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No sleep for almost an entire week..need help!


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Hey, here I am again with incredibly bad insomnia.  I quit Gabapentin/Neurontin on about the 18th of October.  I slept fine for four days and then I had 2 beers on Oct 22, and was up for 3 days.  I slept 6 broken hours after the 3rd day of being up.  Then on the next day I only slept 1 hour.  Now I've been up for another two days since October 26th.  I've only slept 7 hours this whole week.  I tried using epsom salts in a bath before sleep but that didn't help.  I'm also taking Magnesium Chloride and bedtime tea.  Seems like nothing is working.  Earlier I laid in bed for 16 hours miserable but too exhausted to get up until I finally got some energy to get up.  What kind of advice do you guys have?  Why can't I sleep if I'm exhausted and why does laying in bed seem to make it worse?  Oh, I was also taking Tramadol during this time period for a tooth pain (exposed root) but I ran out so I stopped taking it.
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I agree.  Lying in bed does make the sleepless nights worse. 

 

What helps me the most is to get out of bed for an hour.  Then try again.  Putting on lots of blankets and warm socks to raise my body temp and bring on sleep.  And for me--no trying to take unsuccessful naps.  It just revs up my nervous system more.

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That is a real drag to have insomnia frequently.

Ok, like I have been awake after 3 hours of sleep. Now, it is 4'ish a.m and I am going to go eat some oatmeal (natural nervine to calm the nerves) and have a cup of chamomile tea (nervine).  Will probably be sound asleep again in an hour or so.  Sure hope you get some decent sleep soon.

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Hi Glyn. I know how miserable this is. I could not sleep at all last nite too. I took melatonin,1/2 a unisom and then another 1/2 and finally went to sleep at 3. It is so hard to believe you can be exhausted and wired at the same time. I didn't feel wired last nite. I was relaxed but just couldn't sleep. Then after a while I started thinking too much and getting anxiety. That's why I took the rest of the unisom. I didn't want to feel awful today since we are going out with friends to celebrate my Halloween birthday.

I sure wish the melatonin still worked.

HOpe you do better tonite. Sometimes when we are really wired the otc stuff doesn't work. Last nite and today I had a twitching leg muscle and have never had that symptom. Also am sweating again today. 9 mos....I should be done with this stuff.

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I slept last night but I only slept for 2 hours.  I was laying in bed for 16 hours miserable until I finally got up now.  I hate this.  Sometimes if I lay in bed long enough I will "persevere" and I will get some sleep despite the insomnia.  This hasn't happened lately.  I'm just hoping I'll be able to sleep 12 hours or so when I finally do.  It doesn't make sense that I finally get some sleep and wake up 2 hours later.  Stupid.  The OTC stuff never worked for me. 

 

I thought the Tramadol might have an effect, which is why I mentioned that I was taking it.  I only took it for 3 or 4 days or so so it's not possible that I got withdrawals.  My body feels weak and hurts everywhere from not getting enough sleep.  My nerves are in pain too.  This is terrible.

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Glyn

I have similar issues, sporadic sleep and exhaustion. I read last night about sleep restriction and am going to use it. Maybe you could google it and see if you like the concept (and its free:) )  I really have to point out that after 16 hours laying in bed you just won't feel tired for the next time. I know its ridiculously hard to function on no sleep from experience, I also know that *i* have felt so angry and annoyed at  myself for wasting so much time when i have laid awake in bed hoping for sleep for so many hours. Go do something just so you can say to yourself... Well i didn't sleep... at least i paid my bills, read a book, dusted the cobweb that annoyed me in the lounge or whatever the case may be... Better than i am so *@-_  !;/) I laid in bed for x hours and didn't sleep. Give it a try :)

Coralie x

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Glyn,

 

When you were in the chat a couple days ago you mentioned that you have been trying to w/d from some a/d's or other meds and you are newly benzo free.  Do you think that cutting those other drugs might be having some impact on your insomnia?  If that is possible, it might be worthy of consideration to hold off on cutting further or even going back to where you were when you could sleep on those other drugs just until you get your sea legs from your recent freedom from benzos.  Just thinking out of the box and wishing you the best however you choose to proceed.

