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

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serotonin   
serotonin

I know i am being lazy may i ask how long u have been on ad? And what kind u have taken and why u stopped? Coul it be those anti no longer helped u sleep?

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compsports   
compsports

I know i am being lazy may i ask how long u have been on ad? And what kind u have taken and why u stopped? Coul it be those anti no longer helped u sleep?

 

No problem Sero.

 

I was put on meds for ADHD and Depression. For many years, I took a stimulant, an antidepressant that varied, and Remeron for sleep. Five months before tapering, Doxepin was added because I couldn't sleep.

 

I was on meds for almost 15 years, including the time it took to taper off of everything.

 

I stopped because I developed a hearing loss that I feel Remeron caused. I also feel the med greatly worsened some other issues I had independent of the psych meds such as a poor visual memory. Additionally, I had a tremor that I understand was a sign of potential neurological damage if I had continued on the meds.

 

No, I developed rebound insomnia which is a very common withdrawal issue when taking meds for sleep.

 

CS

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Altostrata   
Altostrata

Found these notes from several years ago about what's helped me to sleep:

 

- In early discontinuation, occasional Benadryl use sometimes helped me sleep. Could use Benadryl only once or twice a week due to paradoxical reaction when I used it more than one night in a row (kept me awake)

- Trazodone was a disaster due to cyp2d6 conflict

- Lorazepam was a disaster due to hypersensitivity

- Valerian was too strong, like lorazepam, it's a GABA-ergic

- Melatonin .5mg (half a 1mg tablet) helped get me to sleep for a couple of hours about 50% of the time. Adding about 100mg magnesium citrate sometimes worked.

- Half a Tylenol PM would work to get me to sleep about 4 hours, but could not use it often due to Benadryl-like antihistamine ingredient.

- Extended-release melatonin .5mg (a quarter of a 2mg tablet) helped me sleep for about 4 hours a night 65% of the time.

- 2.5mg DHEA (steroid-like GABA-A modulator) at night; improved sleep quality, duration (DHEA is not good for men)

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serotonin   
serotonin

 

I know i am being lazy may i ask how long u have been on ad? And what kind u have taken and why u stopped? Coul it be those anti no longer helped u sleep?

 

Oh wow thats terrible! And the tremor! And sleep issue thats just horrible! And my docot tell me i can take anti depressent for life what a joke!

No problem Sero.

 

I was put on meds for ADHD and Depression. For many years, I took a stimulant, an antidepressant that varied, and Remeron for sleep. Five months before tapering, Doxepin was added because I couldn't sleep.

 

I was on meds for almost 15 years, including the time it took to taper off of everything.

 

I stopped because I developed a hearing loss that I feel Remeron caused. I also feel the med greatly worsened some other issues I had independent of the psych meds such as a poor visual memory. Additionally, I had a tremor that I understand was a sign of potential neurological damage if I had continued on the meds.

 

No, I developed rebound insomnia which is a very common withdrawal issue when taking meds for sleep.

 

CS

 

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serotonin   
serotonin

Hello compspot it is terrible what is happening tp u! Sleep is so umportanr and i think the anti depressents messed our sleep up! I hope u get better! U made a very wise decision to quite the anti depressents! Now u can at least no those terrible meds will not damage u anymore!

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Altostrata   
Altostrata

Found these notes from several years ago about what's helped me to sleep:

- In early discontinuation, occasional Benadryl use sometimes helped me sleep. Could use Benadryl only once or twice a week due to paradoxical reaction when I used it more than one night in a row (kept me awake)

- Trazodone was a disaster due to cyp2d6 conflict

- Lorazepam was a disaster due to hypersensitivity

- Valerian was too strong, like lorazepam, it's a GABA-ergic

- Melatonin .5mg (half a 1mg tablet) helped get me to sleep for a couple of hours about 50% of the time. Adding about 100mg magnesium citrate sometimes worked.

- Half a Tylenol PM would work to get me to sleep about 4 hours, but could not use it often due to Benadryl-like antihistamine ingredient.

- Extended-release melatonin .5mg (a quarter of a 2mg tablet) helped me sleep for about 4 hours a night 65% of the time.

