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At what dosage of valium does your own sleep mechanism start to take over


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I am starting to get to a small dosage of valium.  My worst symptoms are insomnia, muscle aches and tingling around my face.  At what point, if any, does the valium dosage get small enough so that your body starts to sleep on its own?  Do you have to be totally off of the valium?  At my pace I have about seven more weeks of tapering.  Do you just accept the fact that your going to have insomnia and have to work with little sleep?  I have been doing it now for about six weeks and doing okay.  It gets a little bit hard to run my business and my wife doesn't think I do very much around the house, which I don't, becaue I don't feel very well.  I would say I get somewhere between 1-3 hours of sleep and then try to rest quietly the rest of the night.  Thanks for all of your help.  SC
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That is the $64K question. Unlike most folks here, I had no problem sleeping with a high dose, low dose and no dose of valium. I just slept. A few nights I woke up with adrenalin surges but that was connected to my hormones.

 

I do take 1/2 of a Tylenol PM at night for my allergies but that's to keep me from waking up with a headache. Some nights I forget and that's okay too; I still sleep.

 

rufus

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  From the Ashton manual:  Insomnia, nightmares, sleep disturbance. The sleep engendered by benzodiazepines, though it may seem refreshing at first, is not a normal sleep. Benzodiazepines inhibit both dreaming sleep (rapid eye movement sleep, REMS) and deep sleep (slow wave sleep, SWS). The extra sleep time that benzodiazepines provide is spent mainly in light sleep, termed Stage 2 sleep. REM and SWS are the two most important stages of sleep and are essential to health. Sleep deprivation studies show that any deficit is quickly made up by a rebound to above normal levels as soon as circumstances permit.

 

In regular benzodiazepine users REMS and SWS tend to return to pre-drug levels (because of tolerance) but the initial deficit remains. On withdrawal, even after years of benzodiazepine use, there is a marked rebound increase in REMS which also becomes more intense. As a result, dreams become more vivid, nightmares may occur and cause frequent awakenings during the night. This is a normal reaction to benzodiazepine withdrawal and, though unpleasant, it is a sign that recovery is beginning to take place. When the deficit of REMS is made up, usually after about 4-6 weeks, the nightmares become less frequent and gradually fade away.

 

Return of SWS seems to take longer after withdrawal, probably because anxiety levels are high, the brain is overactive and it is hard to relax completely. Subjects may have difficulty in getting off to sleep and may experience "restless legs syndrome", sudden muscle jerks (myoclonus) just as they are dropping off or be jolted suddenly by a hallucination of a loud bang (hypnagogic hallucination) which wakes them up again. These disturbances may also last for several weeks, sometimes months.

 

However, all these symptoms do settle in time. The need for sleep is so powerful that normal sleep will eventually reassert itself. Meanwhile, attention to sleep hygiene measures including avoiding tea, coffee, other stimulants or alcohol near bedtime, relaxation tapes, anxiety management techniques and physical exercise may be helpful. Taking all or most of the dose of benzodiazepine at night during the reduction period may also help. Occasionally another drug might be indicated (see section on adjuvant drugs, below).

 

In my experience, I have seen troubles with insomnia to varying degrees, but this problem does indeed solve itself.  I hope this is helpful.  Janus

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I have been on valium for coming up on 4 years - I had 3 weeks off before I was re-instated recently - I found that my sleep was gradually getting better towards the 3 week mark of being free but then I was re-instated because I did c/t and was suffering with burning skin sensations and felt like I was being choked. Whatever dose of valium I am on I have always slept. I don't think it takes too long to get your sleep back though but then everyone is different. Its a difficult question to answer. The sleep I was having when I was 3 weeks free was very light and I woke up a lot. Now I am back on 8mg a day and I feel really groggy in the morning - I can't believe my taper originally started from 100mg - I must have been a zombie!!  :wacko:

 

Hope your sleep improves, I used to even try and get an hour here and there after work to make up for my lost sleep at night. People probably advise against that but when you need it and you can get it - take it!  :)

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HI Bluechinchilla,

Wow, 100mg! That's an incredible dose! Congratulations to you for coming this far.

