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8 nights - 0 sleep, going mad


[Mo...]

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What do you do at night when you cannot sleep and itch all over? I tried video games, reading, TV/Netflix, but my eyes became blood-shot irritated. Now I have no idea what to do... 8 nights without any micro-sleep resulted in calmly going insane inside my head.

 

I want to get a script for Mirtazepine and Doxepin for sleep on Monday, but until then I think I will do the wrong thing and take 20mg Ambien. It's either that or asking my neighbour to hit my head hard with a shovel.

 

The worst part is before benzo's I slept 10-20 minutes per day and never at night. I went through college half asleep and fatigued. Combine that with benzo WD and I think I won't sleep at all for years, which is a torture. Chances of sudden death for such severe insomnia are astronomically high...

 

 

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2 years ago, but was placed on tiagabine and gabapentin, which also work on GABA and that prevented WD from completing. I dropped tiagabine and gabapentin 2 months ago.

 

Ambient got me some sleep and made me more anxious in the morning, but at leastbI slept!

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It's both. Like I said, tiagabine prevented WD from completing because it's GABA re-uptake Inhibitor, different from GABA A agonist, but still increasing GABA.

 

My skin burns and itches all night long and nothing helps

 

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99% of us here know that more drugs is not an answer unless they are used only to get you some stability and rest.  Once you've gotten stability and rest, it seems to me that you need to find a sleep specialist and spend some time in a sleep clinic, where they can take a complete history of your sleep problems and where your brain can be monitored to find out what's going in there that keeps you from sleeping.  You'll also get some very good sleep hygiene advice in place like that.
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What do you do at night when you cannot sleep and itch all over? I tried video games, reading, TV/Netflix, but my eyes became blood-shot irritated. Now I have no idea what to do... 8 nights without any micro-sleep resulted in calmly going insane inside my head.

 

I want to get a script for Mirtazepine and Doxepin for sleep on Monday, but until then I think I will do the wrong thing and take 20mg Ambien. It's either that or asking my neighbour to hit my head hard with a shovel.

 

The worst part is before benzo's I slept 10-20 minutes per day and never at night. I went through college half asleep and fatigued. Combine that with benzo WD and I think I won't sleep at all for years, which is a torture. Chances of sudden death for such severe insomnia are astronomically high...

 

WOW....10-20 minutes a night during college?....how were your grades?

 

Did you at least get some sleep with the ambien last night if you did take it? Yes try the mirtz. Ambien also works on the GABA receptors so throw those away once you get your mirtz prescription.

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I am finding I want to weigh in on these issues. As a long time insomnia sufferer, more so since the benzo debacle, I think sleep is very important for the healing process.  I don't like ambien either.  What does one do when sleepless nights add up to no or little sleep over a long period of time?  Sleep is essential.  I have studied this issue professionally.  We don't know why we sleep.  There are theories that we consolidate memories during sleep and that we prune away non essential information.  All we know is that we need to sleep and even Ashton says it is a powerful need, and that sleep will reassert itself. Tell that to someone who has not sleep for 8 days.  This is nothing short of torture.  I agree: go to a sleep specialist or doctor and let them know what is going on and insist on solutions to the problem.  I may be unorthodox in my opinion here, but only those who have gone through this hell know how difficult this is.  Thanks for posting and reading!
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I did go to a sleep specialist and he said there is nothing that can be done. He is extremely concerned because I was not sleeping before benzos and it's 10th night of no sleep at all. My college GPA was 3.5 and I was taking one of the hardest majors the college offered, yet sleeping 10-20 minutes per day (never at night).

 

Ambien stopped working. The itch so bad I take a dull knife and just scratch my body 24/7 with it. I am not trying to hurt myself, but I can't calm down. My nose and scalp are on fire now.

 

Nobody in my family supports me with this WD because they tell me I brought this onto myself when I started benzo's KNOWING how bad WD can be and I did research benzo's before starting Xanax, so I did know...

 

This is not even acute WD, but protracted since I stopped Xanax 2 if not 3 years ago and these symptoms re-started after recent 3-day lorazepam use. It feels WAY WORSE than acute Xanax WD I had.  The itch from cold-turkey Xanax lasted 5 days and this itch is now 3rd week.

