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Can I take anything for insomnia


[Ja...]

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[Ja...]

I am 7 months completely off benzos.  I am in withdrawal but my symptoms have improved.  Unfortunately I have either a Virus or a chest infection at the moment.  I am on my second antibiotic and am no better than I was 12 days ago when this all started.  I will see my doctor for the third time in 12 days, tomorrow.  I am in my seventies and and I believe the insomnia due to Dalmane 15mg (Flurazepam)withdrawal ( It was prescribed by my doctor for 25 years) is contributing to my ill health. It was withdrawn from the market Apr 23.
 The insomnia has been going on for a year now.  I had insomnia while tapering (May 23 - Sept 23)  and now in withdrawal (Sept 23 - Apr 24).   I take 5mg melatonin nightly and very occasionally drowsy cough bottle, I have taken phenergan (anti histamine) twice, ( not keen on it), doxylamine twice ( not sure if it worked). I will discuss it with my doctor tomorrow.   Has anyone got any recommendations?

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[Re...]

Hello @[Ja...]! I am really sorry, insomnia is awful, I had lots of it while being on the medication. I took doxylamine without any issues when I needed it, extremely rarelty. I took diphenhydramine while on the meds, and it helped me (also helped with interdose withdrawal). Some people take promethazine here. Please talk to your doctor before taking these, some other health conditions may require you to be cautious. 

I hope you get well soon!! 

 

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[An...]

@[Ja...]

Sorry to hear about the insomnia. How much sleep would you say you are averaging per night?

Unfortunately, OTC supplements are unlikely to help, IMO.

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[Ja...]
26 minutes ago, [[A...] said:

@[Ja...]

Sorry to hear about the insomnia. How much sleep would you say you are averaging per night?

Unfortunately, OTC supplements are unlikely to help, IMO.

In varies.  It was impossible for the first three months after taper and during taper, but I coped.  Then I got about three weeks in January where I got between 6 and  7.5 hours per night. That was just fantastic.  Then it became very difficult again.  There was one night two weeks ago before I got the infection where I had one hours sleep and the next night 3 hours sleep.  I can’t cope with stress and I didn’t even know I was stressed.  It I had visitors in the house at the time.  I think all the insomnia left me very vulnerable to infection.  This week it’s been around 5 hours very broken sleep.  I listen to talk radio when I wake and it helps.  OTC medicines are not very good but I am in this position because I was prescribed benzo’s 26 years ago for insomnia.  Now my doc says if she was doing it now she would prescribe HRT.  If only I was 47 again!!!

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[Ja...]

I got 2.5 hours sleep last night.  I went to bed at 11pm and did not fall asleep until 5.30am.  I am like a wet rag today, good for nothing.  I took three 25mg Phenergan (anti histamine) at 1am and 1 unisom at 3am.  No effect whatsoever.  I know that the more I talk about it, the less likely I am to sleep.  It would be great to know how other people coped.

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[Th...]

@Jacinta

7 months is a great start as Ashton says insomnia normally resolves for most somewhere between 6 and 12 months.  That doesn't mean your sleep returns to pre-Benzo levels, it means you get enough sleep each night to live a fairly normal life.  Most people see significant relief somewhere between 12 and 18 months off.  Some take less time and some take more.  As you already stated, it is very up and down (non linear).  You could get days weeks or months of decent sleep only to be followed by days weeks or months of poor sleep.  Eventually it evens out.  

Nothing worked for me at 7 months off.  I tried Doxylamine (Unisom) and Diphenhydramine and they did nothing.  The only Rx drug that gave me consistent sleep was Seroquel (quetiapine), but that left me with lots of brain fog and DP/DR the next day so I stopped taking it.  Fast forward about 3 years after my CT, and Unisom now works pretty well for those one off nights.  If you buy the "Gel" caps it is Diphenhydramine and that is not as sedative as Doxylamine (for most people).  

Oddly, I never got sick, not even one time, when my sleep was terrible and various colds and flu made their way through the rest of my family.  

Not sure if you have read this post or not?  It could answer a lot of your questions?  Peace

https://benzobuddies.org/topic/270442-2400-days-off-my-insomniabenzo-advice/page/4/#comment-3494780

 

Edited by [Th...]
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[Ma...]