Yes, sleep does come back. I think for some it tends to linger due to fear. I think if you can just accept that it's temporary, and you are stuck with it temporarily, you can recover quicker. Not easy though!

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Thanks for the replies, I thought the thread was losing steam.  It sounds like not everyone has the insominia problems that I do.  I had read that page in the Ashton Manual, I just couldn't make out whether you had to be totally off of the taper before the sleep started to return to normal.  It seems that may be the case and it is certainly disheartening to think of continuing to taper and to battle the insomnia.  I guess at least my dosage is getting down there.  Unfortunately, I am having some other medical problems and being worked up for MS.  That is enough to give you insomnia right there.  Thanks for all of your support.  SC.
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I have heard of many whose sleep returns to normal as they are tapering and get lower in dose. So don't lose heart.  Janus
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Thanks for the replies, I thought the thread was losing steam.  It sounds like not everyone has the insominia problems that I do.  I had read that page in the Ashton Manual, I just couldn't make out whether you had to be totally off of the taper before the sleep started to return to normal.  It seems that may be the case and it is certainly disheartening to think of continuing to taper and to battle the insomnia.  I guess at least my dosage is getting down there.  Unfortunately, I am having some other medical problems and being worked up for MS.  That is enough to give you insomnia right there.  Thanks for all of your support.  SC.

 

Steve, Janus is right, my insomnia improved greatly as I tapered. I had a couple of rough days with each cut, but honestly my sleep got more real. Then a few weeks completely off, I did suffer a big bump. But it seems to have mostly passed now.  ;)

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Eljay -  :-[ I'm embarrased to say it but I was a street user of valium for a few years and I completely messed up my head with the amount I was taking - my tolerance was sky high - that is why my taper began at such a high dosage of 100mg in July 2007 incase I had a fit, I was even told I could have a stroke. Don't know if that is true?  :idiot: Anyway it feels great to be down to 8mg but its been such a long road. A pretty bumpy one at that.

 

I always feel a bit 'fake' being on this site because I am a self inflicted benzo addict but I have beat myself up enough about it  :muscle: and I feel that now it doesn't matter HOW I got on the benzo road its just good to have you guys to share things with and get advice and have understanding and non-judgemental people around. I'm sure SC feels the same x

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Eljay -  :-[ Anyway it feels great to be down to 8mg 

 

I always feel a bit 'fake' being on this site because I am a self inflicted benzo addict but I have beat myself up enough about it  :muscle: and I feel that now it doesn't matter HOW I got on the benzo road

 

Credos to you.  I've seen this old useless argument posted on benzo boards numerous times over the years.  I always said just to kick it to the curb and stop wasting time on how you got here.  The point is that your here and doing great on the road to recovery.

 

juleswife

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So bluechinchilla and Juleswife, did you start sleeping as you got down to the lower doses of your taper?  Was it the kind fo sleep that was refreshing even if it was just for a few hours? Were you still able to function when you only got a few hours of sleep?

 

I certainly don't judge anybody about these things.  I think this is an easy boat to get into in our society.  SC

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Hi SC, I've always slept on valium - it was only when I went c/t I suffered - it was either no sleep or a light sleep and I had pretty horrific realistic nightmares along with it. Its weird now I have re-instated to 8mg I feel really really groggy during the day and my eyes feel stingy and at the same time I am sleeping fine. I was on 200mg of trazodone as well as 20mg citralopram about 3months ago too though and I noticed a big difference when I discontinued these.

Just think the sleep you will soon have (and me too in another few months will be natural and not drug induced!!  8) won't that be cool?! As it says in the Ashton Manual post - natural sleep pattern will come back. Try not to think about it too much is my advice. Take care

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Blue,

Don't feel bad about the mode in which you took valium. It doesn't matter! Back in my getting high days, while I never did quite that much, :laugh:, I loved popping a valium or two with a few drinks. Wow! felt great. all felt right with my world. Depressed the Hell out of me the next day, but who worries about that?

We all know valium is addictive, so to take it "recreationally" will lead you to the same end as taking it "medically".

After all, getting high is just a form of self-medication. You just cut out the middle man! :laugh:

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