 

I think I will ask to be permanently re-instate on benzo's for the rest of my life. That or I will skin myself alive like in Game of Thrones... I have never felt so bad in my entire life. I'd rather suffer 30 days of horrific opiate WD than a day of benzo WD.

 

Heavy dose of Clonidine 0.6mg puts me to sleep, but Clonidine indirectly increases GABA concentration, preventing healing. Since I keep using Ambien and Clonidine, this itch and WD gets worse daily, but they at least calm me down for a few hours.

 

On top of all that I spend 3 hours in the gym lifting and running while eating some 500 calories per day (instead of 200). Any more food and I get these hot adrenaline rush episodes with nausea.

 

*End of rant*

 

EDIT: I have ZERO anxiety BTW. I would take extreme anxiety over itch and insomnia any day.

 

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Your pain is incredible, and I am sorry.  I am also sorry for your family not only NOT supporting you through this, but actively blaming you!!! That is so wrong on many levels, but my family judges me, too, and are not supportive, so I do feel your distress. I even understand the extreme itching and nose/sinus crap...it will get better, but not until recovery time elapses once all meds are stopped....YET, there are ppl who must stay on Benzo's forever because the withdrawal is too tough and unbearable.  The FDA and DEA have even published that as an outcome of getting ppl off opiate/benzo combinations!

I wish you the absolute best...

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On top of all that I spend 3 hours in the gym lifting and running while eating some 500 calories per day (instead of 200). Any more food and I get these hot adrenaline rush episodes with nausea.

 

*End of rant*

 

EDIT: I have ZERO anxiety BTW. I would take extreme anxiety over itch and insomnia any day.

 

I know those adrenalin rushes stink. With how the brain works it's very unlikely your sleep will recover without more calories. I've worked with folks who've had sleep return simply by increasing their calories when they had been restricting their food intake. Even if you could get yourself up to 1,000 calories it could help. You might try green protein smoothies or ensure. When I'm really bad and feel sick I drink ensure because too low calorie is death to sleep. It's worth a try.

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ZOMFG I slept for 7 hours last night and then one more hour in the morning, even had a nice X-rated dream. I woke up a different person. I did take 20mg Ambien and 0.6mg Clonidine to make it happen, but it was worth it.
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Hey Monarch glad you got some sleep but you and I know that taking large doses of Ambien and combining with Clonodine is not going to work long term.

 

You will go through your ambien script too fast and you will keep needing more and more.  I highly suggest not doing that again tonight no matter how tempting it is.

 

Glad you got some sleep and have a clear head now but take it as an opportunity to get back on the right track.

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I will take Ambien only until I get a script for Mirtazepine, which should be this week sometime.

 

Another awesome thing is that after shaving all the itchy areas my itch lessened and I took some dextroamphetamine, which eradicated the itch (no anxiety from it either).

 

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Nobody answered the original question so far - what to do at night when cannot sleep? My eyes get too tired to read or watch TV or plat videogames.
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Nobody answered the original question so far - what to do at night when cannot sleep? My eyes get too tired to read or watch TV or plat videogames.

 

Listen to meditations or ambient sounds on Youtube with earbuds is an idea.

 

Personally, I like to find Coast To Coast AM recordings on Youtube ... close my eyes with the earbuds in ... and listen to the conversation.  If I'm lucky, my mind will drift off into an hour or two of sleep before I wake up.

 

Just get earbuds and find something to listen to that will distract your thoughts.

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Nobody answered the original question so far - what to do at night when cannot sleep? My eyes get too tired to read or watch TV or plat videogames.

 

Listen to meditations or ambient sounds on Youtube with earbuds is an idea.

 

Personally, I like to find Coast To Coast AM recordings on Youtube ... close my eyes with the earbuds in ... and listen to the conversation.  If I'm lucky, my mind will drift off into an hour or two of sleep before I wake up.

 

Just get earbuds and find something to listen to that will distract your thoughts.

Get the TuneIn app for your device.  Tons of streamed audio talk shows and podcasts.  I'm hooked on the astronomy, science and paranormal ones but you can search for the topics you like.  Music too if that's your thing in the middle of the night.

