INSOMNIA What meds to take?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by Marlene35, Sep 25, 2006.

  1. Marlene35

    Marlene35 New Member

    Since 1989 when I first was diagnosed with CFS, I have had insomnia. Sometimes the meds I am taking will help but then it only seems to last a short time. I then have to try something else. Right now nothing seems to be working and I am only sleeping a couple of hours a night. Also, cannot fall asleep in the daytime.

    Please tell me what you all do to help with insomnia.

    Thank you very much.

    Marlene
  2. mbofov

    mbofov Active Member

    These all help me sleep: melatonin, calcium and magnesium, l-theanine (amino acid that helps the brain produce GABA), 5-htp (amino acid that helps produce serotonin - do NOT take 5-htp if you're taking an SSRI).

    Also, my cortisol levels were high which caused severe insomnia. I had to take Seriphos (phosphorylated serine) to lower them and started sleeping better. So get your cortisol levels checked - if they're high, that can cause insomnia. Do a search - there have been several posts on insomnia. Also look up cortisol - there are posts on that as well.

    Good luck --

    Mary
  3. Marlene35

    Marlene35 New Member

    Just bumping for more answers.

    Thanks.
    Marlene
  4. Slayadragon

    Slayadragon New Member

    1. Tranquilizers--Klonopin/Xanax. Works on "agitated exhaustion" where CFS patients are tired but too hyped up to sleep. (Prescription.)
    2. Doxepin--an antidepressant used sometimes to give the above a little extra boost. Very small amount used, just for sleep effect. (Precription.)
    3. Ambien, other sleep meds. If you take a big enough dose, they'll knock you out for sure. It might not be really deep sleep, though. (Prescription)
    4. Melatonin. A hormone that regulates sleep cycles. This may be especially appropriate if your sleeping times are way off--e.g. if you don't get sleepy until way past what you would like to have be your bedtime.
    5. Relaxation and sleep CD's. This sounds like hocus-pocus, but my husband (the pickiest sleeper I've ever seen) really likes them. Probably mainly appropriate if anxious thoughts are what are keeping you awake, though.
    6. Valerian. An old herb remedy that promotes sleep. (You may find it mixed wiith other herbs like chamomile, passionflower and kava kava.) Mild effect.
    7. l-Theanine. This is the stuff that's in green tea. It promotes a state of mental relaxation/clarity, like you get from meditation. Not sleep-inducing per se, though if you're more relaxed you're more likely to sleep.
    8. Rozerem. This is a medication from a Japanese company, and it just got approved in the U.S. It's not a controlled substance, and it's supposed to work more like melatoning (regulating sleep cycles) than Ambien etc. (knocking you out). I'm going to ask about it the next time I go to my drug doctor. (Prescription)

    Probably the most commonly recommended remedy for sleep by CFS experts is the Klonopin/Doxepin mix, since it promotes deep sleep. Only CFS specialists usually understand that these drugs are useful for this purpose though. Others tend to be perplexed at the idea.

    Ambien is the most common sleep med, but I'm not sure it's the best one for CFS patients to use every night. My husband and I find that it's more helpful on an occasional basis--like when you're having a bad night or need to be in particularly good shape for an important day.

    Of the over-the-counter stuff (including non-prescription medications), Melatonin probably has the most potential to solve serioius sleep problems. Use with care, though, since it's at least as strong as most prescription drugs. Read up on it.

    My recommendation is that people with real sleep problems find a _really good_ psychopharmacologist---M.D. who specializes only in prescribing drugs to psychiatric patients. (Don't get a psychiatrist who does talk therapy and drugs....they don't know enough about the drugs.) These people are extremely knowledgeable about sleep issues and probably can/will help you even if you have no signs of depression or other "mental illness." Ask around a lot to find a good one.

    The downside of psychopharmacologists is that they don't necessarily know much about CFS. Mine always thinks he can cure my CFS completely if he just finds the right drugs. It's well-intentioned of him anyway.

    The first thing to do is to read Teitelbaums's stupidly-named "From Fatigued to Fantastic" book, though. There's a section on sleep in there, and my opinion is that he gets pretty much everything completely right (insofar as current knowledge suggests) in a short and easy-to-read chapter.

    Good luck!
  5. Marlene35

    Marlene35 New Member

    I appreciate your help and will try some of these remedies. I have never had my cortisol level checked. Will a regular PCP do this or do I need to see someone who specializes in CFS? Thanks to both of you.

    Marlene
  6. StephieBee

    StephieBee New Member

    I used to take Trazadone for insomnia.

    It is an old AD that is not used as one anymore. It is used it higher doeses now as a sleep aid.

    It works very well and is non habit forming...although you can become psychologically addicted to any kind of of sleep aid.

    Take Care,
    Stephanie
  7. mbofov

    mbofov Active Member

    Hi Marlene - I don't know if a regular PCP will order the test. It involves laboratory testing of saliva samples for levels of cortisol and DHEA. I had the test done twice, first by Clymer Healing Research Center in Pennsylvania (they're on-line - we did everything by phone and e-mail and regular mail) and the second time by a naturopath. I order the Seriphos from Clymer.

    I think it should be a standard test for anyone with FM or CFIDS, so many of us have problems either with low or high cortisol.

    So you can ask your PCP, and if he or she won't order the test, you can contact Clymer who will do it, or find a naturopath. Others may be able to order the test too, I just don't know.

    Good luck --

    Mary