Any Meds or Herbs for Refractory Insomnia

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by AC77, May 29, 2003.

  1. AC77

    AC77 New Member

    I can NOT fall asleep until 5 am, no matter what. I have tried all the benzos, almost including Restoril, Klonopin, Ativan, Xanax, Valium,,,etc... and not on can help me anymore. Also was on Ambien and Sonata for a year (now Immune) :-l I tried chamomile, Kava Kava, that other popular herb...I cant even remember. You get the idea.
    I take Remeron, which used to 'work like a dream' LOL but not anymore, it makes me drowsy after a while and after waking but doesn't help me. Elavil and Neurontin dont help me fall asleep, just stay there!

    Thanks. Any meds that you think may help or herbs would be appreciated. I Have heard of wild lettuce.
  2. skychomper

    skychomper Member

    hi, I've got the same issue... what is it about 5 a.m.? the birds start singing and then I know I'll be asleep soon...

    so I've tried valerian root- little too powerful for me, it definitely knocked me out, but also lowered my already low BP and made breathing a little difficult. I bet if I halved it I would be okay- Im very sensitive & don't weigh alot.

    lemon balm is in the OLE (85mg) I take which is supposed to be a cure for insomnia and sort of settles the whole nervous system down. and I definitely support that claim. if I take it at six or nine p.m. I get sleepy and tired and go up to bed instead of watching horrible WE TV. and fall asleep right away! I halved my pill last night, and got to sleep around 3:30, it didn't knock me out as well, but Im still experimenting with the whole OLE dosing.

    today Im going to get some OLE and lemon balm in separate formulas. for a long time I didn't know what lemon balm was & that its what was making me tired, since I had a lot of excellent system relief with this pill-the OLE is great, just not mixed with lemon balm.

    last but not least- my dad will heat up a little red wine and drink it before bed.its more for when you are fluish sick, but if it puts you to sleep it will give you a nice deep sleep and you will wake up feeling happy & refreshed. the thing is, I've tried it more than once and it doesn't always put you to sleep- I recommend it for those sicker than death phases we all go through
    Im also curious as to what others do for the 5 am madness
    thnx for posting the question. hope this helped a little
  3. judywhit

    judywhit New Member

    I was awake until the sun came up last night and the night before. I am so thankful that I do not have to go to work in the morning. I could not!
    I will try the lemon balm tonight! Ac77 I am going to print your post out and put it by my computer. I tend to get panicky and call doc up and beg him to give me drugs for sleep. As we can see by your posts they are not effective for long!
    this insomnia is a real disability. sorry I can not help with any info on magic bullets. Be assured if I find one this board of sufferers will be the first to know.
    btw, I have tried wild lettuce tea. and, i did start dropping into that black hole after 1/2hr from drinking the tea. My spastic body jerked me out and that was it. I am getting a sleep study this summer. Perhhaps they can help me. I have the racing brain thing. My chiro told me to look up scripture and memorize on 'sound mind' I did not know if this was a insult or not at the time. but, ya know not sleeping because of a racing mind is not "sound" nor "normal".
    I feel for us.
    I was also wondering if anyone knows of articles on "sleep hygene" I heard of this yesterday and was wondering what are these.[This Message was Edited on 05/29/2003]
  4. sb439

    sb439 New Member

    that sounds dire, Ace.
    Not sure I can help, but here are a few things that help me:

    for falling asleep I take megadoses valerian drops (2ml), not in alcoholic base. However, I have noticed that only some brands work for me, e.g. (from UK, sorry) Holland and Barrett. I also put lavender essential oil (6-8 drops or so) on my pillow, and that also helps to relax.

    Also, have you tried ZMA? Or just magnesium? Since I take 600mg magnesium glycinate 1/2 hour before "retiring" (as they say), I definitely sleep better. I've also added 500mg vit C and 1mcg B12 (hydroxocobalamin), the first for my adrenals, the second since I've read it helps sometimes with sleep.

