Lis

The pandy's insomnia club

220 posts in this topic

Hey everyone,
  I was wondering what kind of experiences you all have had with sleep aides. I ask because I am taking Ambien currently and I am getting concerned because it makes me REALLY crazy when I take it (I get very paranoid and suicidal, where when I'm not on Ambien, I'm fine). I have also tried Sonata, which didn't make me sleep at all, and the over the counter dyphenhydramine products, which make me sleep for 12 hours and I wake up totally groggy and can't function. I have tried herbal products like Kava Kava and Valerian Root and those don't seem to work either.
  Has anyone found anything that works really well?

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(((hugs))) I, myself have found that good ol' over the counter works wonders at times also, but you just have to be in a relaxed state of mind for them to work. My friend takes those tylenol PM's and they knocked me out one night, though i took 4. I woke up feeling pretty darn good...dont have a clue if this helps but hey its a thought.:):)

Take care hun..

Donna =)

(Edited by dreamerNdisguiz at 9:34 pm on Oct. 22, 2001)

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Oops, I totally missed that you had said you had tried valerian and that it didn't work and thats what I suggested. Sorry!

(Edited by Star at 10:37 pm on Oct. 22, 2001)

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lis~

i'm currently taking paxil which has helped me to sleep.  i've been a chronic insomniac as long as i can remember, but in the last 6 months sleeping has been fine (since i started the paxil)  be fore that what really helped me was melatonin.  i buy it at the drug store in capsules of 3 mg.  usually 1/2 of a capsule was all i needed.  i still take it occasionally when i can't sleep.  it has worked wonders for me without making me drowsy the next day.  and it makes me have really vivd dreams, which can be cool, but can also create really bad nightmares.  i do recommend trying it.  my shrinks have never said it could do any harm.  
hope this helps,
hilary

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Lis, I'm sure the medical community would through a fit over the advice I'm about to give you.  On those nights where I just can't sleep.  Or if I'm having one of those spells where I dread knodding off because of the #### nighmares, what works best for me is taking a Benadrill with a glass of red wine before bed.  Nothing else I've tried has worked as well.  The sleep is so sound and deep I don't even remember my dreams, and it all has worn off in the morning so I'm not groggy and able to go about me day.  I used to just do the wine but the hangovers where starting to effect me too much.

((HUGS))
Shannon

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((Lis))

One of the sleep aids I am currently taking is Tylenol PM. I only take one gelcap since taking two pills leave me feeling like a 'zombie' in the morning. Reading a book before going to bed also helps.

I hope you're able to find a remedy that helps.

Take Care,

Little Sunshine

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((LIS))

I take temazapan, which does work Although,i do feel sleepy during the day, but i don't know if that has anything to do with it cause i'm like that if i don't take them as well only worse.
Also try putting some lavener oil on your pillow when you go to bed (just a few drops) the subtle smell helps you relax therfore helping you to sleep a little better :)
Hope this helps

Carolyn

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Ok, I have to tell you about my wonder-drug.  I call it that because it's done wonders for both my insomnia AND my PTSD - it's called Zyprexa.  My psych nurse-practitioner prescribed it for my PTSD on top of my prozac, because it helps alleviate paranoia and intrusive thoughts.  It's technically an anti-psychotic prescribed for manic depressives and schizophrenics, but it's also good for PTSD.  I take it at 7:00 pm and around 9:00 I'm out like a light.  I now sleep for 8 hours and feel great in the mornings.  I was very concerned about the "anti-psychotic" part of it, but the nurse reassured me that it's also indicated for otherwise "normal" people who have PTSD.  It works immediately, and you don't need to let it build up in your blood stream like prozac.  It also has antidepressant qualities to it, so it actually enhances whatever antidepressant you're taking (if any).  

However, if you don't suffer from PTSD, here are my other suggestions:

- write a list of every single little thing that's on your mind.  That way your worries are on paper, not in your head.

