View Full Version : Can't get to sleep...benzos?


emperorpenguin
05-26-17, 06:24 PM
This got long, so tl;dr: the actual question is on top, the rest is background in case someone is especially curious. I'm trying to educate myself as best as I can before I go to my doctor, and as part of that I always like to look for anecdotes and experience. Thanks!

Is there something I can take that will just help me quiet my thoughts so I can try to sleep? Something that is reasonably safe, short-acting, won't destroy the quality of my sleep? I don't want/need something that will knock me out all night. I don't generally have trouble staying asleep, just getting there. I've done a little research on benzos/hypnotics and am aware of some of the risks. I'm not so much concerned about the specters of dependence or withdrawal, if there is something that will help me as long as I need it. I just don't want something that's going to stop working and leave me both dependent and worse off. I have tried melatonin to marginal effect, sleep hygiene is no longer cutting it (more on that below). I'm only reluctantly looking at meds.

I take Dexedrine/d-amph IR: 20mg at 5 or 6 AM, another 10-20mg around 1 PM (usually). It's been enormously helpful, even life-changing...the only thing is, starting at 10-11PM and often until very late, it's like I can't turn my brain off. I don't think it's clinically what you'd call "mania" but the description sort of fits. I'm in a good mood, but my mind's just racing all over the place and I can't relax. I'm paradoxically exhausted and high-energy, "tired-wired". It takes me half an hour to get ready for bed because I keep getting distracted and forgetting what I got up to do in the first place.

Based on my dosage schedule and absence of known co-morbidities like metabolic issues, the Dex should have long worn-off by this time. My symptoms seem to agree. So unfortunately, I don't think it's as simple as adjusting the Dex dose or timing...

If I skip my second dose, the sleeplessness and bedtime "mania" are seemingly reduced (not necessarily avoided)...but then I'm untreated for half my workday and (worse yet) I can be very irritable in the early evening. So that's not great either. My current working theory is that it's a rebound of ADHD symptoms; basically, the Dex wears off and I'm (somewhat) worse than I would have been sans-meds. The books I'm reading have described this phenomenon and it seems to make sense. I welcome other suggestions, though!

I'm not new to insomnia. I'm up on sleep hygiene it's worked pretty well before. Thing is, I'm the proud co-owner of 10-month-old twins and their bedtimes (despite our best efforts) are all over the place. So I do the best I can, but the reality is I don't have a lot of control when they're going through a tough phase. I realize that sleep deprivation comes with the territory when it comes to parenthood...but even when they're having a good night and I could sleep, I often can't. I really want to at least try to fix what I can.

Thanks very much for reading this far, and for any suggestions/personal experience you can share.

ItsaRose
05-31-17, 07:25 PM
Hi emperorpenguin,

I have found a few things that help in getting me sleepy, otherwise I can stay up until 3, 4 or 5am before I get sleepy and then of course it's almost time to start the new day. A cup of hot chamomile tea helps and even better if I add a teaspoon of 'Calm' powder, which is just powdered magnesium. If you really wanted or needed extra help, you could add a warm bath with Epsom salts to the aforementioned. Finally, the failsafe for me is Trazodone, which is an antidepressant, but it does not seem to provide any other benefit or side-effect other than making me sleepy within 30 minutes of taking There is no sluggish hangover with it either and I usually only take 50-100mg, which is a very small dose.

emperorpenguin
06-02-17, 04:23 PM
Hi emperorpenguin,

I have found a few things that help in getting me sleepy, otherwise I can stay up until 3, 4 or 5am before I get sleepy and then of course it's almost time to start the new day. A cup of hot chamomile tea helps and even better if I add a teaspoon of 'Calm' powder, which is just powdered magnesium. If you really wanted or needed extra help, you could add a warm bath with Epsom salts to the aforementioned. Finally, the failsafe for me is Trazodone, which is an antidepressant, but it does not seem to provide any other benefit or side-effect other than making me sleepy within 30 minutes of taking There is no sluggish hangover with it either and I usually only take 50-100mg, which is a very small dose.

Thanks for the advice! Very helpful. I do drink chamomile tea and take melatonin regularly; it definitely helps most of the time, but on the days when I get "manic" (for lack of a better term), they just don't cut it. Even Nyquil doesn't work, and on most days that would knock me out cold. I take magnesium every night for general health and to help stave off amphetamine tolerance, not sure it affects my sleep either way. I'll try the epsom-salt bath, thanks.