    When my heart just is that tad too fast for FALLING ASLEEP(because of minor stress/upset) I take 1-2 Tylenol. Although this isn't exactly good for the liver, it works with me every time, for falling asleep (not staying asleep, after 4 hours they stop working). For a certain percentage of people Tylenol works that way, perhaps worth a try, as cheap and should work first time, IF it works. As you know, if you don't do this every day/night, you can even get by with taking three.

    Then there are the sedative antihistamines. I take 1/4 tablet of one plus 0.25mg Klonopin, they work synergistically, hence I get by with these very small doses. But I'm not sure whether this helps me falling asleep or keeps me asleep.

    I also take 0.25mg melatonin, for FALLING ASLEEP, but try not to take it every night in order not to get immune to it.

    For some people, Benadryl with Tylenol is the solution.

    oh, and here is something else: if I eat within three hours before going to bed, I cannot sleep, no matter what pills I take. (Exception: small amount of easily digestible carbohydrate, e.g. a banana, some raisins, or something)

    Also, if I take anything with caffeine (even decaf coffee and tea have caffeine in!) within six hours before going to bed, there's no way for me to fall asleep. More than one unit of alcohol can have the same effect (but then I can't drink alcohol at all, since it gives me murderous headaches), and nicotine, of course ...

    I much hope one or the other thing of this will help you!

    [This Message was Edited on 05/29/2003]
  5. Plantscaper

    Plantscaper New Member

    It worked great for me for about 8 months, but now I am having more trouble with insomnia..and it is not nearly as effective (lot of hormonal fluctuations, which you don't need to know about)

    .But it gave me the best sleep I had ever had since these DDs, with no hangover effect and felt much better on less sleep...

    If you look at prior discussions on it you will see that many people feel very positive with its use...However, lately, I have heard you might need a liver panel with it...but my doc never indicated that to me..

  6. tansy

    tansy New Member

    I know using cannabis is frought with legal problems but I decided to see if it would help. Did some research on medical cannabis' found it helped symptomatically with quite a few of my problems.

    Asked a friend to source some pure cannabis, not one of the strong ones he uses. Well he's such a dopehead took him 4 weeks to get some for me, kept buying it then smoking it himself. He showed me how to prepare the resin for eating, research indicated this best method for what I wanted. Explained I didn't want to get stoned, brain's already too out of it most of the time.

    I still react to a lot of things, or their effect prove detrimental, so had usual anxieties before trying it. Well I've used it twice-

    First time very low dose. Gave me "stomach" nausea for a short time, then a while later a gentle kick in. Then took my ambien. Well sleep not right but better than it's been recently and I felt the benefits the next day.

    Second time took slightly more. This time it hurt my stomach a bit but when effect kicked in it was more noticeable. Took ambien dose again. Forgot friend's advice about taking it some hours before bed because it can highten visual and aural awareness. Well it did just that so for the first two hours was awake. Then I fell asleep best I've had for ages.

    Problem was terrible stomach pain the next day, fortunately had something to take for that and it cleared quite quickly. Felt so much better for rest of day. Enabled me to go to a social gathering that the previous day had seemed out of the question.

    I've heard that by the end of the year the medicaly acceptable version of this is supposed to be available on prescription in the UK. I have read too that some people have tried cannaboids available on prescription in some places.

    Don't know if it's for you but it has helped others with some aspects of these DDs.


  7. judywhit

    judywhit New Member

    but as soon as school is out and I can be assured of no drug testing I am going to try this. Do you puff or cap it? I am totaly freaking desperate!
  8. tansy

    tansy New Member

    Hi Judy

    First of all I have to say I've only used it twice. If my stomach hadn't disliked it so much I reckon I would use it a couple of evenings a week.

    My friend used a serated knife and took in down to very fine pieces, I heated it in olive oil to release the compounds and stirred it into food. Told yoghurt best but I'm very milk intolerant. Some people bake cookies or similar with cannabis.

    I don't want to smoke it, chest can react to lots of things and it creates more tar than cigarettes. Also wanted sustained effect.

    Apart from stomach reaction the following days were so much better.