 

WWWI

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Seek medical help if you really need it. Just don't take the wrong drugs.

 

This board can offer you some social support, but not medical help.

 

You quit Valium/diazepam about two months ago. Have you considered that there may have been some diazepam (or diazepam's metabolites) in your system till recently, or till this very day ?

It can take a long time to get all of that stuff out of your body.

 

That Gabapentin withdrawal may have had more of an impact than you realized.

 

Alcohol while in withdrawal is usually a very bad idea.

Magnesium can act on the benzodiazepine receptor.

 

'Why can't I sleep if I'm exhausted' I have that too. Insomnia is an unfortunate but common complaint after benzo withdrawal.

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Thanks for the replies.  I slept about 6 hours the day before yesterday and I thought my sleep was coming back but I only slept 1 hour yesterday night.  Still feeling terrible.  I'm worried I'm going to miss classes at my college which will effect my grades.  Sparkles -- I guess I can try that, I just feel terrible being awake..I have nerve pain and my joints hurt not to mention headaches and anxiety.  I guess it makes sense though that after 16 hours laying in bed I wouldn't be tired physically.  WWW -- Yes, I was cutting down on a med but I'm raising it back up for now to see if it helps.  It hasn't done much yet.  I'm planning to stay off the Gabapentin though, I haven't taken it since October 18th.  Liberty --  I would seek medical help if there was actually decent help out there, but there isn't.  It's either psych meds, antidepressants, or benzos (or z-drugs) for sleep problems and it's all really primitive.  None of it is decent help.  For those reasons I avoid going to doctors like the plague cause it's just a waste of time and usually they put you down and blame you for having problems instead of trying to help you out.  The medical community can treat stuff like cuts and gun shots or heart attacks but has no idea how to treat insomnia.

 

I don't think that the Valium is in my system anymore..I'm pretty active and drink a lot of fluids (though I'm not sure if the fluids help or not).  I'm pretty sure it was out of my system by 5 weeks or so.  It's possible the Gabapentin withdrawal could be causing the insomnia but it doesn't make sense how I slept well for 4 days when I first quit it and didn't have problems till the 5th day off. 

 

I guess it's all part of withdrawal but I was expecting it to be better by now.  I was progressively getting better and sleeping a lot and then out of nowhere after drinking some beer I had insanely bad insomnia.  My recovery seemed to be linear until then and now it's unpredictable.  I'm going to avoid the beer for a while, it just seems so stupid that I can't have 2 beers after waiting a whole month and a half to drink again.  It's really frustrating and no one seems to understand.

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My advice probably isn't worth much, but I'll try.

 

I don't know much about Gabapentin. Wikipedia claims: 'Gabapentin should not be discontinued abruptly after long term use. Abrupt or over rapid withdrawal may provoke a withdrawal syndrome reminiscent to alcohol or benzodiazepine withdrawal.[35][36] Gradual reduction over a period of weeks or months helps minimize or prevents the withdrawal syndrome'

 

Gabapentin withdrawal ?

 

'I'm pretty active and drink a lot of fluids (though I'm not sure if the fluids help or not)'

Being too active can cause problems. Fluids ? There is such a thing as too much. It's important to keep the electrolytes in balance/at the right levels, excessive drinking can cause issues with that.

 

'I was progressively getting better and sleeping a lot and then out of nowhere after drinking some beer I had insanely bad insomnia' It's not uncommon for alcohol to rev up some symptoms while in withdrawal.

Alcohol really does a lot. It acts on gaba, glutamate, nmda receptors and more.

 

I wonder if there is not some Valium in your system. Valium binds to fatty tissues. Perhaps being very active/drinking a lot of fluids can affect the release/metabolism of Valium or its metabolites ? Just guessing.

Valium's main metabolite desmethyldiazepam has an extremely long half life.

 

I don't know if you're in 'gabapentin withdrawal' or how that affects things you could take for sleep.

Have you tried sedating antihistamines ? Benadryl/diphenhydramine is not the best choice though.

I could think of at least two sedating antihistamines that are probably prescription only, but it is forbidden per the site's rules to give 'proscriptive advice' ...