- 2.5mg DHEA (steroid-like GABA-A modulator) at night; improved sleep quality, duration (DHEA is not good for men)

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Phil   
Phil

I bought a silk eye mask for sleep recently, tried it the other night, and it helped a little, although I still kept waking constantly.

 

Is it important to make sure we get sleep, during w/d? Or better to let it resolve by itself?

On the nights I can't sleep, I wonder if I should try some of these things like melatonin or whatever.

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Altostrata   
Altostrata

Sleep helps your nervous system to heal. Any gentle things you can do to help sleep will aid in recovery.

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Nadia   
Nadia

Someone told me sleep also helps regulate your cortisol levels... catch 22! Heheheh.

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Phil   
Phil

Alto, is Benadryl the same as Diphenhydramine? I think that's what it is in the UK, it's in a OTC pill called Nytol. I'm thinking of buying some as I have not had any real sleep for the last 3 nights in a row.

I did switch when I take my Lexapro from evening to morning, so that probably hasn't helped. I'll try switching back tonight, although I'm doubtful it will help my sleep much.

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Altostrata   
Altostrata

If I were you, I'd try the Lexapro in the morning for a few days. It's activating, at night it may be adding to your sleep problems.

 

Yes, Benadryl is diphenhydramine. Sometimes it's in a tablet with acetaminophen, such as Tylenol PM here in the US (containing 500 mg of the pain reliever, acetaminophen, and 25 mg of diphenhydramine).

 

I used to cut up the Tylenol PM tablet, a half or a quarter was enough for me, which minimized the diphenhydramine dosage. Acetaminophen is also a cortisol-fighter, so it may help, too.

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Nadia   
Nadia

WOW!! I slept well for 5 full hours last night after taking a bath with Epsom salts! And then was able to sleep in little spurts until dawn! I didn't even use five cups, just 130 grams, because I have not found magnesium sulfate in bulk yet. Thanks so much for this suggestion!

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Nadia   
Nadia

I have another theory as to why the Epsom salt bath might help... even just getting into a bath of REALLY hot water will make you release histamines. A home remedy for itchy poison ivy is to get into a bath of the hottest water you can stand. This gives you temporary relief, because you release histamines and basically deplete your store for a while, so the itching goes down. So taking a really hot bath could sort of be like the equivalent of taking an anti-histamine (histamines are necessary for attention in the brain, which is why you get sleep when you take an antihistamine). Just a thought.

 

Alto, this Epsom salts bath might merit a thread of its own?

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Altostrata   
Altostrata

Sure, start a thread about it in this forum.

 

I feel like a hot mineral bath right now myself.

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ajay   
ajay

Hi All,

 

I didn't really want to start yet another sleep topic, so I'm adding on to this one.

I'd like to survey the folks here about sleep. How long have you struggled with insomnia? Any success stories out there?

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Nadia   
Nadia

Very curious about this as well, as lack of sleep is my main complaint. I think I could deal with the other stuff much better if I was just a bit more rested...

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Altostrata   
Altostrata

Good questions. Of course, my sleep problems are legendary, starting from early withdrawal. But then I was getting at least 5 hours per night. 3 years ago, stress caused much worse sleep problems, I was down to zero hours for a few weeks.

 

I'm doing much better now, and I think it's possible I'm on the last leg of recovery.

 

The sleep problems are my major withdrawal symptoms at this point.

 

(Informational topics about sleep:

 

http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/604-important-topics-about-symptoms-including-sleep-problems/ )

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Nadia   
Nadia

I wonder how many of us have sleep problems and how similar those problems are... it seems like it's mostly us middle-aged women who complain about it? I'm supposedly not menopausal, but I wonder if even slight hormonal changes are contributing to the problem.

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Nadia   
Nadia

I developed that frequent nighttime peeing when my sleep totally deteriorated.

 

Theory is that an unnaturally high level of cortisol, the daytime hormone, at night interferes with your body's production of vasopressin. Vasopressin is a nighttime hormone that tells the body to concentrate urine so you can sleep.

Aaaah... that makes sense. The peeing and feeling really hot seem to be what wakes me up... or at least they are correlated. It seems like every one of my symptoms comes down to high cortisol!

