrs now. This insomnia hit a little over a year ago. Why then? No clue. You would think with the pain meds I am on I would be sleeping 24/7. Not a chance. Wide awake and tired all at the same time. This is really getting on my nerves.

I was first given Ambien 10mg which helped me sleep for about 3 hrs. Then he upped it to 15-20mg at bedtime. Okay, now I sleep walk and talk all the while I look wide awake. I have even been in the kitchen cooking........nothing edible, mind you, but none the Mfg company of Ambien calls this Transient SleepWalking and has had many others call up about doing this. My fear was to end up in our swimming pool. Next, I was switched to Lunesta. Dosage was 3mg at bedtime. Not a bit tired since day 1 of taking it. It is like taking an aspirin. I get more sleepy w/ a Tylenol PM than Lunesta. Anyone else have the same problem? I just don't know what to do at this point. I'm sure the lack of sleep is just a bothersome annoyance and isn't a cause for alarm since I don't think its a problem that leads to anything serious. I just want a good 6.....8 would be great.....hours of sleep at least once a week just to get my mind straight. It's like I can't turn my brain off. Hubby jokes that I am listening to the 'voices in my head' voices there, its more like your thoughts going a mile a minute and you can't slow them down to relax.

Okay, now that I have thoroughly taken up way too much space on something this silly.......does anyone have any words of wisdom or another med to try that will work this time? But adding a new pill is the last on my list to rectify this situation unless its absolutely necessary. I don't drink/smoke or anything that I can stop to relax the ol' body at night.

Thanks for any help you can throw my [email protected]:41a.m. PST!!!!!!!! now up for 37hrs and counting....I think....brain is mush. :yawn:

springflowers 11-05-2005 04:00 AM

Re: Need help w/sleep med.....
hey, i used to have that problem really bad...stayed up one time for 5 days!!! anyhow, what they put me on, and i know you said new meds were last on your list, was trazadone, and the first couple of nights the 50 mg was doing ok, then i built a tolerance to it, (how my dr put it).. then upped it to 100 mg. (recently ive gone back down to 50 mg) anyhow, i think its the best thing ive tried, and the first besides tylonal pm's, and calm forte ect. would be the only thing i can think of really, if the other stuff isnt working, otherwise, maybe meditation might help too, i use whats called the learning center sometimes before bed, and it is just a stack of cds, (like egyptian sounds, waterfalls ect)...and flashing lights, and when you close your eyes you kind of picture yourself in that situation...i know it sounds weird but it helps me get to a dream state lol. (was told i was snoring one time and i almost never snore lol)..anyhow, other than that, just general meditation, like pictureing a bouncing ball, as you breathe, breathe in, and the ball goes up, breathe out, and the ball goes down, (like counting sheep lol), but keep your eyes closed, and it might help. :)

feelbad 11-05-2005 07:38 AM

Re: Need help w/sleep med.....
What are the 'normal' everyday meds that you take?I had this problem as well.for some reason,many years ago when I was taking lortab(vicodin?)sleep was rather elusive at best.there is something with this particular med that actually makes you feel rather energized?When I stopped the med,i, my sleep is hindered sometimes by pain and the lack of actually being able to find a comfortable position.i had been on neurontin for like two and a half years but unlike most people,to me,it felt like i was taking absolutely nothing.No change in mentation whatsoever.but when My new PM(at that time) switched me to gabitril(a much purer form of GABA) wow,i felt like sleeping the entire day.what a difference.So now,i moved my biggest dosage to right before bed,and what a difference in my sleep.There is just something about this med that just makes me extremely sleepy.So much so that i can only handle one half of a 4mg tab in the morning and take the rest at night.tolerance,which i figured would be coming along fairly shortly after i had started it,didn't come into the pic until i had been on the same 12mg dose for over a year.i just recently was placed on one more pill per day.Still sleepin like a baby,at least until it is time to get up and go to the bathroom anyway.But even then,i usually can go right back to sleep.If you have any sort of nerve pain,try this stuff.Honestly it works much better than any actual sleep med that I have taken in the past.Good luck,marcia

bulletinboard25 11-05-2005 07:58 AM

Re: Need help w/sleep med.....
Are you opposed to Ambien completely?

