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Sleep Disorders Message Board

Sleep Disorders Board Index

I would be very, very careful with the OTC, "natural" stuff, especially when taken with a prescription medication. The herbal remedies are not regulated by the FDA, and can interact with other things you take in ways that could be potentially dangerous. For me, none of them worked anyway.

I have suffered from raging, chronic insomnia for well over 15 years, and have tried everything known to man. This includes Ambien, Prosom, Lunesta, Rozerem, and, anti-depressants (tho I was not then and am not now, depressed). I even tried hypnosis, acupuncture, therapy, aromatherapy, massage...well, you get the picture. For a long time, I took Elavil (amitryptiline), and it helped with my sleep for a number of years. After a really rough period, I found a new doctor who was willing to run tests on me, and she found out I had none of the hormones that signal sleep, nor the ones that signal it's time to wake up. My adrenals were so depleted, I could barely function. This may be what's happened to you--due to stress, your "sleep" hormones are wiped out and so are you.

Over the last few years, I have tried a few other things....Topamax, which is typically used to treat migraines, worked for a while but made me very dopey. Klonopin--helped with sleep but it made me very angry and was extremely hard to get off of. Believe it or not, I also tried Xyrem, which is basically GHB, the date rape drug. It did not give me sleep, just knocked me out for about 90 minutes, which was not enough and it was weird to be unconscious rather than asleep, so I didn't do that for long.

Now, I take Ambien CR (for the second go-round), along with Phenergan (generic is promethazine), the anti-nausea medication, which has a wonderful sedating quality to it and no side effects, at least not for me. I also occasionally take a Xanax if I am really stressed, and I also take Mirapex for my RLS.

There are still nights I cannot sleep no matter what I do, but this routine has helped me quite a bit. I have other sleep issues, like the RLS and apnea (for which I use CPAP), so my sleep is very sensitive and subject to easy awakenings. I also have spinal issues that are painful enough to rouse me from sleep.

I hope you have a doctor who is willing to work with you and find out how your body/brain responds to things. You might have success with either the Phenergan or the Klonopin. A muscle relaxer such as Flexeril could also help you. Please be careful, though, especially with the OTC stuff. Just because something is "natural" or sold OTC doesn't mean it's safe.

Let us know how you do....


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