 

It's funny... I used to have a hard time falling asleep, but once asleep, had no problem staying asleep for even 10 or 11 hours. And if I woke up in the morning, I could fall right back to sleep (it was only the initial falling asleep at night that was sometimes hard). Now it's the opposite. I can almost always fall asleep at night if I take melatonin and a magnesium sulfate bath, but wake up about an hour later. On really good nights, I can sleep a block of 4 1/2 hours (which is three sleep cycles... so that I think lets me know I am having regular sleep cycles on those good nights, which doesn't seem to be the case on the waking up constantly nights).

 

I found this article which is kind of comforting to read in a way: The Wretched Life of the Insomniac.

Edited by Petu
fixed link

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summer   
summer

Finally got around to putting up a blackout shade. Instead of waking at the crack of dawn, I actually slept until 7:30. I was very surprised and excited. It's the little things... ya know!

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Altostrata   
Altostrata

Also, Nadia, it may enable you to get a bit more sleep in the early morning.

 

What I've found is the insomnia pattern includes gaps of hours between sleep periods.

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Nadia   
Nadia

Hmm... I can't seem to sleep past 5 or 6 am... so maybe it IS a factor. I don't get out of bed until about 7:30 or 8 even though I'm not sleeping, just because I feel so tired (and I'm a wuss). Maybe I should get up for a while and then try again. If I try to sleep after going for a walk or after breakfast I get the "dread" feeling.

 

Right now I'm back to being able to sleep for about a 4 1/2 hour stretch (well, ok, the past two nights, but it feels like a huge accomplishment).

 

I'm going to black out the windows... last night I was really aware of how much ambient city light gets in. I can find things with the lights out in the room easily! Sometimes I wake up thinking its dawn, but it's only 1am.

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Altostrata   
Altostrata

I wouldn't do anything more strenuous than watching TV or listening to soothing music during those gaps in sleep. Walking would wake you up.

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MrsGreen   
MrsGreen

Hello dear Readers,

 

Withdrawal Insomnia - it IS nasty.

How long, I keep asking myself, does it typically last for the body to get back to a relatively normal sleep pattern.

Obviously each withdrawal and each person is different, but are there any average figures out there?

 

Thank you ever so much,

Mrs Green

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Altostrata   
Altostrata

Not much is known in general about withdrawal syndrome, and less about the course of withdrawal insomnia.

 

My advice is to taper at a rate at which sleep disturbance is minor. If you are sleeping 5-6 hours a night, that's pretty good for withdrawal insomnia. It can be much, much, much worse.

 

See Important topics about symptoms, including sleep problems

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MrsGreen   
MrsGreen

Alto, thanks once again.

I was curious, as the insomnia is getting a bit worse.

Three nights in a row with 4,5hrs... am hoping it is just a hiccup!

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Barbarannamated   
Barbarannamated

I've been waking at 1am for about a week now - usually up for an hour and fall back to sleep until 5-6am but not tonight ~ I had been sleeping a bit better for several months and can't pinpoint any causes ~

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Mar2a   
Mar2a

I've had to deal with insomnia twice in my life, but not due to withdrawal. Still, some of these techniques might be useful. If nothing else, I can read my own post later if I start getting it again :D

 

Eye shades help. Even if it's still dark, there might be moonshine, the glare from your alarm clock, or the headlight of a passing car waking you up or keeping you from sleeping soundly.

 

Earplugs. I don't like using them because there are sounds I might *want* to hear, but when insomnia gets bad, they help.

 

Listening to a meditation recording.

 

Benadryl (Diphenhydramine) can sometimes make you drowsy enough to get to sleep. Sometimes it makes me groggy the next morning, though. Try to take it earlier than later.

 

Melatonin, though I've heard that can make depression worse.

 

The herb Valerian, the homeopathic Calms Forte tablets, Nature's Way Ex-Stress (contains Valerian, hops, and other herbs - I use it for anxiety, too), and Bach Rescue Remedy.

 

Over-the-counter pain reliever (Tylenol/Paracetamol, Ibuprofen, and so on) might help.

 

And finally, if you notice you fall asleep but wake up exactly 2 hours later and can't get back to sleep and you're female, ask your doctor about peri-menopause. That was my first symptom and it took a couple of years for the doctors to admit that might be it because I was too young (42) and the problems some experience during peri-menopause wasn't even well-known. In my case, within a week or less of starting estrogen, I was sleeping 8 hours again. I have no idea how antidepressants affect the hormonal system or vice versa, but I thought I'd mention it. You could be going through a temporary peri-menopause just because of the stress of withdrawal, I suppose.

