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xanax for sleep

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Posted

Hi All,

I was prescribed Xanax for sleep yesterday because lately when I try to go to sleep my body and brain will be on overdrive and I just can't relax enough to pass out. I had been prescribed 0.5 mg clonazepam for this purpose and the only way I could knock myself out was by taking 1.5mg, so basically I was abusing the drug. Also, when I did that, I would be extremely tired for the entirety of the next day. So, not ideal.

So I tried the Xanax route last night and it worked out okay... it didn't knock me out as quickly as clonazepam does, but I slept fairly soundly, only woke up once and was able to fall back asleep without trouble. The only problem is that I woke up early, about an hour before my 6:30am alarm.

Has anyone else ever been prescribed Xanax for sleep? To what level of success? Any opinions on this drug? I plan to use it for the short term (was only given a 30 pill script) just to get me over this rough patch.

Thanks.

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Posted

I've taken Xanax but not for sleep. It didn't make me sleepy.

If it works for you that's good. You shouldn't get dependet on it if you only take it once a day. I know the sedative effect wears off after long term use, but in your case i think you'll be fine.

Tom

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Posted

Thanks, Tom.

Well, I didn't feel groggy in the morning but on the way to school it hit me like a ton of bricks. I almost fell asleep on the bus. I just got up from a 2 hour nap.

I hope the zombie feeling wears off.

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Posted

Using *just* a benzo for sleep isn't really a long term solution. I have the same "busy brain on overdrive" insomnia. I take a benzo to slowdown the "busy brain" then some type of sleep med (OTC, lunesta, ambien, old skools TCAs, etc.) to get me sleepy.

When the sedating effects of a benzo goes away, a lot of times people think it isn't working anymore and just up the dosage. But in reality, it can still be slowing down your busy brain, and you just need a med specfically to make you groggy.

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Posted

I wouldnt recommend xanax for sleep because its half life is too damn short. With repeated dosing, its half life can drop to 3 hrs, which is going to cause you to wake up early in the morning.

There are sleeping medications you can tlak to your dr about. There is also seroquel, which in low doses can be very effective.

As for the benzo group, something like valium might suit you better....?

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Posted

Ditto on all of the above - especially what Halo wrote. Xanax doesn't make me sleepy at all, but that's a fairly atypical reaction - it makes most people sleepy.

Also, you'll probably end up with the same problem you had with the clonazepam as the sleepiness side effect tends to go away (for those who actually get sleepy from it). As Halo mentions, a small dose of a benzo might help turn off your brain and if you add in an actual sleeping med, it might be a good combo. Be aware, however, of taking Ambien with immediate release Xanax - I experienced sleep paralysis and hallucinations on this combo (but other people seem to have no problems, so YMMV).

~Sunshine

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Posted (edited)

Don't forget the addiction factor. If you take it once a day, every day, you're likely to get addicted. Xanax withdrawal is hell.

Edit: I shouldn't be talking... I take Klonopin for sleep almost every night.

Edited by Helena

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Posted

I just asked my pdoc last week how many days in a row you have to take Xanax to feel withdrawal effects. He said around two weeks. Just an interesting tidbit.

I've been on 1 mg XR (very small dose) for a year and a half. I definitely feel it wearing off and the couple of days I've forgotten to take it, while not hell, weren't pleasant. I've been lucky to have not developed any tolerance (1 mg has consisently been effective for the reasons I take it). I can't imagine what going off 4+ mg must be like. When I eventually go off (we talk about it ocassionally), he wants me to take 8 weeks to do it. It would take a year to go off 4-8 mgs!

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Posted

AFTER READING ALL THE REVIEWS ON TAKING XANAX FOR SLEEP I REALLY DON'T KNOW WHO TO BELIEVE,IS THERE ANY DOCTORS OUT THERE WHO COULD COMMENT ON THIS SUBJECT?

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Posted (edited)

Guest, I think this is mostly a "your mileage may vary" issue. Everyone has a different reaction and experience with benzos (xanax is a member of the drug class called benzodiazepines). For some people they are a godsend and for some people they are a hellish experience. For me personally, they make me batshit depressed and suicidal, but there are many people here who rely on them as an integral part of their treatment.

As with everything, the best thing you can do is give it a reasonable try, and if it works for you keep it and if it doesn't, don't.

About the addiction - this conversation has been had several times on this board, but there is a difference between addiction and dependence. I personally have had three trials on benzos, once for sleep and twice for daytime anxiety. I have been on them for up to a month at a time, and I stopped taking them without tapering down and had no withdrawal whatsoever.

If you are careful and follow your doctor's orders, benzos can be taken safely, and for many they are a great med.

Did you have any specific concerns other than addiction?

Edited by tryp

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Posted

AFTER READING ALL THE REVIEWS ON TAKING XANAX FOR SLEEP I REALLY DON'T KNOW WHO TO BELIEVE,IS THERE ANY DOCTORS OUT THERE WHO COULD COMMENT ON THIS SUBJECT?

I am not a doctor and I will never claim to be able to replace one. BUT I have insomnia since as long as I can remember and I also tried Xanax for sleep, I can share with you my experience.

It worked for me, but the hl was too short. Couldnt sleep more than 5 or 6 hours. But thats me, maybe it will work better for you.

Even a real doctor cant give you the right answer. You have to try it for yourself.

If you cant sleep because you think too much, benzo may help you. If you cant sleep for other reasons, your Pdoc will probably give you something else.

According to my Pdoc, lack of sleep is the first thing you should resolve before taking care of any other IM. She , of course, maybe wrong, but I trust her.

Vit

PS: Insomnia is the worst thing that ever happened to me, yet.

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