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hi guys, another chronic insomniac here


[ju...]

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hey everyone,

 

Like alot of other people here I have chronic insomnia.  It started the first day I began Uni and has continued since.  It can be sporatic but most of the time I don't sleep, an hour or two is a good night.  Sometimes I will have it really bad for a month or so then for a week or two ill be ok then it'll come back - but overall throughout the past year i would say that i've only had maybe a total of 6-8 weeks (broken up throughout the year) where i have slept ok.  I was origionally taking stilnox but was advised by a doctor that temazepan has less side effects (stilnox has been in the news alot in Australia lately).  The anxiety is the worst part, i get so nervous most nights (at the thought of not sleeping) and most mornings (at the thought of having to actually get through the day) that I am physically sick.  The anxiety knot sits in my stomach all day and gets worse as the sun goes down.  It is affecting every aspect of my life - i've had 3 car accidents in 48 hours from lapses in concentration (lucky they were only with walls and gutters!), i can't eat properly as i feel too nervous and am sick quite alot (which is really affecting me as i weigh less than 50kgs and quite often end up in the mid 40's looking anorexic).  I have tried all of the sleep hygiene things (found the one about setting the same sleep/wake time really difficult), natural remedies (valerian, camomile tea, passion flower, etc), hypnotherapy, alcohol, and pills.  I have found when i get worked up nothing will send me to sleep - i can have alot of pills and nothing will happen.  I know this is probably the worst thing you can do but I often find the only way the pills work is if i mix them with alcohol.  I drink most nights now to help me sleep but i have a family history of insomnia and alcoholism and being 21 and at uni this is not my prefered path for the future.  any help or advise is welcomed! thank you for your time :)

 

ps has anyone heard of the amino acid Tryptophan? I'm looking into more natural remedies now and trying to do 3 hours of exercise a day (1hr in the am and 2hr at pm). 

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http://www.benzobuddies.org/forum/index.php?topic=7046.0

 

please read this link - someone just the other day had the same problem.

 

i can tell you that drinking interferes with your quality of sleep - but i can see that for now it seems to help you.

 

welcome to the forum - others may stop by with more suggestions.

 

i would advise you to stop drinking all caffeine products and develop a regular wake time and sleep time - keeping your room uncluttered and cool.

 

some of us have had luck with tryptophan - i use "GABA" powder in extreme cases - it is very potent - you may want to try that - read the directions - i do not know what the long term affects of it are.

 

good luck and please come back again - i am the only moderator on right now - other members and moderators may have more information.

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Hi Jules,

 

Welcome to BenzoBuddies.

 

It sounds to me that maybe you are habitually using 'aids' to gain sleep. Most, if not all, of these sleep aids will work for a short time only. They are best used to help kickstart a better routine. I recently tried Atarax, and this is how I did it. I'm sure that if I had continued to used it I would have become accustomed to it and would have stopped working. By being strict with myself I have left the door open to use it gain in the future if I absolutely need to. That is the tricky part though: being totally strict with your(my)self and taking it when I am desperate, and the use of it gradually increases, and before we know it, we use it every night and it is less than pointless. Have you tried to see a sleep specialist?

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Hi Jules,

I'm truly sorry you are suffering this way. Insomnia is nightmare, no pun intended!

I think I can say that at this point most of your insomnia is purely anxiety-caused. Have you a had physical check up to rule out any other possible causes?

Insomnia is a viscous cycle of fear of not sleeping. I had this type of insomnia last year, and I thought I would never sleep again. I slept less than an hour a night for about 3 weeks before I ended up in a hospital. I was put on klonopin. Long story short, I am now almost off the klonopin (two more weeks at .125mg) and my sleep is fine.

So You have to now that normal sleep can return. You are not doomed. Somehow you have to break this anxiety. Have you considered talk therapy? (cognitive therapy, which literally means learning how to think differently)

Benzos and other sleep meds only actually work for a short period, then they stop working, and can actually cause insomnia. This is what happened to me, and as I slowly withdrew, my body relearned how to sleep.

I know though, that even now, if I wake up in the middle of the night, and let that little voice sneak in that says I'm not going to fall asleep again, then I won't! I just have learned how to relax into it, and not listen.

It's easier said than done, but it is possible.

Please stick around. other people will be by with sage advice and comfort and support.

Linda :)

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Hi Jules,

 

Welcome to BenzoBuddies.

 

It sounds to me that maybe you are habitually used 'aids' to gain sleep. Most, if not all, of these sleep aids will work for a short time only. They are best used to help kickstart a better routine.

 

You are right Colin, it's about using a sleep aid to break that insomnia cycle.

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  • 2 weeks later...

sleep is the last frontier after kicking benzo's.  i don't know what relaxes you but what ever it is - walking, running, swimming - meditation or all of these start making it a part of your life.

 

not getting sleep has lead to all kinda of labels and meds.  i was taking adrenal support and am starting again.  it is always better to take something your body is short on rather then just trying to knock your self out.  i don't know if taking adrenal support will mess with your endocrine system that is the problem.

 

trptophan is good to but i don't know if your body has a trypotophan shortage.

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i have been an insomniac for 20 years along with terrible anxiety.  started on temazepam (which eventually stoppped working) and on to different benzos for 7 years.  there is only one way (as far a i am concerned) to start getting normal sleep.  you have to withdraw from ALL sleep aids and reset your body time clock.  it will take awhile but if you go to bed the same time every night you will restore your natural sleep pattern, eventually. 

 

believe me, i've been there and it worked.  not an easy process but if you continue with drugs, you are only prolonging the agony.  at the beginning, i thought temazepam was a wonder drug as it worked great until you reach tolerance and dependence.

 

i am now 2 years benzo free and while still anxious, am sleeping much better.  forget the alcohol.  it actually is a stimulant and hinders sleep

 

joan

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Hi Joan,

 

Thanks for the info on sleep.  Many people on this site have sleep problems.  I agree with about going to sleep at the same time every night.  Two people that I know very well did that very thing.  Every night at 10:00 they are in bed.  Sometime a little before.  It amazes me--I don't think you could make them stay awake if you tried! 

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this is not an easy process and can take quite awhile.  after my benzo taper and withdrawal it is almost impossible to go to sleep at the same time every night.  sometimes you believe you have not slept at all but in actuality, you have.  your brain needs time to heal and it is still waiting for "that pill" to induce sleep.  most people have to function the next day and simply give in and reach for that pill (i did too, at first) BUT you have to fight it with all you've got.  it is almost as painful as benzo withdrawal itself.  i believe it took me about 6 months to finally sleep without pills.  i now go to bed about the same time each night and while i still wake up a few times a night, i am able to go back to sleep and wake up about the same time every morning.  i am an older woman and most of my friends (who don't take pills) have these sleep issues as well.

 

you can't believe how different you feel after a natural night's sleep compared to a pill-induced one.

 

joan

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Jules,

 

I'm also a chronic insomniac, but I'm still on a relatively high dose of Valium and still tapering. Even with the Valium, the ONLY thing which helps me to sleep are Belleruth Naparstek's relaxation CDs. You say you tried hypnotherapy, but do you actually use tapes or CDs at night when you're trying to get some sleep? I literally can't fall asleep without the CDs. When I was benzo free, I still had sleep issues, so I used Calms Forte and that helped me, too. Calms Forte is a blend of various natural substances. You might want to look into this, although I do not know if they have it in Australia.

 

Love,

Genie

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