- take a long hot bath with lavendar oil

- Bath & Body works makes a "tranquil sleep" line of products, including massage mousse and oil, which smells absolutely sublime and makes you relax

- don't do anything physically active for at least 2 hours before bedtime

- when it starts getting dark out, lower the lights inside, and keep the lights as low as possible for the last couple hours before bedtime

- avoid the internet before bedtime, it gets your brain all worked up.  TV is better because you're mind is just blanking out and you can relax better

- I have a timer on my bedroom tv that is like the "sleep" function on a clock-radio...I can set it for 15 minutes, or an hour, and I fall asleep to the tv and it goes off automatically.  This also works wonders

- warm milk and graham crackers

- I'm a huge fan of Kathy Smith, a video workout guru.  She has a Relaxation set which includes a relaxation cassette tape, and a relaxation workout video which utilizes yoga stretches and relaxing music.  It focuses on the parts of the body that "store" stress and tension, such as the calves and hamstrings.  I have a little neurotic bedtime ritual that involves strectching my legs and back - I can't sleep without it.

That's all I can think of for now, hope this helps!

Kimby

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You could try taking Kalms.  You can buy them over the counter.  I'm not sure if you can buy them anywhere but in England but it's worth a try!  Hope that is of some use, and I hope that you start to get some healthy sleep soon

((hugs))

Sarah

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(((Lis)))

I wish I could offer an idea, but I can't use any of them for fear that I won't be able to look after my kids. I just wanted to wish you luck and to say that I hope you're able to find something that'll work for you.

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Lis,
I havent really had too many problems sleeping, unless I have too much caffiene before I go to bed. I just wanted to wish you the best in finding what works for you. It's more of a trial and error thing. Maybe speak to your concellor / psych it may help, when you are relaxed you tend to sleep better. One other suggestion I have is that when I cant sleep, I exercise heaps during the day, it helps clear the mind and also can help you get your much needed rest.

Best of Luck Lis
(((hugs)))

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Well I tried Tylenol PM (dyphenhydramine) last night and I slept for 10 hours and then had to take a two hour nap halfway through the day because I was so out of it. So that one didn't work out too well! Hahahaha, my poor dogs were so bored because I spent so long in bed.

:)

Lis

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((((HUGS)))) Ok then i guess they are a little strong...;) I cant remember the names of them but in any drug store or supermarket by the vivarin and stuff like that there are normally sleeping pills. Those sleeping pills are not that strong, ill be honest i had to take like 7 before to actually be knocked out so they might work. I think i becamse kinda immune to them so maybe 1 would do the trick for you.

10 hours huh? :biggrin: Take care...

Donna =)

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Hey Lis,

I haven't taken anything for years, but years ago I tried Chloral hydrate which I don't even know if they prescribe anymore. It worked okay, though. I tried periactin which didn't do much good at all. I also was on restoril, but it gives you a hangover type feeling. I also tried trazadone which didn't help at all. I don't like pills so I usually just put up with not sleeping. Eventually I get exhausted enough to sleep ;) I hope you find relief soon! Take gentle care, Rain

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Lis,

I have ALOT of trouble sleeping too. My Doctor prescribed a sleeping pill called Imovane (generic name: Zopiclone). I love this shit!!! I take it an hour before I want to be sleeping. It slowly relaxes you, until you feel kinda 'high', really...but that's not always a bad thing. It's a nice high. ;) In the morning, when I first get up I feel a little tired, but not groggy (depending on how much of the pill I took the night before. I usually only take half, or a quarter and leave myself about 7-8 hours of sleep. Remarkeably, this pill has it's own alarm clock (so it seems). I usually wake up EXACTLY 8 hours later. The sleepiness (NOT grogginess) usually wears off by the time I've finished my cup of coffee.

The only thing I hate about it is, if I take half a pill (which is almost always-AND PLENTY) it tastes like I've been licking a battery. So, swallow fast! It tends to last a bit the next day...but it does fade. It usually wears off in the afternoon...OR, as soon as you crack a beer! --> (kidding)

Hope that helps, honey...I strongly recommend it.
Trinno

(Edited by Trinity at 7:16 pm on April 23, 2002)

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TRINNIE! :biggrin: I'm holding my happy little bottle of imovane right now...

