Anyone Try Trazodone for Sleep? Anything Else I Haven't Tried?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by purma, May 4, 2009.

  1. purma

    purma New Member

    My sleep problem is not so much falling asleep, but staying asleep. I wake-up
    3-4 times/night and end up with only 4-5 hrs total sleep in 3 or 4 separate
    short sleep intervals. Sometimes the wakeful periods are lengthy and lately I'm
    unable to fall back asleep at all after 4:00 - 5:00 AM.

    I've tried nearly everything over the years with no help including: meticulously
    strict sleep hygiene, OTC antihistamines, low dose tricyclics (doxepin,
    amitryptaline), SSRIs (Zoloft, Paxil), Ambien, Klonopin,, Xanax, Temazepam, many
    herbals (valerian, relora, lemon balm, chammomile, hops, passionflower,
    skullcap, Revitalizig Sleep Formula, Sleep Tonight), melatonin, L-tryptophan,
    relaxation exercises, meditation, bi-aurnal tapes, and probably many other things I've forgotten. All to no avail.

    I've seen that a number of CFS docs recommend a low dose of Trazodone (50 mg)
    particularly for patients like me who wake up frequently during the night and
    awaaken too early and can't get back to sleep. I hate taking sleep meds or any
    kind of brain-altering drugs due to zero improvement and many problems with all
    of those above and fears about dependence, tolerance, and withdrawal. But I
    gotta try something.

    Has anyone out there tried Trazodone and if so could you please share your experience with me good or bad? Anyone else found ANYTHING that works for my kind of sleep problem that could get me sleeping through the night? I'm getting desperate and would greatly appreciate input on this.

  2. purma

    purma New Member


    Thanks for your response. I had a full sleep study and all of the obvious stuff was ruled out - apnea, restless leg syndrome, etc. It merely confirmed what I already knew: I wake up alot, don't get enough sleep, and don't get as much deep sleep as I should.

    What I need is something that can help me to get to sleep, stay asleep, and sleep through the night without waking up. And of course to do so without a hangover in a way that actually makes me feel better - otherwise there's no point to it. Not sure such a thing exists for me, but I'm going to keep trying. I could sure use some help form someone with a similar sleep problem.
  3. ktp812

    ktp812 New Member

    I can't take much of anything because of hangover the next day. Even taking 1/4 or less of trazadone, remeron, ativan, gabitril, etc...I feel horrible the following day (all day).

    I had the same problem of waking up 3-5 times a night and sometimes awake for an hour or more.

    I now take 3mg melatonin 1/2 hour before getting into bed. Then I take 1 benadryl and 1 lunesta. It keeps me asleep all night. Even if I wake up once or twice I fall back to sleep almost immediately. I have been sleeping good for about 10 months now.

    I still don't feel totally rested when I wake up but at least I am not laying awake half the night.

    I have tried lots of stuff..
  4. Empower

    Empower New Member

    Years ago when I had depression and sleep problems I took Trazodone and it really helped

    Then, after I got this DD and tried it, it left me totally exhausted the next day, so I had to quit taking it

    What has worked for me is a Calcium/Magnesium/Zinc tablet that I buy OTC.

    I take it about 1/2 hour b4 bed and it makes me really sleepy

    Now, if I am upset and have trouble sleeping, I take a very very small dosage of Valium

    Good Luck
  5. isiselixir

    isiselixir New Member

    i could never take it now with my cfs, i'd be more wiped out than i already am but when i was well i took it for insomnia and yes, it will knock you out but i also experience that hang over, that yucky super tired feeling the day after. my roommate at the time didn't experience that though, so it all depends on you. you might want to try valium for sleep.
  6. moi482001

    moi482001 Member

    with finally good result. In the beginning, I only took 50 mg and could not complete my nights.
    I would wake up after 2 hours and could not get back to sleep. So, I would get up and read until I felt that I could not continue. Some nights were good and others very disapointing but I did not want to increase the dosage for all the same reasons that you mentionned. Ater 4 years, I got sick of it all and finally increased the dosage to 100 mg. with a strict schedule for bedtime. I take the pills approx. 1 hour before bedtime and by the time I do go to bed, I'm able to complete a full cycle. So far it works but even with the increased sleep, I cannot say that I wake up refreshed but always with a feeling that I could sleep a lot longer. Sometimes, I am able to go back and fall asleep. I try not to take a nap in the afternoon, even with the fatigue at about 5PM.

    One thing I should emphasize is the dreams that come with the increased sleep. Now I will myself to wake up to stop the dreams (nightmares). I've made peace with the fact that I have these but not to entertaining them.