Because Ambien just came out with a CR version, Ambien CR... they actually will give you a free 7 day trial of 12.5mg's if your doctor writes a script for 7 days.

A lot of people I've talked to have said that the CR version helps them stay asleep much longer than the 3-5 hours of the regular version....

Might be worth a shot.

BrittleBones 11-05-2005 08:07 AM

Re: Need help w/sleep med.....
:wave: Hi Kit. What kind of pain meds are you taking? I know I've read discussions on this board before about certain narcotics acting like "UPPERS" instead of like sedatives.There's a chemical reason for this and Shoreline (Dave) has posted the nitty-gritty of it previously, you might want to search for it. I personally have experienced the same thing. While taking any of the morphine type meds, especially Dilaudid, I felt like I was on speed. I couldn't get to sleep and if I could, I'd wake up within an hour or two. The docs put me on Lunesta and along with the Trazadone that I've taken for years, it seemed to help a little. About 2 months ago my PM switched me from Dilaudid to the Activ lolipop (I think that was the name of it). It was a fentanyl based medicine. That really kept me awake! It got so bad that I had to stop taking it and now I'm back on the Dilaudid. The average person would be in a coma if they took half the medicine I take just to help me sleep! :eek: Anyway, I hope you find some relief. Sleep is so important for recovery and healing. Take care.

Kay14 11-05-2005 12:23 PM

Re: Need help w/sleep med.....
Hi Kitten,

When I first heard this as a remedy for insomnia I laughed and didn't think much of it. I had read that if you can't sleep, get up and clean the refrigerator. If you're still not tired next do the oven...and so on until your entire house is spotless. WELL!!! LET ME TELL YOU.........!!! The first time I tried this it worked better than general anesthesia. I guess a lot of its effectiveness will depend on how much you dislike housework. I guess you can tell how much I enjoy doing it.

I really hear what you are saying about avoiding more pills. I can identify very closely with that for sure. So before anybody out there having trouble getting enough zzzzzzz's laughs at my remedy, give it a try. Good luck, Kitten. Let us know if you find something that helps you. I really hope you do. Amy :wave:

ladyalaska 11-05-2005 12:38 PM

Re: Need help w/sleep med.....
have you tried sonata? i had the same reaction to the ambien and hated it! sonata works good for me, but then again so does my muscle relaxer zanaflex. i don't know about you, but my pain meds make me energized, not sleepy so i share your misery! believe it or not when nothing else works for me i just take allergy medicine. i wake up stuffy soemtimes so this works two ways for me.....

conductor 11-05-2005 04:51 PM

Re: Need help w/sleep med.....
Dear Kittencaboodle,

I am a pain patient, and I use--what ends up being--a combination of two medications. First, I use ProSom (estazolam) 2mg, which is a mild benzodiazepine--related to Ativan (lorazepam), Xanax (alprazolam), and Valium (diazepam). ProSom also comes in 1mg tablets. ProSom is available in generic form, as well. ProSom easily splits down the middle, too.

Second, I use Elavil (amitriptyline) 50mg. Elavil is a very old medication that is, technically, a tricyclic antidepressant. This "kills two birds with one stone", as my doctor tells me. Elavil is effective in assisting with pain management, but also has sedative effects. So, the Elavil/ProSom combination has been very effective for me. However, I go through times when my body becomes tolerant of the medications. But, my body will then adjust, and my sleeping pattern will correct itself.

I have been on this "combo" since 1992! There was a time in 1995 or so when there was a problem with my pharmacy being able to purchase ProSom. I don't know why, exactly. So, I was placed on Halcion (triazolam) 0.25mg. At some time in the past, there was a law suit dealing with Halcion. The accusation--I THINK--was that someone taking Halcion killed their lover or spouse (or someone). They maintained that it was Halcion's fault!! So, if you are having domestic disputes, don't turn to Halcion for sleep relief!!! (I am just kidding, of course!) Please spare me the comments. I am just kidding.

