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

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neurosoup   
neurosoup

Also one more question - should i take melatonin 2 hours before bed or at sun down which would be more like 3 hours before ? Also can you go on the computer or cell phone with glasses on before bed or does that ruin it?

 

So many details i don't know what to do???

 

Thanks!

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Altostrata   
Altostrata

All of us on this site who have withdrawal insomnia have sleep disturbance from chemical poisoning, aka neurological dysregulation from psychiatric drugs.

 

Calling it brain damage is a little too specific for withdrawal syndrome, implying organic tissue damage, but it may be similar to what you're suffering from.

 

Personally, I would not take 3mg melatonin right off. I'd start with .5mg to begin and titrate up to whatever dosage is effective for you. See Melatonin for sleep

 

Too much melatonin may make you sluggish or weepy in the morning.

 

Some of us have had good results with blue-blocking glasses or sunglasses, and reducing light stimulation. See Important topics about symptoms, including sleep problems

 

Your doctor seems unusually enlightened. Is he familiar with the problems of psychiatric drug withdrawal syndromes?

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neurosoup   
neurosoup

Thanks Alostrata

 

I was just wondering if its ok to wear the glasses while looking at the computer in the hours before bed ? Since i have these glasses now i think i can keep the lights on but just dimmed.

 

I don't think the sleep specialist i saw was unusually enlightened. He just coincidentally has another patient suffering from sleep problems after lithium poisoning (which is a form of chemical poisoning). I WAS SHOCKED BECAUSE IT IS SO RARE TO FIND SOMEONE WITH LITHIUM POISONING! Shocked in a good way because it validates everything i know about lithium which is that it is toxic and does cause sleep problems for the majority of people who are on it.

 

 

I got my glasses from a website called blublocker.com but today i was considering looking for blue blocking goggles wince light is coming in from the top and bottom and i was wondering if that makes a difference?

 

Anyways this website is really great, I much prefer it to ****** where i first remember reading your posts. It is so informative. Even thought i don't have antidepressant problems i WAS ON lithium and antipsychotics (and lamictal) I still find it a great resource.

 

Recently I have been doing something called TMS , for all those out there (and who might be aware of frontal lobe problems) I highly recommend it!

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Jemima   
Jemima

Also one more question - should i take melatonin 2 hours before bed or at sun down which would be more like 3 hours before ? Also can you go on the computer or cell phone with glasses on before bed or does that ruin it?

 

So many details i don't know what to do???

 

Thanks!

 

I found that taking Melatonin one to two hours before bedtime worked best, rather than taking it at sundown. Any earlier than two hours from bedtime and it seemed to wear off before I tried to go to sleep. You could try what your doctor said and if that doesn't work, you can always take it at sundown the next night.

 

The glasses work well for the computer, but personally I've found it best to avoid anything at all stimulating in the evenings, and that would include using the computer or cell phone.

 

My sympathies on the sleeping problems. Have you tried a sleep mask and/or keeping your bedroom as dark as possible? Both were a big help for me.

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dalsaan   
dalsaan

I have had some success with hynosis for sleep. I have a app on my phone that is like a guided meditation. I also have sleep phones that I can wear to bed to listen to the app. It took a little while but after a week or so of doing it I started to be able to drop off to sleep. I had been lying there for hours. Now I take 30 mins or so. This is better than it has been for a long time.

 

I don't 'try' to fall asleep. I just focus on relaxing as much as possible.

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Altostrata   
Altostrata

What an excellent tip, dalsaan.

 

What is the app?

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dalsaan   
dalsaan

The app I use is called 'I can' insomnia free for an I phoone. But there are heaps of relaxation or sleep apps (and CDs or DVDs). I tried quite a few and I think you have to find to one that's right for you. The persons voice is important. If it's annoying it won't be relaxing. Also I found some of them were asking me to breathe deeply but in a way that didn't work for me

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Rhiannon   
Rhiannon

Can anyone give me info about sources for buying Epsom salts and baking soda in large bulk quantities?

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Altostrata   
Altostrata
jfrank17   
jfrank17

I've recently been searching and trying some MP3s with guided relaxation for sleep. I agree this is quite a variable thing as far as voice and methods that individuals will find helpful.

 

With my increased neuro-sensitivity as I am trying to go to sleep, I find it more difficult to find a voice that is just right. I tried one that sounded fine during the day, and even fine when I first start playing it at night, but as I am relaxing and beginning to drift there's something about the voice that when she speaks again it startles me more awake again.