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Nobody answered the original question so far - what to do at night when cannot sleep? My eyes get too tired to read or watch TV or plat videogames.

 

Listen to meditations or ambient sounds on Youtube with earbuds is an idea.

 

Personally, I like to find Coast To Coast AM recordings on Youtube ... close my eyes with the earbuds in ... and listen to the conversation.  If I'm lucky, my mind will drift off into an hour or two of sleep before I wake up.

 

Just get earbuds and find something to listen to that will distract your thoughts.

Get the TuneIn app for your device.  Tons of streamed audio talk shows and podcasts.  I'm hooked on the astronomy, science and paranormal ones but you can search for the topics you like.  Music too if that's your thing in the middle of the night.

 

We have similar tastes!  Just found the TuneIn website and am listening to "Astronomy Cast" right now.  Thank You for the suggestion!

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Nobody answered the original question so far - what to do at night when cannot sleep? My eyes get too tired to read or watch TV or plat videogames.

 

Same thing happens to me. Here are some ideas:

 

-Free audiobooks in case you can't get them from the library http://www.openculture.com/freeaudiobooks

 

-Are you a game of thrones fan? Try Game of Drones. He talks about GOT in a boring manner. It's pretty funny.

 

Here's what I do to break up the night:

 

I watch some TV with my blue light filtering glasses until 9 or 10. Then I'll surf on the web for an hour or two (no BB after 10 pm for me). I can spend hours on Imgur.com or reading the Huffington Post sections on weird news or comedy. I have blue light filter programs on my phone and computer. I'm assuming you know about filtering these so that you don't suppress melatonin. In case you don't it's Twilight for the phone and Flux for the phone.

 

Then I read something distracting and engaging but not upsetting that is enjoyable to me. For me that's usually sci-fi or fantasy. Nothing educational. I often take a hot bath, sometimes with epson salt between 11-12 (do this 1-2 hours before you'd like to sleep. I do it later since I know I'll only be getting microsleeps or, hopefully, an hour or two). Then I read some more after moving into my bedroom and put the fan on and read until my eyes feel too lousy to read anymore.

 

Then it's time to listen to a book on CD or some relaxation thing on youtube . If I don't listen to a relaxation when I'm ready to give it the old college try I'll lie in bed in the dark and meditate. I go back and forth between focusing on the sensation of the breath moving my belly, trying to follow the entire breath, and the body scan. I don't try to do the body scan exactly as the pros do it but rather focus on as many different body parts/areas, slowly as I can starting with my feet. If you aren't familiar with the body scan there's a link on the insomnia thread or you can ask for it on youtube.

 

If I'm still not drowsy but too tired to do anything else I:

 

--travel in my imagination to places in books, places from TV/movies, or places I've been. I'll remember everything I can, every detail possible starting from the beginning. One technique from the "Effortless sleep method" is to track back through your day, remembering as much detail as you can moving backwards from the last thing you did to getting up that morning. This is NOT helpful if it was an upsetting day so I don't usually do this one. I will trace my steps on a favorite walk--trying to picture the trees, the sounds, etc. Or come up with a pleasant fantasy. Last night I did one where there were portals that allowed me to visit places far away and I imagined the things I'd do while there.

 

--go to your happy place. This can be real or imagined. I go to a beach where I'm completely alone like an island or up in a redwood tree in a bed with a force field around it. Again, focus on details like everything you see, hear, smell, taste and feel with your body. It helps if you keep breathing slowly and deeply while doing this.

 

-I'll go back and forth between different strategies. If I have a big surge of awakeness and anxiety I'll go ahead and turn on a dim light and read for a while then maybe try again later. It's rarely helpful to try to make yourself sleep during a super restless period. It won't work and you'll end up more restless and frustrated.

 

I've been doing this for over 3 years because I've made a lot of mistakes. I've managed to stay (relatively) sane only sleeping 3-4 nights per week and right now I haven't slept at all in 5 nights. Yes this is hard but it's possible. You won't be as bad as I am--I'm only telling you my experience so you know we can take much more than we think we can. Our ultimate healing is worth it.

 

 

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Nobody answered the original question so far - what to do at night when cannot sleep? My eyes get too tired to read or watch TV or plat videogames.