Anyway...Kittencaboodle, I hope you find the right pharmacological means to get a good 8 hours of sleep!!

Truly, these sleep problems are not silly and are very important to our body's functioning! Please know that sleep is a valuable commodity!


bulletinboard25 11-05-2005 05:06 PM

Re: Need help w/sleep med.....
Great tip on the Elavil, too. I am taking Elavil for a CP condition. And I also take Remeron (an anti-depressant, too) for sleep. Although, I definitely found the Elavil much more sedating. I take 10mg of Elavil 2X in the morning, 2X in the afternoon, and 1X at dinner, so I equal 50mg just spaced out throughout the day.

Ambien is a good medicine. I have a month's worth of free samples of Lunesta, but haven't tried them yet.

Perhaps a natural supplement like melatonin?

kittencaboodle 11-05-2005 11:41 PM

Re: Need help w/sleep med.....
Hi Guys & Dolls.....

Thanks for all the replies. I'm gonna cover each one individually so that I make sure I don't skip anyone to make them think I didn't appreciate their help.

Springflowers: You definitely have me beat w/ the 5 days of no sleep. I think the longest for me was going on 3 days. I should have mentioned all meds that I had tried in the past also as Trazadone was the very first one I tried. My ears rang for a week and it seemed to stop up my nose. Weird effects, but it only helped me sleep occasionally. After a few weeks it stopped working. I'll have to look more into the meditation field like you suggested.

Feelbad: My "normal" meds for pain issues are Duragesic 100mcg/72hrs; MSir 30mg/8hrs prn; Neurontin 2400mg; Mobic 15mg; Baclofen 40mg; and when a severe flareup hits I have Actiq 800mcg which I usually only have to use once a week or so. I would have thought with all this crap I would have a problem staying awake. The Neurontin doesn't bother me like it does some people. I did notice some forgetfulness earlier, but not much least I don't remember :p

BulletinBoard25: I'll have to talk to the doc next time about the CR version. I thought Ambien was supposed to last for a good 8 hrs and when it only worked for a short time (less than 5hrs) I thought it was just me. Maybe that will help me more. I'm interested in knowing if the Lunesta you have will help you. I really did not get a bit sleepy with it.

KathyMac: I listed my meds above. I'll have to look for Dave's post on the med effects on sleep. I would have thought I'd be having a hard time staying awake instead of the opposite. I bet the meds are playing a huge part in the insomnia. I only use Actiq infrequently for a really bad where I can't move w/o screaming. This is the sole reason for why I am having a 3 level lumbar fusion in the next few months. I'm tired of taking all this crap. I feel like crap, my hair falls out, it is harder than anything to keep the weight off, NO SLEEP, etc. I just hope the surgery helps to where I can walk/function without meds.

Amy: I guess I'll have to let the housekeeper go so that I can clean the fridge. Noooooo, not gonna happen. It's one of the few luxuries I have (once a week). I do what I can to pick up little things, but this back and now leg pain is getting the better of me. I just hope by fusing it, the pain will diminish and my life will return.

LadyAlaska: I'm sorry you are having the same problem. I have not tried Sonata. The name sounds familiar from somewhere....probably read about it here. I'll check into it and see if it helps. Hubby bought me some Sominex (diphenhydramine) to try tonight. One can always hope.....he is such a KEEPER! At least he is trying.

Conductor: I really want to stay away from the benzo's if possible. I don't know why, but I just feel like it would be just another thing to get off of once I have surgery. This is probably not very rational thinking and I'm sure that I will be corrected, but I'm just scared of benzo's from reading all the horror stories of not getting off of them. I know the dr gave me Restoril a few years ago for sleep which is an old mild benzo (I think). It helped for awhile, but then I was changed to Ambien. Then things went downhill from there. I'll talk to the dr about the ProSom and see what he says about it. I tried Elavil at bedtime about 5 yrs ago. It was 25mg but it didn't make me very sleepy. I think I just expect too much out of these things. They also told me it would help with the nerve pain in the didn't.