 

The nice thing on browsing Amazon MP3s is that it's easy to go through samples. I am going to try a new one tonight. The sample has some rainy sounding background and the woman does not seem to stress consonants at all in her speech.

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Altostrata   
Altostrata

Soft meditation music on a continuous loop without a narrator may be more to your liking.

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KellyS   
KellyS

I am on Day 7 of being 100% off my anti-d meds and my sleep is TERRIBLE. I lay there and toss and turn and eventually just get up. I found that chamomile tea with no sugar added to it helps relax me so I can go back to sleep eventually. Luckily my work schedule has me home 2x a week so I can sleep later if need be.

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Aria   
Aria

I had to laugh because when I was tapering I had to pee every 15 minutes''' I was running back and forth so much at night it did help keep my poor brain off thinking about w/d and not sleeping''' Coming off benzo's caused the worse with having to pee. I had no idea why this was happening till I read about it on this thread.

 

Thank you Alto for writing about your pee situation'' It made me laugh. :D

 

Sleep?? During and post taper I was not sleeping up to 48 hours in a row, then several nights I may had slept for 2 hours each and then I crashed and burned for 12 hours of hard sleep. I thought my sleep would never get better but it did. Here I am many years psyche drug free and I've learned to deal with a good night's sleep, little sleep or no sleep. It'll work itself out and I can lay down flat to rest (during w/d I couldn't). I can say most nights I have trouble going to sleep but when I do I sleep for 10-12 hours. I think my Circadian Sleep Rhythm has permanently changed to me now sleeping from about 3 AM to noon. With my prior 15 year psyche drug history I am happy to be drug free and sleep when I can.

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Nadia   
Nadia

That's really good to hear, Aria! Your post withdrawal sleep schedule sounds like my pre-withdrawal sleep schedule. I'd have trouble falling asleep, but then could sleep as long as I needed. Now it's the other way around and I'd gladly trade back to how it was.

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areyouthere   
areyouthere

Not sure if this belongs here but is sleeplessness a universal side effect from all SSRI tapering? And if so, or even if not so,

 

what exactly in the brain causes one to wake up? I understand that it has something to do with an upset in cortisol production and that blackening curtains somehow is a remedy for it but what part of the brain is it that 1) an SSRI does NOT cause one to wake up but REDUCING an SSRI does? 2) And how about the night sweats? What causes them?

 

Just wonnerin.

 

Well I have enogh to keep me interested for awhile: some answers here:

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SSRI_discontinuation_syndrome

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Altostrata   
Altostrata

areyouthere, there a few reasons why going off antidepressants has a bad effect on sleep:

 

- While you're taking them, SSRIs disrupt the natural sleep-wake cycle. They affect REM sleep in an unnatural way.

 

- Antidepressants do indeed cause insomnia in some people. It's a very common adverse effect.

 

- Withdrawal symptoms usually indicate a dysregulation in "alerting" functions and production of "alerting" hormones cortisol and adrenaline.

 

- Withdrawal-induced autonomic dysregulation can cause hypersensitivities of various kinds, including hypersensitivity to light stimulation. The sleep-wake cycle is controlled by our perception of light by the eyes and skin (yes, skin senses light, too).

 

If our brains are overstimulated by light, they might not "shut down" properly at night. Light information is transmitted to the pineal gland, which is supposed to make melatonin on a circadian schedule according to time of day and season (angle of light).

 

The part of the brain first affected by withdrawal is the locus coeruleus.

 

Also see One theory of antidepressant withdrawal syndrome

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Nadia   
Nadia

From the Locus Coeruleus wiki article:

 

"Psychiatric research has documented that enhanced noradrenergic postsynaptic responsiveness in the neuronal pathway (brain circuit) that originates in the locus coeruleus and end in the basolateral nucleus of the amygdala is a major factor in the pathophysiology of most stress-induced fear-circuitry disorders and especially in posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD)."

 

That is interesting.

 

Alto, do you have any sources for the locus coeruleus being the first part of the brain affected by withdrawal? I'd love to read more about it. You keep hearing about the role of the amygdala in anxiety/insomnia, but not so much the LC.

 

(Once again wishing a team of incredibly brilliant doctors would go to task on figuring out what has gone wrong in my brain.)

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areyouthere   
areyouthere

Look at antidepressant research, they target the locus coeruleus.

 

Yes. I see that alzheimer's and the locus coeruleus are intertwined . Sundowner's syndrome. Makes sense.

