Insomnia

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous' started by Shytownmofo, Nov 3, 2009.

  1. Shytownmofo

    Shytownmofo Lab Technician

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    How do you deal with it?

    I'v always tons of problems with it since I was little, and I've apperently tried ever single known OTC remedy known to man, as well as many of the prescription controlled substances.

    I've tried Benadril (The anti-histamine Dyphenhydramine is a common otc sleep aid because it makes people drowsy.

    NyQuil-Similar antihistmine, but 10% alcohol,

    Melatonin

    5-HTP (a natural precursor to Tryptophan, the chemical in Turkey that causes the post Thanksgiving Food Coma.

    Valerian-Herbal

    St. Johns Wort-Another herbal, but has some funny interacctions

    And a whole slew of prescription only/controlled substances like

    Xanax

    Ambien

    Tramadol,

    Toprol

    And even A Tea that I made of 2 tablespoons Honey, 1 tablespoon Cider Vinegar, and a cup of water.

    None of this seems to be working well right now.

    So, I'm curious. Thoughts on insomnia? I've tried it all, but...I don't know.

    I honestly think i's the time change messing with me.

    Plus, I had a reflux attack last night, and that's not fun at all. It's probably worse the morning after, when you realize you didnt' get your rest.

    Any Others' Thoughts?
     
  2. talkingtocactus

    talkingtocactus Coroner

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    i get really really bad insomnia, and have done since i was a kid. i've tried all kinds of things, herbal, prescription etc. i'm taking temazepam at the moment but it's not working as well as in the past. i had zolpidem recently which made me hallucinate (which would've been fun if i wanted to hallucinate!). benzos generally work quite well for me (valium, temaze, lorezapam, clonopin etc).

    antipsychotic drugs (quetiapine, olanzapine, chlorpromazine, haldol, risperdal etc) always worked well for me to help me sleep - i took them for 10 years for bipolar (alongside mood stabilisers etc) and they definitely worked, they're not also known as major tranquilisers for nothing - however i *hate* them, they make you feel like total crap and the sleep you do get isn't proper sleep, it's more like being smashed over the head with a hammer than actually going to sleep. the other problem was that they gave me hypersomnia where i could hardly stay awake for months at a time, i'd sleep 15-18 hours a day and still be exhausted.

    bipolar really affects my sleep dramatically - if i'm down i can hardly keep my eyes open but if i'm up sleep just vanishes. i've been hypomanic recently and that gets me around 2 hours a night if i'm lucky, usually less. if i'm full blown manic it's virutally non existent. i once did 7 months on 30 mins sleep a night (immediately after months in hospital being drugged up because i couldn't sleep, somehow when i left hospital they didn't think to give me more drugs - duh...) which was pretty much like hell on earth - and of course lack of sleep is a massive trigger for the bipolar getting worse. coming off antipsychotics i knew sleep would be a problem again, but i hate them so much i'd rather deal with it in other ways and keep an eye on the bipolar symptoms. i've been rapid cycling since coming off them (i think i've had about 3 hypomanias and 2 depressions, but very short ones) and it's a bit frustrating but i am being very clear with the docs that i really, really, don't want to get back on them!

    otc things really aren't strong enough for me, tbh, the one thing that never fails me is alcohol, not that i'm advocating it really but it's pretty foolproof if you drink enough. oddly enough weed is the only other thing that really makes me sleep, and does so in a nice way - it makes me drop off to sleep slowly and doesn't give me a hangover. i've had at least two psychiatrists actively suggest i get stoned rather than take sleeping pills. however the downside of weed is that it can induce psychosis, so i'm stuck really: smoking it could lead to psychosis, lack of sleep often leads to psychosis. but there are other ways to deal with lack of sleep.

    one thing i've found quite useful is a sunset lamp, which sends you to sleep slowly and wakes you up slowly, it's a nice relaxing way to drop off and i have found it actually works (most of the time!).

    i have a severely delayed sleep phase, and i always have. if i go to bed at, say, 4am, the chances are i'll drop off fairly easily (assuming i'm not manic!), but if i go to bed at midnight, i'll lie awake for hours. also i find it incredibly hard to get up before about 11am, i almost literally can't function. when i was a kid i'd go to bed at normal kid time and lie awake til the early hours and then be hyperactive in school (i was later diagnosed with ADHD but at 23 it seemed a little pointless). my parents have confirmed that even when i was very little i never, ever slept normal hours and would sleep a lot less than most kids. there's been talk of sending me to a sleep clinic for years. i talked to my therapist (who i see for bipolar) about this and she thinks it's probably related to my heart surgery as a baby - i lived in hospital for the first 2 years virtually non stop, and in hospitals there's no night/day, there's no routine, the only sleep you get is quite often severely medicated and so on - she reckons this led to my sleep routine being "fixed" at totally screwed. i don't know whether that's true but it makes sense to me. nothing else explains it!
     
  3. Shytownmofo

    Shytownmofo Lab Technician

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    ^
    I'm the same way. I've always been a night person. (I don't like to use the fancy terms like "delayed sleep phase," or whatever) It does run in my family. My mother, my siblings, we all are extremely nocturnal. Our circadian rhythms do not respond well to being daywalkers, and I've always been that way, even when I was a child.

    Just like you, I am perfectly content going to bed at 4 in the morning, and getting up at noon. Nothing has changed that. I'm still a zombie in the morning before coffee.

    I've actually tried everything but psychotropic meds. I totally understand the trepidation about them. Especially some of the anti-depressants. The only Benzo that I've used is Xanax, and that's worked well for me. Ambien works well for me most of the time, I just can't eat anything on top of it, because it will make me sick.

    I've never been diagnosed with any mental illness a la BiPolar or PTSD. I am a bit anxious and high strung, and show some signs of Asperger's, which is why I have my script for Xanax. I do have somewhat mild hypertension, which has been nicely controlled by meds, but....alas.

    I try not to do the alcohol thing, either, because oftentimes that sets off my reflux. And trust me, if I've had an acid attack, I'm worn out the entire day afterwards. It's worse than no sleep at all. I've never really smoked weed, Not that I'm particularly against it or anything, just not my thing.

    I'll have to check into the sunset lamp. That sounds interesting, and hopefully a cheaper alternative than any meds.

    Good luck with your sleeping difficulties. It's amazing how such a simple little thing can mean so much.
     
  4. talkingtocactus

    talkingtocactus Coroner

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    ^ oh i didn't want to try psychotropics! they were foisted on me! you don't get much choice in a locked psych unit. but it's probably best not to take them unless you actually need them, i liked to think i don't anymore but who knows, maybe the rapid cycling i've had since coming off them is a sign i should be!

    i don't mind my circadian rhythm being a bit off generally, but it does get in the way sometimes. luckily my uni is a night course which fits in quite well with it.

    hehe, i gave up not trying the alcohol thing years ago! i'm not an alcoholic or anything (although i went through a stage before getting on the bipolar drugs where i pretty much was), but i do drink most nights, it relaxes me. i just don't drink so much.

    i have this lamp (well an older version of it) - it's pretty good.... http://www.consumer.philips.com/c/audio-system/hf3463_01/prd/gb/
     

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