(Edited by Anna at 2:22 pm on Oct. 26, 2002)

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Cheers Anna! Like I said, I love the shit!

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Children's Benadryl -it's 1/2 the dose of 1 tylonal PM- 12.5 mg of dyphenhydromine.  Doesn't knock you out nearly as much and it works faster b/c they disolve in your mouth rather than a pill. Hope that helps

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If I can't sleep I always take Nytol, It helps you go to sleep the Nyquil does except you don't have to be sick to take it.

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I have an awesome psychiatrist who understands that I am extremely sensitive to medications.  Insomnia has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember but now I take a great medication for it - Neurontin - originally prescribed for epilepsy but now widely used for many other illnesses.  The great thing about it is that it is also a mood stablizer and the body metabolizes it very quickly - there don't seem to be reactions with anything else, I get a very restful sleep and wake up without feeling groggy at all because it has worn off by then.  I also have the option of taking a small dosage during the day to combat the severe anxiety symptoms I get sometimes.  I also take Effexor XR for panic/anxiety, but still had trouble sleeping (as always).

Good Luck,
Keri

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Lis -
just wanted to tell you i've tried just about everything -
Ambien, other sleeping pills, all over the counter products, and many, many antidepressants and even antipsychotics to be able to sleep.

What works for me is Klonopin (a benzodiazapine) and Flexeril (a muscle relaxer).

I should mention i have a physical chronic illness that adds to the sleep trouble but i've had horrible problems with sleep all my life and it's mostly due to abuse. Sometimes, even with the medication that *does* help, i don't sleep for a few days at a time.

But anyway, i know what you mean about the stuff that makes you groggy, and one thing about Klonopin, in my experience it is one of the few drugs for sleep that does not have that effect. Yes, it is addictive. But i have taken it for years (most of the time) at a really low dose and not had any problems with being "addicted". I just know that whenever i have gone off of it, no other sleep aid does the same.

Also i have tried all the alternative stuff like Kava and Melatonin, Melatonin, btw, is very dangerous to take if you have a problem with depression. I get totally suicidal on it.

anyway, i don't know if this will help but if you haven't tired Klonopin yet, it works for me

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This is going to be a little bit off topic but still related.

I want to issue a warning about taking over-the-counter sleep aides.  The active ingredient is almost always the same as benadryl, therefore meaning it is only an antihistamine.  A nurse I know and respect went to a workshop recently learned that regular use of decongestants greatly increases your risk of getting Alzheimer's when you get older (this includes all decongestants and allergy medications, not just benadryl).

I, too, use over the counter sleeping aides but I am now trying to keep from using them.

As an alternative, if you can, it might help to drink a small amount of alcohol before you go to bed.  I know this doesn't have the same effect on everyone, but a small amount relaxes me and makes it easier for me to fall asleep.  Otherwise, I'd suggest finding a prescription drug that works well for you.  I use Sonata and it works great for me, but I know that Lis said it doesn't work at all for her.

Allison

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I take remeron at bedtime to stop the nightmares and nightime anxiety. During the day I take paxil for depression. Sometimes I still need extra help so I add excedrin pm (even though the doctor said not to). The remeron really helps. My husband noticed the difference in my sleeping immediately. I sleep through the night now and rarely have bad dreams.

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Lis-

I am an off and on insomniac because of my bipolor cycles.

I have been prescribed Trazadone by my psychiatrist.....and it works wonders, except you have to get at least 7 or 8 hours of sleep to be functionable and undizzy in the morning. If you have a psychiatrist think of talking to him/her about trazadone.

Good luck sweetie!

- Laura

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I've had good luck with Tylenol Simply Sleep for the occasional nights that I can't sleep more than usual.  It's the same stuff as Tylenol PM, except that it doesn't have the pain/fever reduce part in it (the "Tylenol", if you will).  They're in little packs for twos, which is good because they're all wrapped and I can throw a couple in if I'm going overnight somewhere and afriad I won't sleep.  I usually only take one, which works fine for me.

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