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ceej   
ceej

Hi Everyone,

 

I started tapering Celexa from 40 mg to 30 mg last week. I know that's larger than 10% decrease but I decided to give it a shot. So far the "only" problem to report is some trouble sleeping, and a minor cold.

 

Just to confirm: insomnia is a symptom of withdrawal, right?

 

Thanks

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Nikki   
Nikki

ceej....

 

Right ~ Insomnia is a biggy.

 

I am currently lowering Celexa and tapering onto Imipramine. I can only make 5mg. drops in dose because I am taking Imipramine. If I were doing this which I have tried just getting off Celexa alone ~ well I get slammed with WD. The part that bothers me is that the wires in my head become completely unplugged.

 

Anxiety ~ Depression (lots of crying) ~ Insomnia

 

10% is alot to drop, you may want to consider a smaller drop in dose and if things get hairy you can offset the WD by going back up in dose.

 

Hugs

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scpearse   
scpearse

:) I have struggled with sleep since I tapered off the paxil last year and now recently the celexa. It is mostly falling asleep, not staying asleep. Part of this is due to what I call busy brain. While I am off the celeza, I am still taking trazedone to help. Eventually I will get off this too. Baby steps.

 

Here are a few things I am doing to help in this whole process:

1. I have a strict bedtime routine including meditation, reading (while I know this can be a sleep deterrent, I have tried not reading and reading, and feel better reading something boring before bed), deep breathing. My room is always cool and I use an eye mask. A couple of hours before bed, I also drink some calming tea - like chamomile, sleepy-time teas, etc.

 

2. I have been doing neurofeedback to help. This can be costly by has amazing results. Check it out http://braindoc.info/?page_id=20

 

3. Therapy too.

 

My issue is NOT panicking when I don't fall asleep. It can be lonely and cause more anxiety then needed. Everyone has sleepless nights, I just don't want these occasional hick-ups to have such an impact on me.

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Altostrata   
Altostrata

Good suggestions, sc.

 

Also, melatonin may help you fall asleep, that's what it's good for, see the Melatonin topic.

 

It sounds like you're coping well with withdrawal, please start a topic for yourself in the Intro forum and tell us about it!

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Nadia   
Nadia

I'm curious to try neurofeedback... I wonder how effective it can be for the type of insomnia I have, which is that I can fall asleep fine, but then wake up during the night.

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areyouthere   
areyouthere

You can buy big bags of epsom salts at most any walgreens store.

 

Bulk baking soda can be purchased at a sam's club , Cosco or similar.

 

If you want that warm bath to fizz ( and assuming you have added baking soda) pour a couple of tablespoons of citric acid in your tub ( can get on Amazon, some health food stores, food coop etc) . Baking soda & citric acid react with one another to produce Co2 gas. Harmless. Look on the back of any fizzling bath product, you will see both ingredients in it.

 

To get REALLY fancy, add a few drops of soothing lavender essential oil. zzzzzzzzzzz

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Nadia   
Nadia

Speaking of iPhone/iPad apps, I like the free Sleep Soundly audio session. The hard part is how to turn it off when you go to sleep!

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Skyler   
Skyler

The nice thing on browsing Amazon MP3s is that it's easy to go through samples. I am going to try a new one tonight. The sample has some rainy sounding background and the woman does not seem to stress consonants at all in her speech.

I like nature sounds, no speech. As soon as there is a human voice I start to attach meaning but with nature sounds it's only peace. LOL, when I want voice I listen to BBC World on my local Public Radio... BBC repeats the same news cycle every 15 mins or so at night, so I don't get roped into understanding every nuance.

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dalsaan   
dalsaan

There is an amazing app for iPhones called nature space. You have to listen to the tracks via headphones to get the full effect and they cost a bit to download but they are really nice to listen to and the sound travels from one side to the other in stereo

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Saspian   
Saspian

I had to laugh because when I was tapering I had to pee every 15 minutes''' I was running back and forth so much at night it did help keep my poor brain off thinking about w/d and not sleeping''' Coming off benzo's caused the worse with having to pee. I had no idea why this was happening till I read about it on this thread.

