Jump to content
CrazyBoards.org

Benzos as sleeping aides


Recommended Posts

ativan does not help me fall asleep, but does keep me asleep longer.

If I really want to sleep I cut a unisom tab in half.  I'm kind of a lite weight when it comes to pills;  I find if I switch off from one to another, say from melatonin one night and unisom the next, it works the best because I dont build up a tolerance.

Good luck.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You're pdoc won't prescribe sleeping pills, but he'll prescribe benzos??? That makes no sense at all.

There's a class of sleeping pills called "non-benzo hypnotics," also referred to as the "Z class." It includes Ambien, Sonata, and Lunesta (and probably a few others I'm forgetting). They are non-addictive (unlike benzos) and take a really, really long time to build up tolerance to (unlike benzos).

Also... for a lot of people, benzos aren't sleep-inducing. They may calm your nerves and make you less anxious, which may be what you need to fall asleep, but they aren't likely to actually induce sleep.

Check out the Sleep Issues board - there's lots of good stuff there. I think your pdoc needs some lessons in appropriate treatment for insomnia or that you need a new pdoc!

~Sunshine

Link to comment
Share on other sites

valium helps me fall asleep and stay asleep with little anxiety (i.e. nightmares) and awaken with little anxiety (though i take it again as soon as i awaken.)

for JUST sleeping, a simple 3mg over the counter melatonin works great for me and many others. but it doesn't help me with anxiety per se, just to get to sleep and get some good hours.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You can't sleep?  Seroquel.  Now that is an efficient non-addictive solution.  And if you've got hardcore treatment resistant insomnia, there's Nozinan.  Now if you don't fall asleep on Nozinan, you have to be some kind of mutant. 

PS: Nozinan is an old AP.

PBF

Link to comment
Share on other sites

benzos just make me mellow and ;) .  not sleepy at all.  klonopin actually disrupts my sleep, i have super lucid dreams so i wake up during the middle of the night all the time, unless i pop a geodon.  then it's smooth sailing till the next day/night.

if you want something to help you sleep take an anti psychotic that is weight neutral, most of those will help you sleep.  seroquel will help the most, but cause of your diabetes it's a no no.

find out why he won't go for sleeping pills.  cause that's what you really need.

you might also want to go the herbal route to see if that works, valerian root or warm milk, those calming teas, etc...perhaps your brain just reacts to meds differently than most people.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 weeks later...

My pdoc won't go for sleeping pills and I can't take anything that causes weight gain because of my diabetes..so no seroquel.

Olivia,

You might want to ask about this more specifically in the Antipsychotic forum. The doses needed for Seroquel to help with sleep are much lower than needed for antipsychotic effects. At low doses it might be weight neutral.

Another option is low dose amitriptyline. I've used it for a couple of years now and have not had to increase the dose. It works very well and doesn't leave me groggy in the morning. And it's CHEAP. I'm talking $1.43 for 30 25-mg. tablets.

Greeny

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've been taking Ambien for a long time and while it gets me to sleep, if I'm in my insomniac mode it only keeps me asleep for about 4 hours.  My pdoc told me today I am more in need of something to keep me asleep, so he gave me an Rx for lorazepam (Ativan). 

I used Xanax for a long time before the Ambien, but recently there's been some talk among pdocs that Xanax isn't good for BPs, of which I am one.  Thus the Ambien.

So I have mixed thoughts about Ambien.  I'll have to see how it goes with the Ativan. I asked for Seroquel but my pdoc nixed it.  I'm going to post in the AP board and ask whether people have had metabolic syndrome or just weight gain even at low doses, like 25 or 50 mg.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

NARS, I was sooo glad to read this morning that your pdoc is going along with some much-needed changes.  But this sentence kind of confuses me:

My pdoc told me today I am more in need of something to keep me asleep, so he gave me an Rx for lorazepam (Ativan). 
Isn't Ativan one of the faster-clearance benzos?  If I'm having a particularly anxious day, I know it doesn't keep MY fight/flight demons at bay for more than four hours at a time anyhow.  Luckily my mood stabilizer and AD keep me level enough that that's not usually a problem unless, like I said, it's a really bad day.  Maybe your other med changes will help too.