I'm also getting more exercise in and that's helped quite a bit. I'm hoping I can manage this and avoid adding a medication--but also assessing my options. From what I've learned of benzos and hypnotics thus far, I'm not sure it's something I want to mess with unless the problem becomes worse and I get totally desperate. They sorta scare me...but I'm still thinking/hoping that an occasional Xanax (or similar) could be of help.

aeon
06-02-17, 06:29 PM
med option #1 to avoid benzos: trazodone

med option #2 to avoid benzos: mirtazapine

---

Benzos for sleep are truly a last resort. My sister weaned herself off of temazepam (Restoril) without assistance, and her doctor was so shocked
she has been anonymously profiled in a couple of medical journals...because almost no one stops, and never on their own, such are the case histories.


Cheers,
Ian

ItsaRose
06-02-17, 08:12 PM
Thanks for the advice! Very helpful. I do drink chamomile tea and take melatonin regularly; it definitely helps most of the time, but on the days when I get "manic" (for lack of a better term), they just don't cut it. Even Nyquil doesn't work, and on most days that would knock me out cold. I take magnesium every night for general health and to help stave off amphetamine tolerance, not sure it affects my sleep either way. I'll try the epsom-salt bath, thanks.

I'm also getting more exercise in and that's helped quite a bit. I'm hoping I can manage this and avoid adding a medication--but also assessing my options. From what I've learned of benzos and hypnotics thus far, I'm not sure it's something I want to mess with unless the problem becomes worse and I get totally desperate. They sorta scare me...but I'm still thinking/hoping that an occasional Xanax (or similar) could be of help.I would agree about the benzos for sleep, unless it was really only occasionally, when all other efforts were not effective. I take benzos for anxiety and panic attacks, but I try not to take them daily. If I feel I need them daily then I know there are other things that are not working properly, such as getting proper sleep, which I then work on to eliminate daily need for benzos.

I recently stumbled upon an old thread discussing lack of adequate restful sleep and it contributing to worsening ADHD symptoms (and most likely depression and anxiety). Here is a link to a very helpful post on the first page (I haven't read past the first page yet): http://www.addforums.com/forums/showpost.php?p=751728&postcount=37

I think you might be able to get to the main thread from the post link, if not and you are interested in reading more of the posts let me know and I can post the entire thread link. It is a long thread and seems to have a lot of good information in it...might be worth a look.

emperorpenguin
07-31-17, 11:21 AM
@ItsaRose, thanks for the info and your perspective!

Update:
I talked to my psychiatrist and she prescribed Trazodone, 50mg as-needed. Two nights ago I tried 25mg, always cautious with something new, and unfortunately I feel it did nothing but make me congested (which, in turn, made it harder to sleep). Iím open to the idea that the full 50mg (still the smallest available dose) might help, but the congestion (which Iím unaccustomed to) was annoying enough on its own that I donít know if Iíll even bother.

Coincidentally, my mom was recently prescribed the same drug and also reported that it did nothing for her. I know some people swear by it, so Iím guessing itís down to some quirk of individual brain chemistry (like most psych meds). Trazodone is ostensibly an antidepressant, so perhaps itís more helpful to those who suffer from insomnia comorbid with depression.

In the interim, Iíve made one long-overdue life change and started exercising every day. That has made enough of a difference that Iím leaning against the idea of trying a different sleep med. My psychiatrist appointments are every other month, so I have some time to weigh options.

Emre22
07-31-17, 11:53 AM
U can try Imovane(Zopiklon) , it is less addictive than other kind of benzos

U may do a research about it, it is only prescribed for sleeping problems unlike other benzos

Arei
08-11-17, 11:05 PM
Clonazepam does help relax me so I can sleep if I REALLY need it. Now I'm on Lunesta because my bipolar med combo caused wicked insomnia. I usually only touch the clonazepam once in a blue moon when my anxiety is hitting the fan. I've never found it addicting, I've taken it for almost 10 years now.

But on those rare nights I'd get insomnia (I used to sleep like a log) I'd take one and it was fine.

I tried Trazodone before the Lunesta and I was literally tripping balls. I was disorientated and kept falling into walls and furniture. Lunesta doesn't give me any adverse effects or a hangover feeling at all, it's quite wonderful. I get good restful sleep.

We're all different so the same things won't have the same effect on each and every person, you just gotta find what is right for you.

concentric
10-06-17, 08:20 AM
Do you take your melatonin sublingual? Is it instant release? Have you tried a small dose of seroquel with it? <25mg