Have you tried Noni Juice? Google it-it has benefits all around, especially gut health and has melatonin in it.

Geraldine Burns promotes it big time in benzo recovery. I think she has a video on it somewhere too.

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[Ja...]

Thank you for the replies to my query.   I have taken all the advice and I have now ordered Unisom Gel caps and I am looking into Noni Juice.

I won’t try Seroquel for now.  I’m sure it would work brilliantly but I would need a prescription for it. 

Itis just so reassuring that I have a whole community behind me when I need help.  Nobody understands what we are all going through except ourselves.  Thank you Benzobuddies. 🥰

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[Ma...]

Seroquel has horrible side effects that sometimes do not go away. Please do not touch it, IMO. It’s an antipsychotic with a black box warning.

You can purchase Noni Juice on Amazon.

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[No...]

 

I have tried two bottles of Noni juice (fibromyalgia and pain) but no improvement. There are many articles about this being a scam. So I googled:

Noni juice is said to improve or cure arthritis, cancer, high cholesterol, diabetes, obesity, impotence and so on. 

There have been several documented cases of individuals damaging their livers after drinking Noni. More common is a kidney-related disease called hyperkalemia, or high potassium levels in the bloodstream.  People prone to hyperkalemia know to avoid bananas or orange juice, naturally high in potassium, but many are unaware of the high potassium levels in Noni. 

Real or fake? I have no clue.   :) 

 

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[Pe...]

The fact that Geraldine Burns peddles Noni juice and other random supplements is shady af 

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[No...]
För 2 timmar sedan sa PedroP45:

Det faktum att Geraldine Burns säljer Nonijuice och andra slumpmässiga kosttillskott är skumt af 

 

 

 

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[Ma...]

‘AF’?

Apparently you don’t fully know who Geraldine Burns is. She went through this decades ago, was friends with Ashton, changed the state legislature rules for deprescribing in the state of Massachusetts and so on…

Take it or leave it.

Look, we’re all searching for relief from whatever our particular issues are. As Jen Swantowski says, in this search, grab a bead of information for what works for YOU and add that to your healing necklace-add as many beads as possible until you have a beautiful, full necklace and share so others may benefit when ASKING.

And be kind to yourself and others going through this.

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[No...]

Experimental results with Noni fruit indicate the presence of competitive ligand(s), which may bind to the GABAa receptor as an agonist, and thus induce its anxiolytic and sedative effects.

https://r.search.yahoo.com/_ylt=AwrLBlsKyidmWxcYQ14_Ogx.;_ylu=Y29sbwMEcG9zAzEEdnRpZAMEc2VjA3Ny/RV=2/RE=1713912458/RO=10/RU=https%3a%2f%2fwww.sciencedirect.com%2fscience%2farticle%2fpii%2fS094471130700058X/RK=2/RS=94T9ubxWSZm4dVoun_3YN5HMkZA-

 

 

 

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[Ma...]

It doesn’t ‘bind’ to gaba 🤦‍♀️-only alcohol does in the manner as benzos.

Sedative: Insomnia

Debate amongst yourselves-I’m out.

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[No...]

 

 

Everything depends on how sensitive we are. Chamomile tea is also a GABA -antagonist, and I experienced a big setback. But this so individual. :)

 

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[re...]

I so feel for you and so sorry this has happened to you.

Ok I am gonna be the completely natural one here and not suggest taking ANYTHING herbal or pharmaceutical for sleep. The doctor can definitely "knock you out" but it won't really be restorative dream sleep. The problem with these things is that you will in time develop a tolerance to them and even MORE dysregulation of your nervous system.

Your taper was very fast. 5 Months for a 25 year dependance. That is at best MADNESS!!!!!!!!!!!! This is not your fault but your damn doctor's hivemind that "benzos bad, benzos addictive, let's get you OFF ASAP"  And the ASAP part is what went wrong unfortunately. You should of been switched to something not discontinued and tapered very slowly over the course of at least a year or more. 

Those antibiotics along with your infection is not making anything easier. I would like to think once this passes your sleep will come back again. In about the middle of my taper I got pretty sick and had some bad insomnia, but when it passed my sleep came back better than before. 

