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PostPosted: Mon Aug 16, 2010 8:34 am 
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As of this morning i am 8 days off subs, and overall i really feel great. some fatigue at work but nothing much. The only symptom that really bothers me is the sleeplessness. It doesnt matter how late i go to bed or how tired i am, i consistently am awakened at 6 am and cannot fall back asleep ( last night went to bed at 3:30 AM - 2.5 hrs of sleep and im wide awake?) Its been happening all week and has not seemed to get any better. I wanted to know if anyone has any suggestions for herbal remedies, vitamins or even exercises that might help my sleep situation. It seems once im awake anxiety keeps me awake and i really have no need to be up before 11AM so this situation of being up this early is really creeping me out. Any suggestions will be helpful thanks!


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 16, 2010 9:41 am 
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Hi APS -

Sorry to hear you're having problems with insomnia - that can be so very difficult to deal with. From what I've heard/read, that can be a common w/d symptom, and the hardest to deal with.

Have you tried meditation or progressive relaxation? That can really help you relax before attempting to go to sleep. What about exercise - are you getting any? That helps not only any w/d symptoms you might be having, but if you do enough it can also help to wear you out and thus get some sleep.

Do you have access to a doctor for getting a sleep aid? You also might want to try an OTC sleep aid. Then there's Melatonin, which can help with sleep, too. I think there are so teas, oh, and I think I've heard of using Valerian root as well (but I'm far from sure if that's the right one).

I wish you the very best. Hang in there and let us know how it goes.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 16, 2010 10:50 am 
Yeah, the insomnia is quite common in opiate withdrawal....don't know that I've ever heard of anyone completely escaping that one. I think there have been a few post here who tapered very long, slow and low before coming off Suboxone and did not have sleep disturbances. But for the most part, it is part of the process. I haven't come off Sub yet, but I have come off large amounts of full-agonist opiates and it was rough! The sleeplessness being one of the more prominent symptoms. It did eventually straighten itself out. Really I think it 'only' took about a week-ten days. But I know for sure that there were 3 days/nights in which I didn't sleep more than an hour per 24. I was not able to take anything at all though to try to help with it, so I can't tell you for sure, but I'm betting that if you're able to use some comfort meds, you'll be able to get some sleep.
At the risk of telling you things you already know, being a Pharmstudent, there are lots of sedating meds out there if you're able to get a prescription - any of the benzos (VERY short term and minimal) or Ambien or Lunesta, muscle relaxers are commonly sedating, even promethazine can be pretty sedating. I've heard of doctors using Trazadone or Seroquel. And a lot of docs write for Clonodine for w/d symptoms that helps people with sleep too. If you'd rather go the nonRx route, I swear by gool ole diphenhydramine. And as Hatmaker suggested, melatonin works for some people. I also agree with Hatmaker about progressive relaxation and exercise, and I'll throw in Yoga as well.
Please believe that (provided you're not someone with long-term insomnia anyway) this will pass! I remember someone telling me at a meeting that "lack of sleep won't kill you." Oh boy that pissed me off at the time! But he was right....it won't kill you and it really should begin to get better soon. What I finally wound up doing when I knew there was not gonna be any sleep happening, was just give in to it and get on up and do something. As you said, if you don't, the anxiety of it will leave you wanting to pull your hair out!! So, yeah, just get on up and go for a walk or whatever to get your mind off it.
Hang in there. I feel for ya!


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 21, 2010 3:26 pm 
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Thanks for the replies, so far i went out and got the melatonin, did do much but its more of a long term use type of thing i think. I got advil pm which once i wake up in the morning it will let me sleep til around 11 am. As for RX my mom has insomnia and gets ambien which she gave me some of. i took it once but i was doing shit in my sleep and not remembering so i wont take that again. Basically the advil pm has helped the most and thanks again for the advice


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 21, 2010 11:18 pm 
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I've suffered from insomnia for ever. I remember being 5 or 6 years old and staring at the walls till the sun came up. You've got some good advise so far. I personally try and stay away from ambien or any kind of benzo's, IMO it's artificial sleep. I would sleep, when taking those things, but never felt rested. Some things I do to help with insomnia- limit your caffeine during the day, I don't consume any soda's or coffee after 3:00pm. I take around 10 mg of melatonin before I go to sleep, seems to help a little. I will also do some Yoga exercises when I've had a stessful day. The biggest mistake with insomnia is trying to force yourself to sleep. If you absolutely can't sleep read a book or some meditation. No TV or computers, they are too stimulating. It's frustrating I know but you will find what works for you. Your body will eventually adjust, be patient. Good luck.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 22, 2010 2:42 am 
Hi Pharm Student,