    Like you I got desperate, didn't want really potent drugs, can't tolerate most of them anyway, so this seemed a good option. It's being downrated in the UK, the police are only really interested in traffickers, if you're sick they generally turn a blind eye.

    Good luck if you decided to try it, I found excellent info through search machine and typing in medicinal cannabis, then asked regular users about it too.


    [This Message was Edited on 05/29/2003]
    [This Message was Edited on 05/29/2003]
  9. Applyn59

    Applyn59 New Member

    I think we were separated at birth! Same exact thing
  10. lucky

    lucky New Member

    have you ever tried Trazadone? May be it is worth a try. From all the meds this is the only one which helps me sleep.
    Also, valerian roots have a very calming effect and can put you to sleep.
    Hope, you find something which will help you.
    Sincerely, Lucky

    [This Message was Edited on 05/29/2003]
  11. Lox

    Lox New Member

    The best way to get the desired effects of cannabis if you are going to use it in cookies is to get the thc into butter.

    You can do this by using an old deep fryer, the ones with the basket. Put the leaves, heads, whatever bits you are using, actually this is a great way to use the 'leftovers' and save the 'good' stuff, into the basket, cram it as full as you can. Fill the whole thing with water and 1/2 pound of butter. Put in the basket which keeps the greenery away from the butter and water. Cook for a little while, with the fan on lol and then remove the basket, the butter will solidify and the thc will be in the butter mixture.

    Just put that into a container and use for when it calls for butter in your recipes. Makes lovely cookies but keep them away from the rugrats and the rellies!

    I am a strong beliver in cannabis use for medicinal purposes and believe it or not Queeen Victoria was a heavy user, then again she also bought in the trend of laying flat out on your back with your legs in stirrups to give birth lol

    If I have stepped over the line with this post I apologise wholeheartedly, but I strongly believe that even though it is illegal it sure does have its place in medicine and like opioids, should be available. Nature produces these things and we can't use them.


    Lauren :)
  12. ifuwouldjust

    ifuwouldjust New Member

    I have the same problem. I used to take Zanaflex, it was great. The only thing is that only 1 mg, a pill split in half, gave me the worst sleep hangover. And as we all know, its a daily fight to stay awake anyways.

  13. teach6

    teach6 New Member

    I agree with Ralph about the adrenal insufficiency possibility. It's one thing I am working on improving right now.

    I take a combinmation of things at bedtime and it is the sum of the parts which has created the best sleep for me. I began taking Klonopin, 1.5 mg, for Restless Legs and TMJ. It had the added benefit of helping me sleep better. I was already on Trazadone, 100 mg. My doc then added Flexeril, 10 mg., and Neurontin. It wasn't until I was on all of these that I began to sleep consistently through the night. I can also fall asleep early when I need to, rather than my preferred night owl time of between 1 and 2 AM.

    I have both CFIDS and FMS.

  14. AC77

    AC77 New Member

    I am improving my sleep hygeine. It's getting better. Jsut guess, I am a nigt person, so to speak.

    To your post I used to grow lemon balm. It makes a great tea. Havent tried it in years. I have tried valerian though and Kava Kava, doesnt work.

    As far as pot, I wish it did. but i cant take it, it makes me panic! Trazdone...doesnt put me out anymore either.

    I am cutting down on the meds. and think I will try some of the herbs and hire a dr to inject me with the Versed they gave me for the colonoscopy.... j/k LOL. Thanks
  15. sb439

    sb439 New Member

    I quote your post:

    "I believe Klutzo is right on track with her insights about the adrenal problems being a major component of CFS, FM and I would add many menopausal and post menopausal problems."

    First, do you think that our 20something wonderful Ace has menopausal or post menopausal problems? (I restrain myself from asking in which category you'd put yourself.) And what about all those premenopausal people here on the board?

    I must say, I hate to think that the doctor who diagnosed my CFIDS as 'menopause' when I was 35 (and still had regular periods, as I have today) was right ... ;-)

    hmm. Please don't take this the wrong way, but I am a bit wary whenever someone tries to explain my lymphocytopenia, intestinal parasites and bacteria, brainwave reversal from beta to delta (both day and night), HHV6 reactivation, growth hormone deficiency, hypoadrenalism, etc. etc. as menopausal ...