These are things below in the next paragraph that have been helping me I truly believe,  I am not fully off, but on a super low dose of .80 valium that is probably not doing much at this point, but who really knows with these pills. Regardless my sleep right now is many times better than before this nightmare began with my ICU stay due to hyponatremia and the following extreme dysregulation of my nervous system from a cocktail of 10 meds given IV in 24 hours where I completely lost the ability to sleep or dream once this happened. I once went 3 days of no perceived sleep. I am sure I was getting the microsleeps though. 

1. Aerobic Exercise- Study after study I keep seeing the positive effects on brain health. I know you are sick and cannot probably do much. Even if you can stretch in the sun this will help. Make sure your arms and legs are exposed to the sun for the vitamin D while you stretch. And the vitamin D is immune boosting so it will help with your health issue as well.  I would exercise when I felt I was gonna pass out. I didn't care anymore about "getting revved up" and this seems to have helped a lot. But at the same time just do any kind of movement you can, preferably outdoors as the oxygen is needed for your brain. You probably feel like so dead and I was there believe me, but I am telling you stay with it and you will see changes. It is just not the quick knock out a pill will give you. This is gonna take some time, but WILL work even at your age. We were meant to move simple as that. Try and fight through this feeling of you cant do it. You will be surprised at the results after awhile. 

2. Screen use. If you are on the computer or phone or whatever this WILL cause a disruption in your sleep cycles and I personally think this does something to the natural synthesis of melatonin that you make. I also think there is something subliminal  about info overload. Your brain cannot rest with all of the constant barrage of info. Try if you can to stay off after say 6 PM. I think when everything first happened to me I was on the computer WAY too much looking for solutions cause I had not known yet what they did to me in the ER. This led to lots delays in healing. Also just be in a pitch black room after the sun goes down. Try not to worry about sleep, instead be in dark to get those melatonin levels working the way god intended them to. You will able to up your screen time once your brain starts regulate again. 

3. Diet-I am sure you are not eating well due to not only your sickness, but also the fact that you can't sleep. I lost about ten pounds from lack of sleep and my appetite was quite terrible. I think the best thing I have found is eating high tryptophan foods not just before bed, but in the day as well.

These are the foods best for this and high in tryptophan:

Peanut butter, Turkey, Chicken, Yogurt, Canned Tuna, Bananas seem to be the easiest to eat and also the best sources of tryptophan. But the thing with tryptophan foods you have to combine them. So a protein like turkey WITH the Banana for the carb pushing it in your system. Or even peanut butter and crackers. Whatever you can tolerate to get your caloric intake up.  Always combine these foods. Flavored yogurt (I would suggest the Skyr icelandic type) is best in this regard as it has both. A bit of carb and protein in one shot and it's loaded with tryptophan.  

These foods are great for OVERALL brain health:

LOADS of water, but make sure you are getting enough salt and electrolytes with it daily.

Berries, Tart Cherry juice for natural melatonin intake, Fish, Eggs, Avocados, A wide variety of meats of all kinds for the B vitamins and amino acids and various minerals, veggies especially leafy greans, and fruits of course. Do yourself a favor and check out "the wahls protocol" for diet ideas and suggestions. And if anything it will give you inspiration on the power of diet

Oils Oils Oils. I would definitely start out with some at least olive oil by the spoonful to start. Just a teaspoon even a day. Then work up to a teaspoon of some cod liver oil like carlson's as it has vitamins D,A,E in it. And try not to listen to all the people here pooh poohing on these oils. I wouldn't take any fish oil pills. I think these are super hard on the stomach. But the lemon flavored oil has been miraculous for me. Some supplements I feel are ok while we heal, but be weary of too many synthetic things at once and I would get tested for deficiencies first. But I would still recommend the oils no matter what.  I personally am taking a few things. Vitamin C for better iron absorption and histamine issues, Zinc, and probiotics, and the cod liver oil and that is it. In general though. I am not a huge fan of mega supplements. j

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[Ja...]
Posted (edited)

Thank you so much Revolution blue for your detailed reply.  Also TheWay for you excellent article on sleep.  I will reread both constantly.

