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deeeCA insomnia vs. natural remedies...
Hey everyone,

I've had the worst problem with insomnia lately. It's gotten to the point where it has been probably been going on for a few months now...

I never had a problem in the past... my doctor thought it was stress and prescribed me ambien and klonopin to help me. Guess what - doesn't help! I'm up now at the crack of a** with a huge conference to work at in the next 3 days.

Once a heavy sleeper, I could sleep through everything... when I lived in NYC, I could sleep with the planes passing over my apartment... the overhead subway going by every 10 minutes... my crazy phycho neighbor that used to run around in my shared backyard naked and screaming his name, address, and phone number..

I'd like to think my stress level is about the same if not less than those times. Things are quiet here in California.. the crickets in my lizard's tank was what woke me up tonight. !!??!?!

Does anyone have any natural remedies to suggest that actually work? I've tried melotin before... and I'm waiting for my acupuncturist to give me my detox meds and whatever else. But I'm pretty desperate here... help!
Re: Insomnia or natural remedies...
Exercise! If nothing else, take a long walk every day. Since I joined the women's gym here, I am falling asleep easier every night, and staying asleep! 
Re: Insomnia or natural remedies...
For sure, mention it to the acupuncturist. That will help. If you are quitting alcohol, that may have something to do with it. I know when I started the patch to quit smoking, that made my eyelids stay open for a few days. Age can also have a factor. Symptoms of menopause can start as early as 35 and sleep issues can come and go with that also.
Loraura Re: Insomnia or natural remedies...
Non-medical options that sometimes work for me are:

Regular exercise, but not within an hour of bed-time.
A relaxing bed-time routine every night.
Same bedtime and wake-up time, including weekends. (This was hard for me, but getting my a$$ out of bed by 7:30 or 8 on weekends really helps when it's time to sleep Sunday night.)
No naps.
Eat a good dinner, but not right before bed.
Darken the bedroom with heavy drapes.
Make a to do list for the next day before going to bed. (This helps me not worry as I try to fall asleep.)
Re: Insomnia or natural remedies...
Good to meet you Deee and I am in the same club--insomnia.

I take my Klonopin every night and am on Zoloft as of this past Monday a.m. again...can get to sleep but wake up with nightmares and/or work calls (had to go handle one in the wee early a.m. but am not going to do my regular day today because I'm pooped). I get the exercise....I do the good eats, the caffeine has been cut...am in early recovery as in 23 days today.

See my counselor shortly and am asking for my Trazadone again. I'm getting ill as all get out without sleep.
RIP Re: Insomnia or natural remedies...
Hi Deee,

I work in a detox. We try many different interventions to assist our clients in getting some sleep.

One of the most soothing and relaxing methods is to get yourself some Epsom salts and have a nice hot, long bath with about a cup of Epsom salts poured in the water.

exercise can be very helpful as well. Be aware of your eating patterns or what you are eating before bed.

Try some sleepy time tea, or some hot milk and honey.

From a medical perspective a lot of clients need medical intervention to assist in sleep.

Depending on what you are withdrawing from, meds can be effective as well.
Seroquel is used quite often, but be careful if you are diabetic. We also use some benzodiazepams, but I heed on the side of caution for they are extremely addictive and the withdrawal is the worst of any and all drugs classifications.
Re: Insomnia or natural remedies...
I don't know how effective the herb teas (Sleepytime, Calming Tea, Night Night etc.) are against the meds, but they really do work excellent when used regularly-1/2 hour before bed every night for a week seems to start a pattern and it's a psychological help too-a routine that you have that tells your mind/body that you're going to sleep deeply each night. Also, Calms-a homeopathic remedy found in the health food store. I have worked in many HF stores and always led people to many options-go in to your local one (not GNC or a vite store) and just ask there-you, hopefully will be very welcomed and surprised at all the help you will get.
Boring educational textbooks help me immensely  just ask all my former teachers
Re: Insomnia or natural remedies...
Just a little tidbit. My local news did a report on Ambien and what they have found out is that people are doing some night activities and not remembering what they have done. One woman was getting dressed, driving her car and one evening smashed into a parked car a few miles from her home. Another woman had gained something like 40 lbs. and finally had a family member come stay with her for a time period. She was getting up in the night and actually cooking and eating. She didn't believe it until her son filed her doing so.
Re: Insomnia or natural remedies...
Benzodiazepines aren't worth the risk if you are in early recovery in my opinoin. Benzo's are a class of drugs that are often used for sleep or anxiety. They are a controlled substance and can be mentally and physically addictive. If you run out or stop taking the drug without tapering off slowly you can risk serious withdrawals or death. I experienced the worst physical withdrawal of my life when I suddenly got cut off my benzo's. I had seizures, insomnia worse that what I started with, overwhelming anxiety, sweats, chills, nausea, nonstop vomiting, the runs, muscle aches, it was hell. I've kicked heroin cold turkey several times and I would rather kick heroin any day than benzo's. The last time I was prescribed a benzo I chose Diazepam aka Valium because this is the benzo that most people are switched to when they are tapered off other benzo's such as Klonopin or Xanax or Ativan for example. Valium or Librium are the benzo's of choice for detoxing a person off other benzo's because they stay in the system a bit longer and levels drop off gradually so you don't experience such sudden withdrawals, things are most gradual. I didn't want to be switched to something in order to get off a benzo like Xanax so I just asked the doc for Valium from the get go. It was easy to stop taking them, I just had the doc cut my dose down over a month's time. I kicked benzo's cold twice, once I was taking Klonopin and the other time I was taking Ativan. Ativan is really lorazepam, Valium is really diazepam, see most benzo's true names end in a "pam" so that's a way to know if you are on a benzo.

