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Old 04-07-2009, 11:06 AM   #1
JessicaR
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Long term prescription drugs
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???
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Old 04-07-2009, 11:21 AM   #2
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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.
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Old 04-07-2009, 12:58 PM   #3
Jan in CA
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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
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Old 04-07-2009, 01:10 PM   #4
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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.
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Old 04-07-2009, 04:17 PM   #5
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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.
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Old 04-07-2009, 04:18 PM   #6
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P.S. You don't have to be Catholic, but being Catholic pretty much assures that you know how to recite the Rosary.
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Old 04-07-2009, 04:42 PM   #7
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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.
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Old 04-07-2009, 04:50 PM   #8
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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.
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Old 04-08-2009, 12:05 AM   #9
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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.
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Old 04-08-2009, 07:58 AM   #10
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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!
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