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JessicaR
04-07-2009, 11:06 AM
Ok, I'm curious about what others would do in this situation. About 9ish months ago the doctor put me on Lorazapram to help me sleep. I never used to have a problem sleeping, it's the one thing I did well! But thru some events in my life I found myself a little on the neurotic side. It worked, and very well too.

About a couple of weeks ago I thought I'd start to only take 1/2 a pill to ween myself off of them. Last night was my first night without it and I didn't sleep worth a damn. Finally took some tylenol pm at 4am and got a whole 4 hours of sleep. I just can't seem to turn my mind off, which is why I went on them in the first place.

So, should I just figure that I live in a time where medical advances can help me and I should take advantage of that. Or should I be concerned about having to take something to sleep and I'm "only" 28???

Ellieblue
04-07-2009, 11:21 AM
I think you're on the right track by taking 1/2 pill a day but I would check with your Dr about lowering the dose. My daughter had the same problem but she found that getting a lot of exercise helps. Good luck.

Jan in CA
04-07-2009, 12:58 PM
Apparently it's actually an anti anxiety medication that makes you sleepy according to RxList.com. Anyway, I would stick with the half pill if it works for you. They do have very low doses that might work though.
http://www.rxlist.com/ativan-drug.htm

cacunn
04-07-2009, 01:10 PM
May I suggest two things or at least a variation on one thing. Meditation and boring your mind to sleep.

Start a firm bed time routine. (stick to this until you are sleeping routinely on your own.)
1) Go to bed at the same time each and every night until you are falling asleep regularly. We are creatures of habits.
2) Have a bed time routine that signal that it is bed time. Sit at the side of the bed and read a few lines of insparitional material, hold the cat and pet it for a few moments or 15 to 30 minutes of meditation in which you focus on relaxing your body and mind. There are a lot of web sites that will give you meditation techniques.
3) When you get in to bed tell your self that you are tired and will sleep though the night and only awake if there is an emergency.
4) Now the boring part. When your get in to bed close your eyes, start taking slow deep breaths and count yarn balls. Picture a large movie screen and see on the screen a large ball of yarn. In the middle of the ball in the number 100. In your mind pick up the ball and rewind it using a Nostepinne or some other hand method. Pay very close attention to making sure the wraps are even and smooth. If a thought come to mind other than winding the yarn tell it something like - "that's nice but I must wind my yarn I will deal with you in the morning" and go back to winding the yarn. Once you have rewound that ball of yarn tell your self that this is very relaxing, I am getting very sleepy and place it back on your movie screen. Once back on the movie screen you will see that the ball has the number 99 in the middle of it. Pick up that ball and rewind it, paying very close attention to making the wraps even and smooth. Focus closely on winding the ball of yarn

Once you have rewound that ball of yarn tell your self that this is very relaxing and place it back on your movie screen. Once back on the movie screen you will see that the ball has the number 98 in the middle of it. Pick up the ball of yarn and start rewinding it. If a thought come to mind other than winding the yarn tell it something like - "that's nice but I must wind my yarn I will deal with you in the morning" and go back to winding the yarn. Once you have rewound that ball of yarn tell your self that this is very relaxing, I am getting very sleepy and place it back on your movie screen. Once back on the movie screen you will see that the ball has the number 97 in the middle of it. Pick up that ball and rewind it, paying very close attention to making the wraps even and smooth.

Continue until you have fallen asleep or if you reach the number 0 start over at 100 or 150.

I have used winding a ball of yarn since this is a knitting forum but your could find some other activity. The activity needs to be very repeative and boring and something you can focus closely upon. It will not take your mind long to realise that when you get into bed, pull up your movie screen and see a ball of yarn that sleep is perferable to winding yarn all night long.

melmac51
04-07-2009, 04:17 PM
I have a couple of foolproof methods:

1. I try really hard to STAY AWAKE. (works every time! Just keep telling yourself, "I can't let myself fall asleep")

2. This one never, ever fails. If you're Catholic, recite the Rosary. It's very relaxing, and comforting; and the repetitive prayers over and over will lull you. Also, my aunt told me a long time ago, that the angels will finish it for you if you don't. (Poor angels, they must run when they see me coming.)

Sweet dreams.

melmac51
04-07-2009, 04:18 PM
P.S. You don't have to be Catholic, but being Catholic pretty much assures that you know how to recite the Rosary.