 

Good luck!

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Nikki   
Nikki

Hi...thank you Altostrata for helping me register. I had no idea about the voiding frequency @ night. Since I started a taper in August from Imipramine and onto Celexa this was happening.

 

Additionally I have been experiencing insomnia once I finished the taper from Imipramine (6)weeks ago worked up to the 40mg. dose of Celexa.

 

For the last (2) weeks I felt myself spiraling downward from sleep deprivation. What a toll this takes.

 

Thank goodness I am feeling better, sleeping better, voiding less. However, I am still not right.

 

Was so desparate to get join a support group.

 

Thank you all

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Altostrata   
Altostrata

Thanks for those excellent suggestions, Mar2a.

 

Melatonin works well if you don't take too much. An effective dose can be .5mg. If that doesn't work, increase by .5mg at a time until it does. If it makes you feel down in the morning, reduce your dose slightly until it doesn't.

 

I hope these tips help, Nikki.

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Nikki   
Nikki

I guess there reall are 'no coincidences'. Went to see Psych Nurse Practitioner yesterday not long after reading this post.

 

I asked her about the Cortisol being a day time hormone. Her suggestion for me right now and temporarily is to take Hydrozine at bedtime which will induce sleep (it's the chemical in antihistamines) and whenI wake to void @ 3 -4 am to take a tiny amount of Propanolol to offset AM anxiety and the 'Cortisol Dump.

 

And to practice coaching myself into 'emiting a new frequency' 'changing channels'. I have the Lucinda Basett program and need to have my CD Player in my car fixed to begin listening to them again while driving.

 

I told her I bought Calms Forte and she said I could use that instead of meds. However the meds are onky temporary for a few days.

 

Definitely need new Levelors - the outside lights are disturbing me...

 

Thanks

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bubbles   
bubbles

I'm not having w/d sleep problems (feel compelled to say "yet" as it is early days, otherwise I might jinx myself... LOL at self), but I remembered something the other day that I thought I'd mention. Apparently there was a trial in a nursing home some time back, where they compared lavender (oil, I think) to sleeping pills, and the lavender oil won! We've tried it - a bit of oil on a tissue or cotton ball on the bedside table. Hard to tell if it helped (I slept well, but then I'm sleeping okay), but it was pleasant.

 

Bye

Bubbles

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Nikki   
Nikki

Hi Ms. Green

 

I began a taper from Imipramine (tricyclic) in August 2010. While I tapered I slowly added Celexa.

 

I took Imipramne @ night and it did aid sleep. When I got off of it completely about (7) weeks back, the insomnia began. Elavil must be hard because I know it induces sleep. I would think your insomnia is from the Elavil taper.

I feel for you.

 

There are some other threads re: insomnia, they were full of helpful info.

 

My insomia is getting better, however I do require more sleep.

 

Have you tried Rescue Remedy or Calms Forte....antihhistamies

 

The reduction from tricyclics was easier for me than the ssri's.

 

Celeste

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Altostrata   
Altostrata

Just wanted to note: Rather than blackout curtains, taping aluminum foil over your windows is an inexpensive way to block light. It has its drawbacks -- but it is cheap!

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moses   
moses

I have been taking 600 mg of Magnesium glycinate. Do you think this is too much? I usually wake up in the middle of the night and try to get back to sleep.

Thanks,

Rosie

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neurosoup   
neurosoup

Hi Everyone,

 

 

I was just wondering and maybe Alostrata knows something about this since your doctor is a sleep specialist, I went to a sleep specialist yesterday. He told me to take 3 mg of melatonin at 9:30 pm (i live in colorado) and wear blue blocking glasses at this time also and go to sleep at 11:30 to wake up by 8:30. The problem is that I have major sleep disturbance which is caused by brain damage (lithium chemical poisoning and I have been on over 12 different drugs antidepressants.antipsychotics and lamictal)

 

So I was just wondering when someone has sleep disturbance from chemical poisoning which is a biological problem no caused by stress or anxiety etc. what can one do? Any advice or help greatly appreciated! Also i was wondering if taking melatonin for too long interferes with your own production of it and balance of it?

 

Thanks!

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