    Good luck with your efforts to have a good nite's sleep.

  7. sorekitty

    sorekitty New Member

    I have the same problem trying to stay asleep. I have been on Estrazolam (sp?) I think 2 mg. Sorry I don't have my bottle. I ran out. So I tried 50 mg of trazodone. This was last week. I woke up with a severe headache (do not normally have headaches), dehydrated all day, in bed all day, unable to stay up. I was dizzy and nauseated. I will never try that again!

    Until I can get in to see my dr I am trying 5htp 50 mg and xanax (1/2 of a .25 tablet). I don't know what the answer is. I'm still not sleeping well. I will give this a little more time but may have to go back to the RX I was on.

  8. cynicaldog

    cynicaldog New Member

    I don't know if you've tried Ativan (you mentioned Klonopin and Xanax), but it's what works for me; I think different benzos work for different people (just like SSRIs). Xanax leaves me groggy, Klonopin doesn't really do anything. Halcion also works, but Ativan's been a pretty consistent help for ten years.

    Trazadone was the very first sleep aid I ever tried and it made me feel like I was suffocating. I don't know how else to explain it... I had trouble breathing.
  9. sorekitty

    sorekitty New Member

    I spelled it wrong. The medication is estazolam and I take 2 mg a night.
  10. srmny

    srmny New Member


    I started with the kind of fibro that makes it nearly impossible to sleep. Frequently I would be awake for 2-3 days. I had been in 3 serious car accidents in 2 years and my startle reflex was full on. Back then I had a psychiatrist who prescribed many of the same meds you mentioned and they did not work. If I got 3 hours sleep I called it a good night. That kind of insomnia makes you feel like you are at death's door. I used to call it "7 days dead". I felt like I would be dead in a week. That was years ago and I ended up in bed 24/7 sleeping whenever I could. By then I had been diagnosed with CFS and I was pretty much bed bound for about 4 years.
    I am better now but very careful about my sleep. I see a pain doctor and she says I will never sleep normally (med free) again. She gives me trazadone (50mg) at 8pm and then 30 minutes before I go to sleep I take 2 Lyrica (75mg) and 1 Lunesta (3mg). She started me on just the Lunesta (a smaller dose I think) and then whenever I started having trouble she added the others. She says the secret to sleep medicine is to try different combinations not stronger doses of the same drug. I sleep pretty good - 6 to 8 hours usually. I don't feel hung over the next morning but if I wake up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom I feel weak in the knees. I decided I will never let insomnia take over my life again. In truth, I think CFS had finally overwhelmed my body but I do wonder if I had been able to get my sleep right, could I have fought it off. You know, did the broken sleep cycle cause the CFS or CFS the broken sleep cycle?

  11. mujuer

    mujuer New Member

    I don't know what happened to all of our old posts before they updated the boards but there was alot of stuff on there about Trazadone. Some of it from me. I feel like the "Traz Queen". I was on it from 1994 untl 2008. I started taking it because I was having terrible panic attacks while I was sleeping. It altered my sleep patterns and I have never recovered. Trazadone saved my life. You can start out at 25 by splitting your pill. My dr. and I would increase it as needed and I was clear up to 400 mg.s and then it stopped working so we worked our way back down the mg.s scale and it started working again. I was back down to 25mg.s and so it was a pretty safe drug for me to use. I went on a drug holiday then and found that I wasn't having anymore anxiety attacks so I weaned off of it to 25mg.s every other night for awhile. Then my fibro was more advanced and I still needed something to sleep and then got put on some other sleep meds, all that have worked fine.

    The only problem I had with Trazadone was the planning to sleep it out eight hours. If I had somewhere to go early the next morning then I had to be sure and go to bed earlier to let the med work it's way out in the full eight hour period that it took so I wasn't groggy. I never went many places so it really wasn't a bother. So good luck with it. P
  12. hugs4evry1

    hugs4evry1 New Member

    I've been taking Trazadone for sleep for a few years now and I get a wonderful complete full night's sleep every night.

    But....I take my pills at 7:30 every night and sleep most nights from 9:00 until 5:00 or 6:00 am every night. Some nights I fall asleep earlier as well.

    I take 150 mgs each night although I started with 50mgs like most people do.

    Although I still can feel crappy if I'm not having a good day of course, it won't change all of your symptoms but sleep is so important to our diseases that having a full night of peaceful sleep has been a blessing.

    Hope this helps.....

