Jump to content
Important Survey - Please Participate ×

How to tell whether this is insomina or withdrawal.....?


Recommended Posts

I stopped benzo cold turkey two years ago and finished tapering ssri five months ago, as i remember i had insomnia before benzo for three months after severe stress,


Now i am getting very little sleep or non it's a torture, will this ever improve ?


How to know whether this is W/D or my original insomnia ? 


I hate the fact that this is maybe my original state and i may never heal more that this .

Link to comment
Share on other sites


There's no way to know.  All you can do is to try to deal with what's on your plate right now. 


People who took benzos for insomnia often end up with the same insomnia (after withdrawal) that they took the benzos for.  That's certainly my case, but I'm OK with 5 hours now (used to really bother me). 


Benzos don't cure anything, and extended use often ends up making things worse by allowing people to reinforce destructive behaviors without the negative feedback.  The insomnia associated with the severe stress was a response/warning from your body to the added stress.


I invite you to not be tortured by this.  Try to relax when you find yourself awake at 3 am.  Adding emotion only makes it worse.  I read or surf or game while listening to quiet (ambient) music when I'm awake in the middle of the night.  Sometimes, I can fall back to sleep in an hour or two (sometimes not).  No matter.  I seem to function decently the following day.


fwiw - occasionally, I get 7-8 hours of sleep if I can totally exhaust my brain the previous day.  Last year I was working a lot of 12-13 hour days crunching numbers all day.  When I got home I was so mentally drained that I slept very well.  No little voice to keep me awake - it was exhausted too.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

One way to tell is if the insomnia started or got worse after you stopped a Benzo?  I went on Benzos after a few nights of poor sleep.  It's what my PCP offered.  I had no idea so I took them. 


At first they worked great....then they quickly stopped working, then Benzo-induced insomnia set in and it was about 10X worse than the initial insomnia. 


I sleep pretty well now, 6-8 hours pretty much every night. 


I still wake up at 2, 3 or 4:00 am, but now I relax and usually fall asleep for another hour or two.  If I don't, I'm OK with that.  At first I would toss and turn and punch my pillow, swear under my breath how unfair this all was, blah, blah, blah.  All it did was ensure I wasn't going back to sleep.


Like Badsocref, I just deal with it by listening to calming music or reading the latest news or sports.  Sometimes I get up and watch Netflix. 


Most of it is how we react to the amount of sleep we get.  We've been conditioned to think it's 8 hours or else....that's not true.  About every 6 weeks or so I get a 1 - 3 hour night and feel fine the next day.  In the past, I thought I was going to get sick and die from lack of sleep.  It's not true.


Even if it is your original or baseline state, then work on coping techniques.  Maybe try CBT-I or hypnosis?  Learning to cope is better than trying to find another Rx drug or OTC remedy IMO?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you guys for your experience and for the valuable information you shared with me, yesterday i slept better i tried to lower stress and occupy my mind with many activities like reading interesting books, listening to my favorite music  and talking to other people including you guys ....


I think our primary problem and our weakest point as benzo survivors is our hypersensitivity to stress, hope time can do something to this, any thing can send us into a hard wave .


I love caffeinated beverages So much, but i had to quit this habit because it was making me very vulnerable.


Best wishes for you all   

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Create New...