 

Same thing happens to me. Here are some ideas:

 

-Free audiobooks in case you can't get them from the library http://www.openculture.com/freeaudiobooks

 

-Are you a game of thrones fan? Try Game of Drones. He talks about GOT in a boring manner. It's pretty funny.

 

Here's what I do to break up the night:

 

I watch some TV with my blue light filtering glasses until 9 or 10. Then I'll surf on the web for an hour or two (no BB after 10 pm for me). I can spend hours on Imgur.com or reading the Huffington Post sections on weird news or comedy. I have blue light filter programs on my phone and computer. I'm assuming you know about filtering these so that you don't suppress melatonin. In case you don't it's Twilight for the phone and Flux for the phone.

 

Then I read something distracting and engaging but not upsetting that is enjoyable to me. For me that's usually sci-fi or fantasy. Nothing educational. I often take a hot bath, sometimes with epson salt between 11-12 (do this 1-2 hours before you'd like to sleep. I do it later since I know I'll only be getting microsleeps or, hopefully, an hour or two). Then I read some more after moving into my bedroom and put the fan on and read until my eyes feel too lousy to read anymore.

 

Then it's time to listen to a book on CD or some relaxation thing on youtube . If I don't listen to a relaxation when I'm ready to give it the old college try I'll lie in bed in the dark and meditate. I go back and forth between focusing on the sensation of the breath moving my belly, trying to follow the entire breath, and the body scan. I don't try to do the body scan exactly as the pros do it but rather focus on as many different body parts/areas, slowly as I can starting with my feet. If you aren't familiar with the body scan there's a link on the insomnia thread or you can ask for it on youtube.

 

If I'm still not drowsy but too tired to do anything else I:

 

--travel in my imagination to places in books, places from TV/movies, or places I've been. I'll remember everything I can, every detail possible starting from the beginning. One technique from the "Effortless sleep method" is to track back through your day, remembering as much detail as you can moving backwards from the last thing you did to getting up that morning. This is NOT helpful if it was an upsetting day so I don't usually do this one. I will trace my steps on a favorite walk--trying to picture the trees, the sounds, etc. Or come up with a pleasant fantasy. Last night I did one where there were portals that allowed me to visit places far away and I imagined the things I'd do while there.

 

--go to your happy place. This can be real or imagined. I go to a beach where I'm completely alone like an island or up in a redwood tree in a bed with a force field around it. Again, focus on details like everything you see, hear, smell, taste and feel with your body. It helps if you keep breathing slowly and deeply while doing this.

 

-I'll go back and forth between different strategies. If I have a big surge of awakeness and anxiety I'll go ahead and turn on a dim light and read for a while then maybe try again later. It's rarely helpful to try to make yourself sleep during a super restless period. It won't work and you'll end up more restless and frustrated.

 

I've been doing this for over 3 years because I've made a lot of mistakes. I've managed to stay (relatively) sane only sleeping 3-4 nights per week and right now I haven't slept at all in 5 nights. Yes this is hard but it's possible. You won't be as bad as I am--I'm only telling you my experience so you know we can take much more than we think we can. Our ultimate healing is worth it.

 

These suggestions are wonderful. What I love is that you don't just focus on how to force sleep, you focus on suggestions on how to make not sleeping more tolerable. It takes the pressure off and helps with distraction! I especially love your idea about traveling in your mind, I often do this too sometimes. Thank you for reinforcing the "not making yourself sleep when you are super restless!" There are nights where I get this feeling and I know trying to get more relaxed is not working. Other times, I don't mind laying in the dark awake, but it depends on the day. Lately it has been harder. Also, good reminder to not be on BB or other forums after a certain time. When I am really suffering I just want to come on here or go somewhere else and try to get information, but I think all the information doesn't always help and amps me up more. I'm trying to come up with a plan for how to handle tonight and what I will think about and do :)

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I listen to a radio and to coast to coast am while I'm lying in bed at night to try to calm down and do puzzles in my magazine puzzle book with a pencil.  No computer in the bedroom.  Just my radio and pencil book.  I even suck on hard candy while lying in bed.  Candy not recommended, but I eat a few pieces anyway. 
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