Craw
04-07-2009, 04:42 PM
If you've been taking it for 9 months, could be you're addicted to it already. I'd speak w/the doc about lowering your dosage. Those kind of meds are nothing to play around with. Suddenly stopping them could cause worse problems than staying on them. No, you shouldn't need "help" getting to sleep but we all do sometimes. No big deal unless you need help all the time. Somebody said exercise and that's good advice.

Jan in CA
04-07-2009, 04:50 PM
I've tried everything (short of the rosary and that's not going to happen) and I lay there awake for hours. I can be very tired and still not sleep. Fortunately it's not every night for me so I don't need to take anything regularly. I usually wait to take it till it's been two nights of not sleeping well, then I take half an Ambien and I'm good to go.

I think some people are missing something or misfiring something that helps them turn off.

JessicaR
04-08-2009, 12:05 AM
Well I broke down and picked up a refill. I was near tears this morning and luckily was able to fall back asleep for a while. If I don't sleep I can't function.

When I originally went on it I had called the doctor after 3 days of not sleeping. I had tried tea, warm milk, over the counter meds, alcohol, a combination of the last two, and it wasn't that I wasn't tired, I was! But my mind just won't "shut off."

So, at this point a life without sleep is no life at all for me.

Spikey
04-08-2009, 07:58 AM
Absolutely! We all tend to underestimate the effect that poor sleeping has on us.

Previous posters have mentioned some good tips (I'll add knitting a very repetitive pattern (like long rows of garter), which makes me sleepy), but your doctor put you on this particular medicine, at that particular dose, for a reason. If you would like to wean yourself off, please discuss a plan with your doctor before making any more changes.

What some people may not realize is that many times the side effects of medications do not depend on the dose being taken. At a lower dose, you can still get the same side effects, but the medication itself is less effective, and there's nothing gained from that!

miccisue
04-08-2009, 08:04 AM
This is strictly my opinion, and it differs from the others I've already read.

To me, the big question is why your mind won't "shut off". If it's due to a chemical imbalance, meds are probably the best thing for it. Racing thoughts can be a big sign of a chemical imbalance.

I guess I'd ask the doctor why he/she chose that medication, and what they think the problem is. If it's everyday, ordinary stress, the meditation, progressive muscle relaxation, etc. could work with practice.

As someone who does have a chemical imbalance, I see the other side of the coin. It's easy to say "oh, do meditation, relaxation therapy, etc.", but until you've been through the stuff that goes with the imbalance, there's no way you can understand the godsend that meds can be. Again, this is just my take on it.

cacunn
04-08-2009, 08:38 AM
If this is an anti anxiety med as Jan says DO NOT come off of it or reduce the dosage with out talking to your doctor. I have heard of some very bad side effects from not coming off anti anxiety meds improperly.

In line with miccisue I am a firm believer in meditation and relaxation therapy, but they do not always work for every body in every case. Use every tool available, if prescribed medications work use them and talk to you Doctor about your concerns.

If you can't sleep and sleep deprivation is not good, knit small baby blankets for premature babies,turn the lights down, soft music and knit.

Disclaimer, I am not a medical professional and do not even play one on TV.

Simply_Renee
04-08-2009, 09:55 AM
I totally wound yarn balls in my head last night. I didn't even get through one before I was OUT. I love yarn so it was very relaxing.

I hope you get your sleeping under control- that has to be so frustrating. I have suffered with bouts of insomnia but nothing more than a couple weeks- I can't imagine how aggravating it is to stay that tired & have so much trouble falling asleep.

No advice, but here's a :hug:

cacunn
04-08-2009, 01:25 PM
I totally wound yarn balls in my head last night. I didn't even get through one before I was OUT. I love yarn so it was very relaxing.

I hope you get your sleeping under control- that has to be so frustrating. I have suffered with bouts of insomnia but nothing more than a couple weeks- I can't imagine how aggravating it is to stay that tired & have so much trouble falling asleep.

No advice, but here's a :hug:

I hope you wound Alpaca it is so soft when your head hits it.

JessicaR
04-08-2009, 03:02 PM
I took my pill, but went to bed before I was really ready. Found myself thinking about all the stuff I had to do, frustrating obstacles with the house, ect. I'm working on a felted bag in the round and the repetition does make me sleepy, I should work on that for a bit before bed.

cacunn
04-09-2009, 08:45 AM
Found myself thinking about all the stuff I had to do, frustrating obstacles with the house, ect.

