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I drink a lot, take seds... only to sleep


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Hey guys,

    I've been drinking a fair bit, for quite a while - pretty much daily. Usually i like to it socially, at mates places... out at pubs. If i don't drink i'd take some sort of sedative, a pain killer, anti-histamine or something that will knock me out. Used to smoke pot but i've given up.

    I would probably consider myself an alcoholic right now, however i don't like to drink, i don't like to take the pills... i hate the feeling it gives me at the time and when i wake up later but i do it only to get to sleep. Are there other people out there that follow this trend?

    I've tried quite a bit of things to get to sleep, herbal remedies, meditation but i just can't sleep. The past couple of nights i've had dinner early, done nothing exciting and then just sat there, laying in bed until 9am the next morning when i finally did sleep. Obviously a pattern like this isn't very sustainable in real life.

    To further add to this, i'm on Lexapro 10mg/day for anxiety/depression problems and my doc probably wants to increase my dosage this week. All this sleeping stuff is getting to be an unhealthy habit and i'd like to know if anyone out there has managed to get out of this trend of insomnia? or has any tips?

Justin

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drinking to help you sleep is a super bad idea.  it may seem like it helps, but it actually messes up your sleep stages (reduces time spent in REM, etc.) so the sleep you get isn't good sleep, it doesn't really do for your body what sleep is meant to do.  also, it can cause problems for some if they "sober up" in the middle of the night, which can cause you to wake up.

there are a lot of "sleep hygiene" techniques that can help, but you have to stick to them.  one odd thing that's helped me is to keep the lights dim in the house once the sun sets, and to brush my teeth either early, or in super dim light (bathrooms are really bright) because the light wakes me up. 

here is a link to a sleep protocol that i think is a pretty good one. (it's a link to a pdf, hope that's ok.

i don't know how long you've been having problems.  if a sleep protocol/ sleep hygiene routine doesn't help, you may want to get a sleep study done.  there are a lot of reasons why people have problems sleeping.

and you should def. tell your pdoc about your sleeping issues.

penny

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i dont have a whole lot of advice, but i am sort of in the same boat. i can't sleep without some sort of sedative (actually, i can't sleep on alcohol alone, either.) i had been using ambien long term but began to abuse it, so i have switched to seroquel and klonopin, but i honestly don't feel much better taking those two things than i would if i was drinking every night. i just feel like i am probably wreaking neurological havoc on my brain. (this may be because i just read toxic psychiatry.)

the sleep study is a good idea. is there any chance that lexapro is stimulating you? do you take it in the evening or in the morning? some people find that taking SSRIs at night can cause insomnia. sorry i don't have more ideas, but i feel your pain.

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I feel alot better about taking 50 mg of seroquel than drinking every night. 

I never found booze put me to sleep anyways and I'd end up popping pills with the booze (even worse).

I don't drink at all now.

I think drinking daily is tougher on your liver than a low dose of seroquel.  Plus booze + your AD's is more work on that poor organ.

That's just my 2 cents, but what do I know? I'm crazy.

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i hate to say it, but ive recently become involved in the same sort of activities. im really, really not proud of myself.

ive been taking xanax every night, and drinking wine because its the only thing that will actually make me tired enough to pass out.  otherwise i stay up all night which is NOT a good thing, considering the type of job i have.

ive also been having a lot of chest pain and theyre the only thing that will make me lay still enough in bed to help it in the morning.

sigh.

i see my pdoc tomorrow, thank god. im not proud and im nervous to talk about it...but i guess i have to.

ill keep you updated if my doc has anything useful to add - which im sure he will.  hes a GREAT doctor.

tal

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