Benzo's are really easy to abuse because they are prescribed by a doc so we justify taking them by saying a doctor prescribed them so it can't be that bad. They make you feel good, you don't feel stressed when taking them. They work well in social situations, they make you feel at ease. They also help with sleep. For awhile...........then you need more and more to achieve the desired effect. My brother was doing okay until he went to the doc and asked for a benzo script for anxiety. The anxiety he was experiencing was regular anxiety that everyone experiences like when you apply for a new job, school, etc. He got the script and things went downhill fast. He started out taking them as prescribed but soon started abusing them. Then he relapsed on street drugs because the benzo's got him high but of course they made him crave his real drugs of choice. That's what happens to people they think taking a drug that wasn't their drug of choice won't affect them but it does. It can send you back to your drug of choice in a hot second.


Re: Insomnia or natural remedies...
Jamie--sorry about your brother and benzo's.
mary--saw the news thing on Ambien(it's starting to be seen also in other sleep meds<Lunesta in one of my patients of late>.

Having Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibro, along with panic attacks and migraines (pre/post cycle), for me, the doc is fine with me being on Klonopin for restless legs/pain and Xanax for panic attacks. ONLY when Mom is with me will I take an Ambien for my migraines---and that has to be at the end of my rope migraine time before I take it--thankfully 1 will break the cycle for me (the other migraine meds gave me anapylactic shock: ugh and couldn't breath). The Zoloft I'm doing half of a 50 mg and doc gave me the okay to up it this morning and has called in the Trazadone. Doc knows I used meth and am clean now or I'd not even think of this.

I can't remain in insomnia state and keep my business going much less my recovery. I'm not a fan of meds en mass but if it will keep me clean and help me get thru this stage of my body finding "normalcy" again then I'd rather do the meds than....the old habit.

Tried the herbals route when first diagnosed and it wasn't condoned by Workers (non)Compensation. I always liked herbal and holistic and still do. They however wanted me zonked out and I hated it...this is mild meds now compared to what they had me on. I'm blessed I hate swallowing pills with a passion along with liking being meth free.

Didn't mean to get long...but I had to wait on a call from one of my workers before I could leave.
vctry7 Re: Insomnia or natural remedies...

That is true about the Ambien. My husband took them for about a month. He would have complete conversations with me. He even got up and turned on the light and started talking. I had to answer back, even though some of the conversations were absorb, because he wouldn't go back to sleep until I did or get mad that I was ignoring him.

He'd wake up in the morning and say he felt like crap, like he didn't sleep at all. He never remembered any of it. Even the kids would wake up sometimes and ask him what in the world he was talking about.

Did you hear about the guy on the airplane that thought he was the incredible hulk? He took an Ambien before the flight and jumped up and ripped his shirt off and announced he was the incredible hulk! It was on the news.

On a serious note, Trazadone is the best sleep medicine we have ran across. It's supposed to be non addictive.
lax2 Re: Insomnia or natural remedies...
Trazadone, Xanax, Zoloft, Valium, Klonapin, Ambien...OH MY!
Did you also say you were ok with the fact you drink occasionally? And you are 23 days clean from meth?
That sounds like a pretty heavy regimen...but I am no doctor. I am not sure all Doctors are always right either.

I Was just going to suggest a white noise machine for Deee to try out,, Maybe the OCEAN or THUNDER/RAIN setting...Its just an Idea...

I also remember that when I got clean I had quite a bit of insomnia, I chalked it up to what I suspected was a chemical imbalance... But I don't know.  
Catherine Re: Insomnia or natural remedies...
OMG, you are me. I have been clean for 15 months now, and for the last 15 mos. I too find it very difficult to a) fall asleep and b) stay asleep. I thought that this was just a phase that I would eventually outgrow, but I have not.

I have tried virtually everything from over-the-counter sleeping pills to the prescription ones. I wish that I could sue Ambien for all the weight that I put on. I swear that I would get up 3 to 4 times a night and pig out on the first thing that I found. Most of the time I totally unaware of it. One time I woke up in morning with damp yogurt all over my pillow case and shirt -- the empty container was next to my bed -- I quit taking Ambien that day.