If they are thing you HAVE to do get up and do them. However, if they are things that you need to do sometime soon or can't be worked on until the morning, do the job at hand, sleep. As each thing you have to do comes to mind, tell it that I will work on you tomorrow, I'm going to sleep now - GOODBYE. Don't dwell on the issue, if it comes back tell it that I will work on you tomorrow, I'm going to sleep now - GOODBYE. At night sleep is the only priority, if you are well rested then you can do more in the morning.

I'm working on a felted bag in the round and the repetition does make me sleepy, I should work on that for a bit before bed.

Have a night time project that you do just before bed time, time just for your self and that is relaxing.

Take control of your mind don't let it take control of you.

Now to be honest, I know these things work and do use them, however, because of traffic and commute I get home at about 6PM and need to get to bed by no later than 9PM to get 7 hours sleep before starting over. Between eating, honey-do's and general life there is often little ME time in this period. In the rush of life I don't always apply these techniques as I should do and there are some nights I am knitting well past 9pm trying to relax.

We are creatures of habit, not sleeping can be a habit as well as being able to sleep at the drop of a stitch. Thing will get better!

kellyh57
04-09-2009, 11:12 AM
I've heard before, if you're having trouble getting to sleep because you are thinking of things that need to be done, keep a notebook and pen by your bed. Whenever you think of something that you need to do, write it down. That way you won't forget. My problem is thinking of things that I need to get at the store or little things that I should do. I'd have 1000 lists if I wrote it all down!

GinnyG
04-09-2009, 11:48 AM
I would be very concerned about being only 28 and needing something long term to help with sleep. I would talk to you Dr about it. See a sleep specialist, determine WHY you can't sleep and try alternative methods to help you.

It may be that in the end you do all that and still need pharmaceuticals but I would want to know that I had explored every avenue available before continuing medication long term.

cftwo
04-09-2009, 01:02 PM
As someone upthread said, there's a difference between chemical imbalances and something else. If I were you, I'd talk about this with your doctor and see what s/he recommends.

I consider myself lucky to know that when I have insomnia it's either because I've been making really poor food choices, or it's because of stress. The first is easier to fix than the second, but both can be fixed. If I can't sleep, and things are bothering me enough, I'll get up and take care of some of those chores. I've cleaned the refrigerator at 3 am when I couldn't sleep before.

LilHuskiesFootBallMom
04-09-2009, 01:49 PM
if you're taking an anti-anxiety med, then DO NOT mess with the dosage.

I deal with an anxiety disorder (my former pcp put me on celexa, which caused me to gain over 100 pounds in just under a year and made my PCOS worse so I stopped taking them and became so bad i couldn't leave my house... my new doc has me on valium for now but i won't take them because it's an as needed, but she's going to end up putting me on something else because it's really bad now) and understand the inability to sleep which leads to an inability to function and being over tired allows all of those thoughts and chemical responses by your body to become much worse.

Call your doc.

JessicaR
04-11-2009, 01:59 AM
I should just let this thread die. And yes, I will be seeing my doctor soon, we're going to lose our insurance again :roll:

I've been taking 1/2 a pill and sleeping great. I'm down to 1/2 of my anti-depressant then I used to take, so maybe that has something to do with the sleep issues. However, I don't want to take more of that one, it makes me feel out of it all the time. If 1/2 of that gets me thru the day and 1/2 of the sleep one gets me a good night's sleep, then that's how it's going to have to be. For now I suppose.

I'm sorry if I seem a bit defensive. But people who have never dealt with depression, or people who think it's "all in their head," have no idea what it's like to have your life run by the way you feel. You feel trapped inside someone you don't want to be and feel helpless sometimes.

Plantgoddess+
04-11-2009, 08:24 PM
I have dealt with sleep issues since I was a child but it got really bad last year. I was prescribed Ambien CR by my doctor and it helped a great deal, but I tried not to take it more than once every 3 nights, so I got a decent night's sleep 2-3 times a week. I recently quit consuming anything with caffeine after noon. I used to cut off at 3pm and that was no longer enough. I also download audiobooks from my local library and bring my laptop into my bedroom and listen to a book until I fall asleep. Like you my mind races and if it's not things undone it's past events I'd like to do over. Right now I'm listening to Nora Robert's books. They're narrated by women and I find their voices more soothing. I'm falling asleep in the first couple of chapters and hear bits and pieces through the night and wake up and listen for a bit until it's time to get up.
You need to do whatever it takes to get enough sleep. It's hard to be the person you want to be when you're chronically sleep deprived.

cacunn
04-12-2009, 10:03 AM
But people who have never dealt with depression, or people who think it's "all in their head," have no idea what it's like to have your life run by the way you feel. You feel trapped inside someone you don't want to be and feel helpless sometimes.