 

Thank you Alto for writing about your pee situation'' It made me laugh. :D

 

Sleep?? During and post taper I was not sleeping up to 48 hours in a row, then several nights I may had slept for 2 hours each and then I crashed and burned for 12 hours of hard sleep. I thought my sleep would never get better but it did. Here I am many years psyche drug free and I've learned to deal with a good night's sleep, little sleep or no sleep. It'll work itself out and I can lay down flat to rest (during w/d I couldn't). I can say most nights I have trouble going to sleep but when I do I sleep for 10-12 hours. I think my Circadian Sleep Rhythm has permanently changed to me now sleeping from about 3 AM to noon. With my prior 15 year psyche drug history I am happy to be drug free and sleep when I can.

 

As a 70 year old Australian male who was on benzos and a huge range of anti depressants for over thirty years I am now into day 12 of nil.

This follows three years of very minimal anti depressants (Moclobomide not available in U.S.A.)which seemed to help for a few months but elevated my liver enzymes considerably.I had been on Serzone which was taken from the Australian market on account of reported acute liver failure, so I didn't want to take any further risks.

 

Over these 30 plus years I spent 5 weeks in de-tox with benzodiazepines always the major offender.The last 3 years I reduced Valium to an average of 3.5 mgs daily with a few periods of up to several weeks taking nil, so I see cold turkey now as not too abrupt.

 

As for current sleep issues. Always wake often during the night, peeing....but a dicky prostate probably to blame for that. Recently has some hypnic jerk prior to falling off which is a bit annoying at first. The methodology I apply is just to accept being awake stoically and arrange my activities around it. I have found afternoon naps largely counter productive.

 

Congratulations on a helpful forum; the need is out there what with lazy doctors and a grasping uncaring pharmaceutical industry.

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Aria   
Aria

My Sleep Update:

 

My sleep is still intermittent and it's due to the long term use of psychotropics. It awful to want to sleep and can't. I am so hungover, tired and cranky the next day. Then the next night sleep may evade me again. I have the worst trouble getting to sleep and then I wake up in a startled mode several times a night. Sleep gets heavier around 6-7 AM and I have deep REM. I had read it would take 2 years to heal coming off benzo (what I took for sleep) and this was the last drug I tapered off. Any info saying the time frame for our bodies to adjust to being drug free and natural sleep patterns? :huh:

 

If any of you have something that has worked for you please let me know. Supplements?? Certain sleep strategy? Thanks.

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Altostrata   
Altostrata
ellenr   
ellenr

Yoga and sleep improvement.Yoga and sleep improvement.

 

Yeah, when I was doing daily kundalini yoga, after a couple of months, I started sleeping 5-6 hours a nite. May not sound like much, but it was better than I had slept in years. (had been sleeping 3-4 hours a nite.)

 

then I stopped doing yoga. now, due to stress in my life - I literally can not sleep at all except by dosing off in front of the tv. I know sleeping front of tv is bad, but when I get into bed I become wide-awake.

 

I decided today to ask my md for some sleeping pills. In over 10 years of this problem I never thot of resorting to pills, but it has become impossible to function.

 

Here is a kriya which is "for conquering sleep". I can't make myself try it, and merely looking at the sheet at bed-time does not work! :-)

If anyone tries it and finds it effective please let me know.

 

http://www.pinklotus.org/-%20KY%20Kriya%20for%20conquering%20sleep.htm

 

 

ellen

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compsports   
compsports

 

Yoga and sleep improvement.Yoga and sleep improvement.

 

Yeah, when I was doing daily kundalini yoga, after a couple of months, I started sleeping 5-6 hours a nite. May not sound like much, but it was better than I had slept in years. (had been sleeping 3-4 hours a nite.)

 

then I stopped doing yoga. now, due to stress in my life - I literally can not sleep at all except by dosing off in front of the tv. I know sleeping front of tv is bad, but when I get into bed I become wide-awake.

 

I decided today to ask my md for some sleeping pills. In over 10 years of this problem I never thot of resorting to pills, but it has become impossible to function.

 

Here is a kriya which is "for conquering sleep". I can't make myself try it, and merely looking at the sheet at bed-time does not work! :-)

If anyone tries it and finds it effective please let me know.

 

http://www.pinklotus.org/-%20KY%20Kriya%20for%20conquering%20sleep.htm

 

 

ellen

 

Hi Ellen R,

 

I have come very close many times to asking for sleeping pills so I definitely understand your situation.

 

Interestingly, taking a long walk outside in bright sunny weather yesterday helped me sleep enough hours even though once again, I fell asleep too early and didn't use my apap machine 100% like I really need to. But everytime I woke up, I was able to get back to sleep.

 

Might something like this work for you? I realize due to logistics, it can be hard to do this everyday. But I am going to try somehow to do something.

 

CS

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