 

Suntheanine did work for me occasionally, but it can intensify withdrawal symptoms later.

Melatonin has worked too at times, but I developed a tolerance and became somewhat dependent ...

 

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According to wikipedia desmethyldiazepam/nordazepam (Valium's main metabolite) has an elimination half life of 36-200 (!) hours.

 

I can't preclude that some of that or Valium itself is still floating around in your system.

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To add to what liberty is saying...

 

http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/410827_6

 

Gabapentin

Gabapentin is a relatively new anticonvulsant and mood stabilizer drug that can be safely and successfully used in pain management and to treat insomnia.

 

And...

 

http://epilepsy.emedtv.com/neurontin/neurontin-withdrawal.html

Symptoms of Neurontin Withdrawal

Anxiety

Insomnia

Nausea

Pain

Sweating.

 

I know you want off this badly.  I really get that.  But if it were me I might consider reinstatement just to get some sleep and stabalize and slow reduction? And just to cover my butt, this was already prescribed so I'm just offering options I would consider and not "proscribing"

 

However you decide to proceed, my thoughts are with you.

 

WWWI

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Hey..I finally slept 7 hours and I'm feeling a lot better.  I felt like I could have slept 20 hours though to make up for lost time and I wanted to sleep some more but couldn't.  Oh well, I should be grateful for getting 7 hours in the least.

 

liberty -- I've tried the OTC antihistamines but not any prescription ones.  I'm trying to keep the meds I take at a minimum.  I'm taking a melatonin medicine called Rozerem right now and it helps a little bit.  Maybe I'll check into some of the sedating antihistamines at my next psych appointment though if I'm still struggling with sleep.

 

WWW -- I know the Gabapentin withdrawal can cause problems.  I went from 800mg to 400mg to 300mg then to 0 and I barely have anymore left.  I'd rather just get through it and not take it again.  I wouldn't have anyone to prescribe it if I did want to go back on it.  I'm hoping the 7 hours of sleep I got is a sign of improvement.

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Update - I just found out that one of the sodas I bought 2 days ago has caffeine in it.  Diet Sunkist..I thought it was caffeine free.  I only drank 4 or 5 but it could have contributed to the insomnia.
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[51...]

I got myself off of 900mg of Neurontin as well over about a month's time and my insomnia has been much worse since I came off.

 

I sleep from about 10-2:30, then about 3:00-5:30...so, it's broken sleep, but at least it's sleep. I was sleeping through the night when I was on the neurontin...however, I am like you...I don't want anymore meds in my system if I can help it. So, I've managed to get myself off of a good amt of meds. I may have to sing another tune though if I get slammed w/ symptoms here in the upcoming months. I am like you, however, I refuse to go back on Neurontin. I'd rather try an Rx anti-histamine or melatonin- things that I know aren't going to cause me issues in the long run.

 

Hang in there, Glyn. The sleep does return from what I have been told from others who've healed up. We just have to get to the other side of this nightmare.

 

Much healing to you, lamberfn

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Hey..I finally slept 7 hours and I'm feeling a lot better.  I felt like I could have slept 20 hours though to make up for lost time and I wanted to sleep some more but couldn't.  Oh well, I should be grateful for getting 7 hours in the least.

 

WWW -- I know the Gabapentin withdrawal can cause problems.  I went from 800mg to 400mg to 300mg then to 0 and I barely have anymore left.  I'd rather just get through it and not take it again.  I wouldn't have anyone to prescribe it if I did want to go back on it.  I'm hoping the 7 hours of sleep I got is a sign of improvement.

 

It certainly sounds like its moving in the right direction!!  That's really good to hear.  So very glad you got some sleep. 

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Hi Glyn. I would stay away from soda period. It is all bad. The diet stuff is the worst with aspertame or some artificial sweetner. Those can rev you up. The reg soda is full of sugar which can also affect sleep. Soda is terrible. Try to drink more water and stay away from all soda. I finally got my son(adult) off of it all. You will also probably lose weight.

Glad to hear you slept. Isn't it wonderful when you do? For me unisom and benadryl have been a real solution to get me thru this.