Welcome! I have been recently using a technique to get to sleep at night. It has NEVER failed me. I am an RN and I remembered this trick our A&P teacher taught us. Funny that I learned it 8 years ago and forgot it. It came back to me after I was about 3 months sober and on 8mg suboxone daily. Anyway.....

So go to bed in a nice quiet dark room.
Get into a very comfortable position.
Start taking deep breaths.....but not normal deep breaths. Breathe so when you inhale your BELLY rises up, NOT so your chest expands. It is weird at first, but stay with it.
Lay there and do this "belly" breathing. After a while the "belly" breathing slows down. Between breaths, notice your feet and legs...think about how heavy and relaxed they are.
Keep "belly" breathing. In between breaths, notice how relaxed your hands and arms are.
I swear by this time my arms and legs feel so heavy, I feel almost sedated. I keep doing it until I fall asleep.
I am wondering if this causes me to retain CO2 or something......My teacher said it "massages our inner organs." I am not so sure about that but I am telling you this totally works for me.
Sometimes it takes 20-30 min....but if I stick with it, I swear it is the best, most relaxing feeling I have ever had. (Without drugs!!! LOL)

So, if there is anyone out there who tries it and it works, let me know!!! I think it is just the greatest thing ever!!

Take care of yourselves out there, Kire


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 22, 2010 7:53 am 
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Kire,
I will most def be trying that technique tonight and ill be sure to let everyone know how it works out. and as for the RX route i feel the same way like i sleep but im just dead i dont wake up refreshed so hopefully this belly breathing works!


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 22, 2010 7:58 am 
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AddictPharmStudent wrote:
Thanks for the replies, so far i went out and got the melatonin, did do much but its more of a long term use type of thing i think. I got advil pm which once i wake up in the morning it will let me sleep til around 11 am. As for RX my mom has insomnia and gets ambien which she gave me some of. i took it once but i was doing shit in my sleep and not remembering so i wont take that again. Basically the advil pm has helped the most and thanks again for the advice


Lunesta is another sleep aid that works on a similar part of the brain as Ambien. Some people who have sleepwalking issues with Ambien are able to take Lunesta without those side effects. Be warned, though, it IS habit forming.

Personally, I use Ambien, but only occasionally. I purposely limit my use of it to only once or twice a week MAX. And on the nights that I take it, I sleep well. Even though I am currently on 7mg of Suboxone, it doesn't really do much for me in terms of sleep. I've always had very high tolerance problems.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 22, 2010 8:03 am 
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I've gone through the sleeplessness from WD and in my experience, none of this stuff really works because the anxiety you are having is totally physiological. Ambien helped minimally and I didn't find it was worth continuing. Neurontin helped much more and did not make me groggy in the morning. HOWEVER, at the doses I needed for my neuropathy, I was too cognitively slow to continue that either, but it did help me through the withdrawal in a major way. It is not addictive so that would be something pretty safe to try. It is great for anxiety as well.

Cherie

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 22, 2010 8:57 am 
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What Kire is describing is sound. It's also called self-hypnosis, progressive relaxation, or meditation. The "belly" breathing she's describing is called diaphragmatic breathing. It helps us to breath more deeply and gives our brain more oxygen.
A while back I posted a thread about how to do this self-hypnosis. It's under the "chronic pain" category. It can help with sleep, anxiety, and chronic pain. When I first started doing it I thought it was a bunch of hooey, but it really does help. Before I started sub I was on unbelievable doses of xanax, so afterward I needed to find a way to deal with my anxiety. This method helped me so much. Once you get the hang of it it's easy to get to that relaxed state in a matter of seconds. I've even used it to reduce my blood pressure.

I hope this works for you. Let us know.

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-As I have grown older, I've learned that pleasing everyone is impossible, but pissing everyone off is a piece of cake.

-I'm only responsible for what I say, not for what you understand.


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