Alternative sleep aids...suggestions please!

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by PainPainGoAway, Nov 18, 2008.

  1. PainPainGoAway

    PainPainGoAway New Member

    I took Ambien for quite a while until last June. Doctor put me on Xanax, as he doesn't like Ambien. Now that I'm off of it, I'd like to try something natural and don't think xanax is enough or worth taking for sleep. I stopped taking that last week and would like to stay off of it.
    The xanax only works for a few hours, and I'm wide awake every morning at 3 or 4 am, fully alert and upset. I think it leaves me agitated when it wears off so it's not for me. If I take more, then I sleep all morning.
    I've taken melatonin and skullcap in the past w/ little success. Any suggestions??
    [This Message was Edited on 11/18/2008]
  2. 2sic2mooov

    2sic2mooov New Member

    Hey Cindy,
    This is what tears my life apart and affects me most....loss of sleep. I just was doing some researching yesterday and came upon a chart which showed what many of the CFIDS docs use for patients with sleep disorders. (I sure cant find where I had seen it). But most of the docs recomended a sleep "cocktail" with two or more components. One might be an RX to help you get to sleep...another that would help you stay asleep. I do know one of the docs was Teitelbaum. The others seemed to agree that getting enough sleep without distraction and getting to the stage of sleep in which we dream ---the restorative sleep, is what we all need to repair our bodies at least some. I have read the 'Teitelbaum books and he is very adamant about doing what you need to do to get 7-9 hours of uninterrupted sleep each night. There were many drugs advised such as Amitrypitline, Ambien, Restoril, and a host of others. The important thing to remember is that everyone is different, their chemistry and way you metabolize drugs, etc. SO I would think every person would have to be seen individually on this....the same with pain management. What these docs all agreed on was that without alleviating the sleep problems, the human body can not restore and repair itself.
    I am not one to like to take RX's , but have learned that even a drug induced sleep is better for my body than a complete breakdown physically and mentally from total lack of sleep. I am changing my meds now. Went from Ambien to Restoril. It is not helping at all. I am going to ask doc about pairing up a couple and starting slow, to see if drug pairing works for my sleep. If I find the chart i had seen listing the well-known CFS docs and what they advise, I will post it then. Thanks for your post. I need lots of help in this dept as have been VERY insomniatic since age 12.
    (Hope you are sleeeeeeeeppppingggg now. Going on 11:40 here in Wisconsin. I dread the long nights awake (alone) while the rest of the house sleeps. Even the dog snores nearby and it irritates me... :)
  3. elliespad

    elliespad Member

    I had used Doxepin and Flexeril for YEARS for sleep. Then in 2000, when I learned what all the drugs I was taking was doing to my liver and kidneys I made it my job to get off as many as possible. I started taking L-Tryptophan, along with P5P (activated B6) and weaned myself off the Doxepin. This worked beautiful (gave me about 7 or 8 hours sleep) for about 7 years UNTIL last year when I had a COMPLETE Thyroidectomy. I immediately started with near total insomnia and am still sleep deprived but can tell you what I am currently taking to get and keep sleeping now.

    Each night I take :

    1500 mg. L-Tryptophan
    25 mg. P5P (activated B-6)
    3 mg. Melatonin
    1000 mg. GABA
    400 mg. Magnesium
    3 Tablets of Rest & Restore (from Fibro & Fatigue Center), contains:
    Valerian Root

    OR, if I run out and have to go to a local store,

    Source Naturals Nutra Sleep has a very similiar make up to Rest&Restore and works similiar.

    I don't take any Psych/Sleep Rx's, just Tenormin for Tackycardia, so you may not be able to use all these, so do your homework.

  4. cfsgeorge

    cfsgeorge New Member

    lunesta and ambien are not strong enough for my terrible CFS insomnia. However, 30mg Restoril works well to put me to sleep. if i wake up in 4hours and cannot go back to sleep, i take 10mg ambien which gives me 8-10hours of medicated sleep. i also use it with 5-htp, valerian root, melatonin, magnesium, and l-theanine. With all that, I still get the awful "non-refreshing sleep" with or w/o these meds. horrible!

    Does anyone know how to get refreshing sleep?
  5. mbofov

    mbofov Active Member

    You should get your cortisol levels tested. High cortisol can cause severe middle of the night insomnia, which I used to have. It was horrible. A good test is the Adrenal Stress Index test, which is a saliva test. It can be ordered by any doctor or naturopath. I first had it done through Clymer Healing Research in Pennsylvania (everything was done on-line, by phone and by mail). My cortisol levels were skewed, too high at night. They told me to take Seriphos (phosphorylated serine) to bring them down and it worked great. I started sleeping better almost immediately, also felt less edgy during the day. Strangely enough, it worked best when I took it in the morning - did not make me sleepy in the morning but just helped to regulate my cortisol levels.

    Other things that help (as others have suggested):


    l-tryptophan or 5-htp (I wouldn't take both, one or the other) - both are amino acids which help the brain produce serotonin. Don't take these if you are taking a prescription anti-depressant because your serotonin levels may go too high which can be dangerous.

    valerian root
    calcium and magnesium

    I take all the above and it works pretty well. I don't have to take Seriphos any more, but it was a godsend when I needed it.

  6. PainPainGoAway

    PainPainGoAway New Member

    Thank you all for your suggestions. I have a splitting headache so I will read each one over again and comment more tomorrow. I welcome all suggestions.

    Tonight I'm taking benadryl, 50 mg. I took it last night and it helped me fall asleep but not stay asleep. I hope to buy something natural before the weekend so I sure appreciate the input!

    I have had trouble with cortisol levels in the past and probably should go back to the endocrinologist...I hadn't thought of that!
  7. louiesgirl2

    louiesgirl2 New Member

    My neighbor takes these and swares by them. They are over the counter. She likes it better than Luenesta even.