Sleep tonite!!!

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Hey, I slept another 7 hours and I'm feeling better.  Still looking forward to when I can sleep 8 hours a night again.  It's hard for me to feel good when I don't sleep at least 8 hours especially being on Zyprexa which makes me sleep a lot (normally) and makes me tired.

 

Maltese -- I've been drinking diet sodas for a long time..I used to be a major caffeine fiend and I switched to caffeine free.  I've gone through periods of time where I quit the diet soda with the aspertame but I didn't feel any different or better so I decided it wasn't causing any problems.  I won't lose any weight going off of diet soda since they are 0 calories with 0 sugar.  If I had felt better after I quit the aspertame I would have stayed off of it but it doesn't seem to effect me.  Yeah, it is really nice to sleep again.  I'm hoping I continue to sleep well.  :)

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Hi Glyn. Glad you got some sleep! Sure makes life a lot better. A friend of mine is a naturopath. She told me years ago that aspertame and the artificial sweetners are poison. Would you drink poison? No one in her family uses soda anymore. It does all kinds of bad things to your body, whether you are seeing the effects or not. It can also affect sleep.

I realize it is zero calories and I don't know why, but Dr. Mercola also says you will lose weight if you stop drinking the sodas. He also says it is one of the worst things you can put in your body.

Just wanted to pass this along. I haven't had a soda in probably 5 years. I don't miss it anymore and I know I'm helping my body. I have also mostly given up wine...that has been much harder. It is supposed to be bad for women. I do miss my wine and at least it has some redeeming qualities.

Good luck with sleep tonite.

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Maltesemom,

 

I'm not disagreeing that we don't know what many artificial sweeteners are capable of and I have heard rumor that injesting some of them can cause the body to think it's getting sugar and when it in fact doesn't, causing the body to increase hunger to fill that void, thereby defeating the purpose of drinking no calorie beverages.  But that's just rumor.  And if Glyn is doing his very best to get off drugs that CLEARLY cause damage whether temporary or permanent being still up for debate perhaps you might just want to give him a break. And what kind of a question is "Would you drink poison?"?!?!

 

Additionally as far as Mercola is concerned he's just fine and dandy with Stevia, so making a blanket statement that they are all poison and the WORST thing you can put in your body without substantiating it with actual scientific fact is irresponsible and fear inducing which for people here is probably not an ideal thing to do.  And it affects sleep? Please point me to your source, as I am always open to acquiring a new perspective from proven scientific facts.

 

WWWI

 

 

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My friend the naturopath is the one who said "Would you drink poison" because that is how she and many people feel about artificial sweetners. She is adament in avoiding it at all costs...so I do. For many people it causes even worse problems than the average person. I am certainly not an authority on this. I can only go by what those more educated on the subject tell me. Is an occasional soda going to hurt you? Probably not, but drinking them every day, just might. So why not avoid it.

As far as Stevia, most naturopaths, along with Dr. Mercola do recommend stevia if you need some kind of sweetener. I used to use agave and have been convinced it is not so good. I respect Dr. Mercola and all the good he does. He really brought the topic of vitamin D to the forefront. I've been using it for probably 5 yrs. Is he always right? Probably not. But he is fighting big pharma and to me that is a great thing.

I only told Glyn what I thought and what I do personally. In withdrawal it is best to eat as healthy as possible and avoid additives.

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The reason they say it can make you gain weight is supposedly because the artificial sweeteners make you more hungry, but I've never had a problem with that.  I usually don't eat a lot as it is compared to most people.  I quit the aspertame for a few months before and didn't notice any change with my sleep or anything like that so I figured it doesn't effect it..I think it is just a rumor.
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Hi Glyn,

 

I was wondering, you were prescribed Rozerem/Ramelteon.  I was wondering how well it worked, and if it

added much time to you sleep very often?

 

I am only getting 2 hours of sleep per night for the past three weeks and am about to start my 4th.  I

don't know how much more of this I can take....  I thought perhaps that when I was up after two hours

this may be something to take to get me back to sleep. Any thoughts?

 

Tink

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