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Stimulants for insomnia

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I've been wondering about this. I have BP1 with intense insomnia. I currently take Ambien and Xanax (occasionally) to help, but lately it hasn't been helping as much.

The weird thing is, I took ephedra (the diet pills that are now banned) several years ago. I had been on them for about 4 years. When I was taking these supplements, I slept like a baby! Now, of course I realize that ephedra is really bad for you, but at the time, everyone I knew was taking them, and I never suffered any adverse side effects.

Long behold, I went of them after they were banned and I started having this horrible insomnia, that hasn't alleviated at all (it's been over 2 years now). I think it's really bizarre that I slept better WHILE I was taking these stimulants rather than now that I'm off of them.

Do any of you guys have any idea why this could be?

BTW-I was on Lexapro for 2 years but stopped taking it about 2 months ago due to the side effects.

I'm going to see my doc this weekend. I'm thinking of asking him about this as well.

Also posted this topic in the Stimulants forums, but this one seemed to be a bit more active.

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I have ADD and insomnia. My pdoc has suggested trying to take my Adderall at bedtime. It hasn't worked for me, but apparently it does work for a lot of people. I think it depends on the type of ADD you have. The theory is that if the reason you aren't sleeping is because the part of your brain that works on sleep is understimulated, then taking something to stimulate that part of the brain actually makes you sleep.

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i have ADD. i tend to sleep better when i've taken my ADD meds that day. i'm not sure if this is related to your ephedra issue. i'd be curious to hear what your doctor has to say.

That was the first thing that came to mind.

Other possibilities:

  1. allergies/congestion: the difference between sleeping with and without a stuffed-up nose is immense
  2. central apnea (rare): one of the medical treatment options is an activating TCA. My guess is that, similar to ADD, the part of the brain that controls breathing while asleep may be underperforming. In that case, just a little kick in the pants does the trick.
Ephedrine and amphetamine are both good decongestants as well as stimulants, so there's more than one way ephedra may have helped you. It would be good to

discuss the possibilities (there are probably more) with your doctor. At least that is easy to treat, and you already know one thing that you have been able to tolerate.

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back in the day when i was a heavy coffee drinker (about 2 pots a day) I would have to drink coffee in order to go to sleep. and if i didnt drink coffee before bed, i had a lot of difficulities going to sleep.

i no longer drink that much coffee (lithium took away the coffee desire).

I dont know if this post helps or not...but i wanted to contribute.

good luck & yes, do let us know what the pdoc says,


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  • 2 months later...

Maybe you should buy some pseudoephedrine (Sudafed) and take it at night and see if you sleep. It's over-the-counter but I think there's some restrictions on it now because people use it to make crystal meth.

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