  16. AC77

    AC77 New Member

    I think my adrenal glands are messed. Even though my cortisol levels, etc.. are normal. I wish it was menopausal problems, but being a MALE, I don't think that can happen too easy :) All your advice is appreciate.

    I use a lot of my info on here to write papers also. I wish for some of them to be published in medical journals at some point in the near future. When I learn to write better!
  17. vinetti23

    vinetti23 New Member

    Whats happening with you (and me and everyone else who calls bedtime 5 AM) is that our circadian rhythms don't want to let our bodies sleep until that time. We are night owls by our genetics, but our society frowns on it... when for millions of years it was probably a useful trait to have (i.e. we could look out for the tribe at night, etc..)

    Anyway, to understand how to solve this problem, you first have to understand a few things about sleep. Sleep is a complex mix of things. Over the course of the day we have a body temperature pattern, a cortisol pattern, a melatonin pattern - with these things increasing or decreasing with response to light.

    People who go to bed at 5 AM have circadian rhythms that don't respond until much later. The reason for this is still unknown but research has identified a gene in hamsters that have this same "syndrome". The various parts of the hypothalamous involved in sleep have also been mapped.

    Klonopin, Neurontin, etc... won't help bc the body doesn't care what you do to sedate yourself. Your body temperature, cortisol, melatonin, etc... will all be too high/low at 10 PM when you are trying to go to bed because your circadian rhythm says "bedtime isn't until 5". You have to funamentally shift what is DRIVING the circadian rhythm - and that often proves to be extremely difficult. Melatonin is what drives the circadian is a relative of seratonin. So, you can alter one or both of these hormones to fix the problem. You have to carefully time the melatonin - if you take it during the wrong time it can delay your sleep onset even more. If you dont want to go pharmeceutical, there's other options. In my case, it is so hard for me to stick to a 10 PM bedtime for long that I actually do something called "chronotherapy" and sleep 2 hours later every night until I am "back on track." It can take up to 2 weeks (and I am fully nocturnal for about 1 week). Then, when I am "back on track" I take B-12, Billberry Powder, and Magnesium. That trio seems to lock me into my sleep pattern. At night, I take Neurontin as an anti-anxiety agent and Klonopin for restless legs. They wouldn't ever shift my sleep earlier though.

    The only OTC suppliment that can help is melatonin because it is the "master" regulator of your sleep/wake cycle. Seratonin also plays a role and some atypical antidepressants have been found to be helpful (eg. noritryptaline) I never tried noritryptaline (i cant even spell it) but I have extreme side effects from melatonin such as nightmares and severe flares of FM. Apparently this is unusual for others though.

    Good luck with this. Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome (DSPS) can be a bitch... especially because it's not a syndrome!! Our society created it as a "disease" since the industrial revolution... for millions of years I'm sure it was perfectly natural. It's ashame how we have to drug ourselves to meet society's demands... (this is a reoccuring theme with me, sorry...)

    Good luck, i hope that helps- feel free to ask away about sleep problems. My dad's a neurologist, I majored in psych & neurobiology, and I've done research on this when i was an undergrad (on hamsters...sorry...) And I've even been to one of the top sleep researchers in the country with my woes... so I know more about this topic than some of the doctors out there. :) Too bad I haven't really cured it yet! (but then again, in my opinion it's a natural phenominon that doesnt require a cure).
  18. RedB

    RedB New Member

    Try Ativan AND Flexeril. Puts me right out. And it has for 6 years.

    Sweet dreams,
  19. Wezz

    Wezz New Member

    some years back when my symptoms were worse, a doctor gave me Sinaquan (doxepin) (my spelling is off). A small amount of powder from the capsule put me OUT! I would be afraid to take the recommended dose. This is considered an older antidepressant/sleep aid.
    recently, I have been using valerian root (herb)to help with sleep. it seems to work ok for me, but I heard it could cause liver problems.