As of right now, I take 1 Klonopin and 3 or 4 Sominex or Tylenol PM a half hour before I "attempt going to sleep". If I am not asleep after 2 hours of trying, then I take a couple more Sominex. If that still doesn't work, I have even resorted to NyQuil.

Desperate times = desperate measures.
Re: Insomnia or natural remedies...
Take the money you're spending on all the over-the-counter stuff and get a massage. It works wonders. Tell the person doing the massage you're having trouble sleeping. There is a pressure point that is for sleep. It's just down from that knobby ankle bone on the outside of the foot.
wackydac Re: Insomnia or natural remedies...
I have your cure but you will think I'm crazy.
It's reverse psychology.
Lay in bed holding a glass of water on your stomach (I used a can of cervaza) try not to fall asleep because you will spill the liquid if you do. By trying not to sleep you will fall asleep and spill the liquid (so don't use a full glass) drawback is you will wake up wet but what the heck you did sleep and you will dry out.
It's the same principle as smoking in bed except you don't stink up the house or burn it down.
Re: Insomnia or natural remedies...
Trazadone, Xanax, Zoloft, Valium, Klonapin, Ambien...OH MY!
Did you also say you were ok with the fact you drink occasionally? And you are 23 days clean from meth?
That sounds like a pretty heavy regimen...but I am no doctor. I am not sure all Doctors are always right either. 

Did you see my dual diagnosis of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia since on the job injury 1995? Didn't tell ya that Worker's (NON)Compensation had me on 49 separate meds either at one point along with their Functional Capacity Exams and *rehab* of working out daily.

Ambien for migraine only when at wits end and Mom is home.
Zoloft just re-started Monday last week.
Xanax or panic attacks and not be able to work? Xanax.
Trazadone just okayed by 2 MD's for sleep.
me--no valium...think Jamie was talking about that in her post.
Nonetheless, I am under medical supervision with these meds.  or would it be better to use? nah...think not.

lax2 Re: Insomnia or natural remedies...
All I was trying to say was I wouldn't mix or drink any alcohol into that mix. I didn't mean anything else by it.
Just sounds like a pretty strong mix to me. I wasn't judging ya, just saying that the combined effect of those
meds might contribute in some way to insomnia.
I know when I was newly clean nothing seemed to help me get to sleep. I found it kind of ironic, that I rarely was able to get to sleep for more than 20 minutes at a time the first month or two that I was clean.
Re: insomnia & apology
All I was trying to say was I wouldn't mix or drink any alcohol into that mix. I didn't mean anything else by it.
Just sounds like a pretty strong mix to me. I wasn't judging ya, just saying that the combined effect of those
meds might contribute in some way to insomnia.

I'm not drinking any beer, wine, or liquor at present. I figure with adding my meds back in it's not a good idea now, at least until I am adjusted to my meds.

If I could do this med free, I'd kiss the ground. I admit I can't do it med free and keep some degree of sanity and some ability to work. Am just now starting to feel Zoloft helping me a bit. Meth halted it from working faster, as it did when first Rxed for CFS/FM, and I accept the slowed results...:sigh:

I know when I was newly clean nothing seemed to help me get to sleep. I found it kind of ironic, that I rarely was able to get to sleep for more than 20 minutes at a time the first month or two that I was clean.

This irks me. You'd think taking away the stimulant you'd be able to sleep. Nada. Even with Trazadone, at least it hasn't helped yet. Patience Dee, patience.

Seems I can fall asleep anywhere but the bed and bless her heart, Mom will wake me up and tell me, "Dee, hon, get in the bed so you can sleep decently." Then awake for the rest of the night I am.

This is OT, but just the same, Lax and all, I have noticed I am incredibly "tense" and "supersensitive" right now. I've asked the counselor how to overcome this and ...dang it, she says: "Did you get over being hyped on meth overnight?" Well, no, but......"It will ease in time Dee. Cut yourself some slack. Most meth users don't work after quitting. And how many hours do you work? Your working your hiney off in therapy for which you should be glad. Look how much insight you have now that you didn't just a wee bit ago. Time for some understand and love for Dee..learn to forgive your own self and be who you are now, this moment, and pray others will understand."

I'm trying everyone. Forgive me for being ultra sensitive while I get better, please? I truly am sorry for hurting anyone. Thankfully the depression is lifting. Maybe soon, the rest will follow. If you wish for me to take a break and not post, I'll understand fully.
deeeCA Re: Insomnia or natural remedies...
So on goes the insomnia....

Thanks to everyone for the kind replies... I have klonopin and Ambien currently but they don't make a difference believe it or not.... Nothing really does these days.

I'm currently working a conference for my job, and been waking up at 4am WIDE awake... very weird.

I just wish there was something...anything. to solve this prob. Ya know>

See also:

Hiding the truth about using meth and insomnia

Sleep apnea common with meth users?

Meth and Sleeping

Sleeping problem after 11 months clean from Crystal Meth

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