  13. cfsgeorge

    cfsgeorge New Member

    using a combination of supplements and sleep meds is the way to go, but will be different for everyone. For supplements i use 5-htp, l-theanine, valerian root, magnesium, and melatonin. Supplements for sleep do not put me to sleep, but keep me asleep longer and less wakings. To put me to sleep i need a strong 30mg of temazepam(restoril). Ambien is a "safer" med but it is too weak to put me to sleep. i do use half of an ambien if i wake 4hours later and cannot get back to sleep. if that happens, i take a combo of the ambien, 5-htp, valerian, magnesium, and l-theanine again. This combo has really helped me sleep 8-10hours with about 3 wakenings that i am able to sleep through.

    I've also found sleep hygiene to really help too. You can read all about it on the web. I can tell you that blocking out any light from your windows and wearing ear plugs has helped me tremendously as well.

    I feel that i've maximized my sleep with the combo of supplements, meds and sleep hygiene, but i still wake up completely unrefreshed. I feel that their is still something missing because sleeping this much is still not helping me get better. I think the next step for me is use Xyrem(ghb) to get the refreshing sleep and allow the GH release to repair the body. It looks like Xyrem is going to be the next fda approved drug for FM and the most promising one as well. anybody have any experience with xyrem?
  14. hensue

    hensue New Member

    I am so glad I see some writing about it. I have been worried they have upped his dosage of zoloft and he has come out of the depression. he is not suicidal anymore. When you have the fight or flight syndrome from the time you wake up till you go to bed. No one would want to live like that. We have him at a physc in NC only person giving him meds. She doesnt want any other doc giving him anything she doesnt know about.
    Thank God for her she takes him and the wife right in. He is now going out to eat and walking his baby girl in the stroller and going with his wife to grocery store and target. No one on one yet.
    I am just glad he is this far! he just started the trazadone and doesnt take it if he thinks he can sleep. Is that what he should be doing?
    I still worry I am his mother, he is enjoying life better now if we can get him to believe in himself. Go to school and get his self esteem up there.
    I know this is off subject it is just I am praying so bad. He has a four month old daughter his first. The wife has been going with him and if he starts acting strange or angry she takes him right in. Not the norm he usually acts. That in itself makes me feel better. I know the zoloft can cause insomnia and he is a big boy anyway. Had already gained weight with other stuff.
    At least he is getting out of the house he is 28 and he has worked but could never fit in. Always worried about what people are thinking of him and his actions. Thoughts were racing.

    So please pray he is getting better he is not perfect but he is kind and would do anything for someone like you and I. He has seen us suffer.
    Every day he calls and can tell in my voice if the day is a painer and a tired one.
    He has a lot of empathy for all of us!
    Sorry wanted to share have not talked about him in a while I am just holding my breath.

    We all have our seperate battles dont we? That is one thing I think everyone has in common. Whether they realize it yet or not.
    Made me feel so much better about the trazadone.
    Thanks for listening, sorry off topic
    It is good news for a change he is getting better, so lets enjoy
  15. AdirondackScarlet

    AdirondackScarlet New Member

  16. AdirondackScarlet

    AdirondackScarlet New Member

    Smoke alittle weed just before bed, you'll sleep like a baby.
  17. hensue

    hensue New Member

    I needed a good laugh that was funny I am sorry. MY husband is and old hippy who used to have a Harley. Ask him about smoking a little weed.
    Then one day the weed was not quite right sent him and his friend straight to hospital. Needless to say it was strong, laced who knows!
    Put this way he would not recommend that to anyone. He and his friend would not touch it after that.

    If it works for you good.
    Cannot help it I was not expecting that comment! That was funny
  18. AdirondackScarlet

    AdirondackScarlet New Member

    I won't use commercial if I can help it.
    Glad I gave you a good laugh, we all need to laugh more-
    it lightens the load.
    I don't "typically" partake to party, socialize -
    it works for me and I don't was to develop resistance to the
    benefits I get with it. EXCEPT once in awhile I will have some
    just to enjoy it. (and grin...) We have 3 Harleys, one is MINE...
    Have an awesome day,
    [This Message was Edited on 05/14/2009]
  19. AdirondackScarlet

    AdirondackScarlet New Member

    My Drs all say the 4-5am awake is pre-dawn anxiety and very
    common with FMS. also chronic illness and pain.
  20. mujuer

    mujuer New Member

    Yes, he should be taking it to sleep. It is an older medication but it still works for alot of people. Worked great for my panic disorder and having the attacks while I slept. Glad he is doing better. P