Okay, I think I covered all bases. I really thank you all for your replies. Some I have tried in the past and some that I can ask the dr about. This board is really helpful. I just took some of the Sominex.....I'm laughing as I type this at my hubby's thinking an OTC will help. Maybe it will, I'm knocking on wood also.

Thanks again and take care,

Kay14 11-06-2005 07:55 AM

Re: Need help w/sleep med.....
Kitten, I guess I was trying to add a little humor to a very difficult problem, but I missed the boat. I also suffer with severe back and leg pain and have a good idea of what you go through. I also have a housekeeper and don't know how I would ever manage without her. I really hope you find the the right solution for you to get a good nights sleep. The body really does need good and peaceful rest, and without it everything can get worse. Be well, Amy

conductor 11-06-2005 08:09 PM

Re: Need help w/sleep med.....
Dear Kitten,

I'm the one who takes ProSom and Elavil. I don't think that Elavil [U]alone[/U] does a great deal for my nerve pain (I have it in my legs, as well). The combination of Elavil, Tegretol, and the pain medications help do the job. Since the ProSom 2mg allows my body to rest at night, I feel that it helps my pain levels become more tolerable. Plus, it gives me the ability to avoid chewing the head off of people who irritate me!!

Kittencaboodle, I think that finding a good sleep medication is crucial, and I hope you find it soon! Your concern about taking a benzodiazepine is certainly valid. I recall taking Restoril early in my "medication career", and it helped me at the time. From the things you say, I seriously doubt that you are the type of person to [B]get hooked[/B] on the benzo's. Of course, you can look at it from the way I take my benzo...I've been on it for over a decade, and I'm sure I'm dependent on it! If I run out over the weekend or get in a bind where I don't have the ProSom 2mg available--I find that my sleep is really lousy. I'm kidding when I say this: What a junkie I've become!!

Nonetheless, you seem like you are believing more and more that sleeping well is an important issue for your pain issues. It helps your pain relief. I'll keep checking the posts to see what your doctor ends up advising you to do! I am interested.


catnap 11-07-2005 05:11 AM

Re: Need help w/sleep med.....
I have had the same problem with sleeping as all of you are having. I started taking Restoril which has helped me more than Ambien. Ambien worked for the first week I took it and then it was as if I had not taken anything at all. I can only sleep 2 to 3 hours at a time. This has been going on for 11 years. After taking the Restoril for about 4 months now it is not working as well, but I can stay asleep about 5 hours, unless my dog wakes me up to go outside. (she is having bladder problems and needs surgery to remove a stone.) Restoril is actually an anti-depression med. I was given this as a sleeping aid in the hospital the night before surgery for many of hospital visits to have surgery.

feelbad 11-07-2005 06:11 AM

Re: Need help w/sleep med.....
Ya go with what works ya know?i never would have ever thought that the gabitril I started way back when would be what i would end up relying on to help me sleep,and after all this time to have it still working for me really does amaze me.i am just suprised that with the neurontin and gabitril being almost the same med,that I can have such totally opposite reactions to them.i felt absolutely no different when after taking any doses of the neurontin,but man,with this gabitril,it's like someone just slammed me over the head with a hammer and i am totally zonked,ya know?try the gabitril if you need to be on something different for awhile.It does help to switch out the meds that did work but you became tolerant to them?sometimes they will give you that same result if you take a little med holiday from them.Marcia

TexasWildRose04 11-07-2005 07:12 AM

Re: Need help w/sleep med.....
I take Lunesta to help me sleep, it does not actually make you groggy like tylenol pm or some of the other sleep aids, or atleast it doesnt me, and i have some major problems with insomnia, I just take it, about 30 min before bedtime, and I can feel myself getting just naturaly sleepy, so I settle in and within a few minutes I fall asleep, and pretty much sleep for a good 8 hours.... something you might mention to your doctor to try giving you is "Klonopin".... they put me on it at first because it helps to relax your nervous system or something like that, and helps to make the Lunesta or Ambien work better....and it really did work... so just a suggestion, I know what its like not being able to sleep..done it MANY MANY times... Good Luck!


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