Jessica if it is "all in their head" or a chemical imbalance doesn't matter. It is real to the person experiencing it. There have been many comments/suggestions here, but, it shows that there are a lot of people who care and are there for you.

Have a happy and enjoy some knitting.

Craw
04-12-2009, 10:42 AM
Ah, ok, you're on antidepressants too. I'm glad you're going to see your doc. Depression I completely understand! *HUGS* for you. You gotta take care of you, whatever that may be, and it's different for everyone. You should discuss this with the doc but maybe a different antidepressant is in order. They're not supposed to make you feel out of it if they're working properly.

doc4dolls
04-12-2009, 12:09 PM
Hi. I know how you feel and how frustrating it is. I have Fibromyalgia and sleep is a big problem for us. I have to take long term medication to control the sleep and pain. It use to bother me but not any more. I have tried every thing practically, even homopathic solutions and have decided my doctor knows best. I have a very good doctor which is a blessing. He lets me cut back or take an extra pill if I need it but I never do anything with out his o.k. Since I have more than one doctor: a family and a specialist I keep them both informed of what I'm taking so there is no conflict in meds.
As for sleep I find before I go to bed I have to do something that makes me concentrate on one thing in order to quite my mind. I either knit something detailed or believe it or not a "time management" computer game. I never thought I'd ever play games, my kids and grandkids got me started and I found it helps me with pain and sleep. I actually fell asleep playing a game once.
If I tried to think about yarn or a pattern my mind would go nuts figuring out what I was going to make or how it would look, color extra. Great suggestion and sure it helps some but I'm just the kind of person that it would set my mind off not quite it. :gah: But great suggestion.

Lighting57
04-12-2009, 02:38 PM
I have not read the entire three pages and maybe someone hasmentioned the following, if so , please excuse me.

As adults, with or without a family, we can find ourselves with more on our plates than is healthy for us at times. Maybe you should stop and take a very good look at what is going on in your life. Are there areas where you could cut back, things or activities you could stop, etc.? I am a people pleaser and love to do for others, but once my children left home and we no longer had three elderly patients to take care of 24/7, my life became so much easier and enjoyable. I began to sleep again for more than 30 minutes at the time. I have learned to say no when people ask for favors that I don't have the time or desire to do.

I have also learned to slow down and fully appreciate what I have, no matter how little that may be. I have also learned to look at my husband and our life together from a glass more full than empty mentality.

I think you understand what I am saying. It has worked for me and maybe it will be of so comfort for you in helping your mind to slow down and allow you the rest you need.

JessicaR
04-12-2009, 03:15 PM
I can't say that I have too much really going on. I don't really "work," it got to the point where I couldn't hold down a "real" job. So I've been putting what little ambition and energy I have into the house. Which sometimes feels like a lost cause.

And I'm sorry if I seemed to have snapped. If I didn't want to know what everyone thought, I wouldn't have posted! Duh! I need to remember that :)

Jan in CA
04-12-2009, 03:42 PM
Don't feel bad, Jessica. One thing we have to remember is that people who don't have sleeping problems don't really understand. There are all kinds of suggestions to help one sleep both from doctors, books, and friends, but I think these often come from people who don't really understand what we are dealing with. I have never been a good sleeper. I'm not an A type personality, I'm easy going and things rarely ever bother me. I just do not fall asleep. I can be exhausted and all I want to do is sleep....and I can't. It's frustrating. I'm so grateful that there are now fairly safe products to help us out. Do what you need to for now and who knows, maybe next week, or next year it'll all be different and you'll be able to sleep again. :hug:

Lighting57
04-12-2009, 03:48 PM
Another thought and it may not relate to you at all.

If our hormones are out of balance, for whatever reason, it can cause all kinds of problems. Have you had yours checked? Don't forget your thyroid too. It can cause all sort of medical syptoms and problems.

JessicaR
04-13-2009, 12:34 AM
I haven't had a full physical in a while. I, of course, do keep up with my "woman" stuff tho.