I am super hyped up today as on my return visit to my doctor I was given steroids to try and shift my chest infection.  I never had steroids before but I knew they caused insomnia,  which I mentioned to my doctor.  She then prescribed Seraquel 25mg ( 1/2 to 1 pill per night). After two hours of lying awake I took the 25mg and got 4 hours sleep which was great.  I need to take the steroids for two weeks starting with eight a day for two day and reducing down over two weeks to none.  Between the Amoxiclav ( changed from Doxycycline) and the steroids my brain feels numb.  I finish the antibiotic in two days time.

I really appreciate all the information I gather from this site.  When I mentioned to my doctor that steroids cause insomnia she said “you don’t want another benzo”.  I don’t no if that was a statement or a question.  I answered that people on Benzobuddies had mentioned Mirtazapam, Trazadone and Seraqual (sorry about the spellings). She immediately said she would prescribe Quetiapine  which I later found out was Seraqual when I picked it up at the pharmacy.

I am very fortunate in that I have great help.  Relatives, friends and neighbours have been exceptionally good to me and I appreciate it so much.  Of course they do not understand withdrawal and they give me all kinds of advice about insomnia. Thanks goodness none of them know anything about it.  They never fell into the clutches of benzos.

 

 

 

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[An...]

You were prescribed benzos for insomnia, so just getting off benzos and waiting on time is very unlikely to restore good natural sleep. Light aerobic exercise and meditation and no napping before bedtime have been my sleep go-tos.

Best--

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[so...]

Chamomile tea with valerian is good . Sleepytime extra it’s sold as . Valerian , melatonin .. all good options . No evidence for Noni juice . I’m tapering now and I’m a damn pharmacist . These benzos should be prescribed much less frequently and more cautiously . What a ride man … hang in there . 

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[Ma...]
On 23/04/2024 at 09:21, [[M...] said:

‘AF’?

Apparently you don’t fully know who Geraldine Burns is. She went through this decades ago, was friends with Ashton, changed the state legislature rules for deprescribing in the state of Massachusetts and so on…

Take it or leave it.

Look, we’re all searching for relief from whatever our particular issues are. As Jen Swantowski says, in this search, grab a bead of information for what works for YOU and add that to your healing necklace-add as many beads as possible until you have a beautiful, full necklace and share so others may benefit when ASKING.

And be kind to yourself and others going through this.

Please tell me more about this, as I’m injured and also a provider and there was no formal education on benzo Deprescribing to be honest. And I got no notice of any change.. my psychiatrist had also never heard of any of these people. So I’m curious what she changed and how to access that for providers 

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[Kr...]

Absolutely made sick from Noni  juice. Don’t risk it. Liver enzymes very high while in it, came off and they returned to normal. 
 

Pure snake oil 

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[Su...]

@[Ja...]

Maybe I can offer some help through my experience.

I started off klonopin in Feb 2023. Completely off June 2023. I was in withdrawal the whole time. Acute withdrawal June through August 2023.

Since then, I have experienced horrific insomnia.  I was on Ambien and got rid of it as well when I found out about Z-drugs.  My sleep since August has gone from microsleep from August through maybe October, to 1 -2 hours at a time in the fall. Until April 2024, my longest uninterrupted sleep was 4-5 hours.  The last two weeks or so, I have improved some more, with one night having 7.5 hrs of sleep with only getting up once to urinate.  My insomnia is characterized by difficulty staying asleep.

When I get no sleep it impacts my speech, memory, motor function, and moodIt is my worst symptom because it affects everything else.

In the process, I have experimented with a number of things to gauge their effects on sleep:

1) Diphenhydramine (Benadryl) - This did not work.  It may have put me to sleep, but I woke up feeling worse than before I took it. Kinda' hung over.  This same basic pattern applies to when I tried Melatonin, Ashwagandha tea, chamomile tea, and other herbal cures.

2) Sleep sounds - This has been a huge help. I have found long playing videos of just ambient sound on YouTube (no ads). I let them play through the night. If I awake, I press the TV remote to show the screen and how much time I have slept.  Here is an example of a video that works for me. 

3) I avoid caffeine at all costs.

4) I try to watch videos before bed to prepare for sleep. A warm bath or shower may be warranted if I am feeling particularly bad.  I try to minimize emotional content before bed.  

I feel strongly that in my experience, what works best for sleep is clean eating and no more drugs.  Try and think of your entire day as a preparation for the time you lay your head on the pillow.

Best

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