Just as a further threadjack, have you tried taking a magnesium supplement?  It's supposed to be good for people who have trouble waking up in the middle of the night.  I take mag citrate at bedtime and it helps me feel calm and sleepy (of course I'm one of those reverse-insomniacs; EVERYTHING makes me feel calm and sleepy if it's after about 7:00!!), but my husband has to take it around dinnertime; if he waits, it actually keeps him awake.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You're exactly right, it is one of the faster clearing benzos, but is listed as having a half life of at least 8 hours.  The problem I have with ambien is that it poops out after about 4-5 hours.  This has been OK in the past because my problem is getting to sleep, and normally once I'm asleep I do just fine.  Trouble is that now I'm having trouble with both.

Last night I took 2mg and went to bed expecting to be asleep right away.  It didn't happen.  I lay there for an hour, stoned, until I realized I was not going to fall asleep.  So I took half an ambien, and feel asleep within 20 minutes.  The good part is I slept for 6 hours, woke up to pee, then slept for 2 more hours.  No hourly waking, no breaking into a sweat as though I were actually waking up & body temperature rising, no problem going back to sleep.  So Ativan didn't put me to sleep, though it probably kept me asleep better than ambien alone did.

The bad part is that I was still kind of stoned when I woke up.  Coffee helped, but my head didn't clear until just now at mid-day.  By the way, I also took 150 lamictal last night and 150 this morning, and didn't take tegretol last night.  I just decided it was silly to go 50 mg at a time, given that going from 100 to 200 was pain-free.  I think I can already feel the difference; my mood is better, my head-fog is lifting, and I feel less crazy and have been working all morning despite the Ativan buzz. 

The thing I don't know is whether it's a really bad idea to take 5 mg of ambien with lorazepam.  My plan tonight would be to take 5 mg ambien with only 1 mg lorazepam.  Does anyone know if this is dangerous?  I'll post on the benzo board too.  I'm afraid to ask the pdoc, because we ended up the visit kind of prickly.

Edited to add: yes, I take calcium & magnesium an hour before bedtime.  Normally it helps, but what's normal now?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm not really surprised that Ativan alone didn't put you to sleep.  Unless you were pretty sensitive to it or took a really high dose for your body chemistry (3mg puts MY body to sleep, but that's reserved for cases of extreme hypomania!)  I hope you can continue with the combination for now.  Maybe after your other med changes level off, you can try going without the Ambien again. (BTW, a Lamictal increase alone gives me a really deep sleep; don't know if it works that way for you or not.)

I think you have a good plan for tonight ... uh, last night I guess ....  How did it go?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Last night I took only 1 mg Ativan and 1/2 an Ambien.  I got to sleep just fine--getting to sleep has always been my main problem, and the Ambien is really good for that-but after 6 hours couldn't really do more than doze.  So the 2 mg of Ativan may be what I need to actually get close to 8 hours. 

My head is a little weirded out by all the medication changes, being off of tegretol, adding more lamictal, changing the kind of wellbutrin I'm taking, so it's hard to tell what's happening.  I'm going to approach the sleep aids as a current measure to keep me sleeping through the med adjustments.  Hopefully by the end of the weekend things will settle down.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

well, after screwing around with different meds, I'm finally getting some rest with Restoril and two Tylenol PM. Easier to fall asleep, and I've been getting around 5-6 hours a night...way better than my usual 3-4!

but pdoc wants to work on that after my other meds are stabilizing me

and I've told him I'm not ready to do it yet. it's kind of nice sleeping!

**just my experience**

my BIL gets great sleep taking melatonin and the calcuim, although he started using the calcuim for leg cramps. turned out it was a combo that worked for him.

spike

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...