I find myself on the verge of a panic attack tonight. I think it's just the holiday and being away from my family and such. And my husband has been stressed too so I feel like that comes down on me. Every time I get like this I think I need to go see someone, but then tell myself later that I'll be ok. And it's hard when I don't feel anyone around me understands. Everyone thinks "gee, you have everything, what do you have to be sad about?" And it bites to try and explain it to people, especially family and friends who you hope understand, but really don't. :wall:

cacunn
04-13-2009, 07:36 AM
Jessica - WE UNDERSTAND! and CARE!.

You say that you feel you need to see someone, then do. Maybe not medical but maybe a support group, your minister or check your local hospital they may have some support. Talking often helps bring thinks into perspective, especially if they are people with similar issues, concerns and understand.

Schedule a full physical and talk to the doctor about how you are feeling. If there is a chemical imbalance, this might be easy to handle. If it is something more they should be able to point you to other sources of information.

Also talk to your husband. As a husband of a beautify woman with Fibromyalisia (SP) it took a while to begin to fully understand what is going on. She look normal so what is wrong? After a while I began to understand, I never doubted her, but especially, before Fibro became better recognized, it was hard to get information for the non-sufferer to understand what is happening.

When talking to husbands, remember, we want to go to the tool box and fix things. If we can't fix things we don't know what to do. Make sure DH knows that your are not asking him or expect him to fix it, you just want him to know what is going on with you. We (husbands) are a little slow in some areas and it may take us awhile to understand all you are looking for is understanding not fixing.

miccisue
04-13-2009, 08:36 AM
I haven't had a full physical in a while. I, of course, do keep up with my "woman" stuff tho.

I find myself on the verge of a panic attack tonight. I think it's just the holiday and being away from my family and such. And my husband has been stressed too so I feel like that comes down on me. Every time I get like this I think I need to go see someone, but then tell myself later that I'll be ok. And it's hard when I don't feel anyone around me understands. Everyone thinks "gee, you have everything, what do you have to be sad about?" And it bites to try and explain it to people, especially family and friends who you hope understand, but really don't. :wall:

I DO understand where you're coming from. I started having panic attacks when I was 14 (which is atypical, generally they start in the early to mid 20's), and it was WAY before anyone had a clue what panic disorder is. I had times I was fine, times I was on the edge, and times I became totally housebound. It wasn't until I was in my late 20's that I basically diagnosed myself after reading an article in Cosmo (yeah, I know...weird place to find the information, but what the heck). I took the article to my Dr. and said "here's what I've been trying to tell people for over 10 years". It took a few years and seeing a psychiatrist before we hit on the right med for me. So, I've been on the same anti-anxiety med for over 20 years. Do I care? Absolutely not. I've been in the pit, and if my medication balances out my body chemistry so I can have a life instead of being terrified to even leave my house I don't care how long I have to take it. Some people don't have to take meds forever. Fine for them. Some people do take them for life. Fine for them.

Look at it this way.....if a person is dependent on insulin to regulate their diabetes, are you going to slam them for having to take it? Meds for a chemical imbalance are no different, IMHO.

Give yourself some slack. I know how easy it is to beat yourself up for not being "normal" and not being able to do stuff that everyone else takes for granted. You're beautiful and special, and all you need is to find what it is that is causing you to have such a rough patch in your life. Then you can get to work on making it better. Don't let anyone bully you into thinking that IF you have to take meds long term, you are copping out. You are NOT.

From one who knows, take care of yourself, don't fall into the trap of putting yourself down, and do whatever it takes to get back into the game - whether it's relaxation therapy, talk therapy, or medication.

All the best to you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:hug:

doc4dolls
04-14-2009, 12:33 AM
Panic attacks are terrible. I never had them until I was 34 and we moved back to CA from TX. I didn't want to move. I got so bad I couldn't leave the house. Now here is understanding for you, my husband suffered from uni-polar mood disorder...always depressed. One would think he would understand or be understanding with what I was going thru...NOPE. He would get furious with me. I still don't understand that. Don't get me wrong, otherwise he was a lovely husband and man.
When I got FMS and spinal problems is was very hard for my family and friends to understand. Can't tell you how many times I hear, "You don't look sick". UGH:hair: My children understand now they have seen me when I can barely walk. I can tell you it isn't in your head. Take care of yourself and big hugs!!
Sometimes when I just can't sleep I knit.