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Insomniacs?
Old 01-05-2006, 08:23 PM   #1
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Insomniacs?

I remember a while back probably during the 14th page of some thread hijack, a bunch of folks mentioned they had occasional or frequent insomnia.

One of the things thats plagued me for years, trying to get the brain to shut down when its bedtime. Its not unusual for me to wake up 6-8 times a night and end up sitting up for an hour or two before I go back to sleep. Of course, the nights before a job interview, big presentation, etc are an automatic 3-4 hours of sleep tops.

I've tried all sorts of over the counter and prescription goodies, but either they didnt work or turned me into a zombie the next day.

My doctor just tried me out on the new prescription med Lunesta. If you have insomnia, go try this. I fell asleep about 20 minutes after taking it, slept almost 8 hours straight, and woke up with no zombie after effects. Its also supposedly the only pill tested to be effective and safe for long term use - most of the others are only supposed to be used for a few days or a week. It also may help train your sleep pattern when you're not taking it - a study I read showed that people who took it nightly for six weeks slept better after they stopped taking it than they slept before the six week period.

The one gotcha is a lot of insurances dont have this on their accepted meds list...at least not yet. This is the first time a doctor prescribed me something that the insurance company didnt want to pay for. I ended up buying the first batch myself while the doctor does some authorization paperwork with the insurance company that will most likely result in them paying for it. That my wife works with the doctor may be a plus to getting him to do all this paperwork. Your mileage may vary.

Costco's the cheapest place with it, about three bucks a pill.

If you go to the lunesta web site before you get the prescription written, you can print a form from there that the doctor signs and attaches to the prescription that will give you four extra pills free.

VERY recommended at this point. If it stops working or stops working as well as I continue using it, i'll drop another note on it. Its worth it to have some around just for those occasional "must sleep well" nights.

And NO, I dont own any sepracor stock...
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Re: Insomniacs?
Old 01-05-2006, 08:25 PM   #2
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Re: Insomniacs?

Thanks for the tip, () - I will relay this to my SO - he has major sleep problems, and to twist a phrase, when Greg ain't sleepin', ain't NOBODY sleepin'!
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Re: Insomniacs?
Old 01-05-2006, 08:30 PM   #3
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Re: Insomniacs?

Yep sleep is good. I sort of rolled with it when I worked and when I was a single ER.

A couple of hours sleep prior to watching a 1 year old for 14 hours straight while my wife is at work is, however, NOT an option.

Melatonin worked a little bit for me, and a couple of benadryl usually would work but wiped me out the next day. Cheap at 400 for $4 at costco though. Valerian worked for me for about 30 days with no side effects the next day, but after 30 days it did absolutely nothing for me and has never worked since. Weird. A lot of people that dont know me suggest yoga or other meditations. The people that know me say "I'd suggest yoga, but..."
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Re: Insomniacs?
Old 01-05-2006, 08:51 PM   #4
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Re: Insomniacs?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ()
* The people that know me say "I'd suggest yoga, but..."
I recommend either Xanax or Transene. Just take the whole bottle
and wash it down with a martini.

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Re: Insomniacs?
Old 01-05-2006, 09:11 PM   #5
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Re: Insomniacs?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ()
The people that know me say "I'd suggest yoga, but..."
I sleep best after hard exercise-- tae kwon do sparring, a few hours of yardwork or home improvement, a day of surfing...

It's not unusual to wake up after a 3-4 hour cycle and need an hour to go back to sleep.* I'm good for 6-7 hours in two increments but a couple times a week I'll only make four hours... I'll wake up, my brain will kick-start, and that's it for the night's sleep.* Of course I have the option of a nap, or after a couple days the sleep deficit will knock me out for eight hours.*

In the 17th & 18th centuries it wasn't uncommon for townspeople to actually sit outside and socialize around 1-2 AM between sleep cycles.* (Or to entertain themselves with other activities.)* Of course this was before the Internet and Windows Solitaire so they were able to say goodnight and go back to sleep.* But back then a good night's sleep was considered to be around 10 hours...*
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Re: Insomniacs?
Old 01-05-2006, 09:39 PM   #6
 
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Re: Insomniacs?

Before you go drugging yourselves, get tested for Sleep Apnea, there maybe a reason you are waking up.

Snoring is one sign that you may need a CPAP Machine.
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Re: Insomniacs?
Old 01-06-2006, 12:10 AM   #7
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Re: Insomniacs?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Howard
Before you go drugging yourselves, get tested for Sleep Apnea, there maybe a reason you are waking up.

Snoring is one sign that you may need a CPAP Machine.
When I go to bed I'm usually asleep before my head hits the pillow. And I sleep very soundly. My DW swears I could sleep throgh a tornado. But a few years ago I participated in some clinical sleep studies. As part of the experiments, they hooked me up to a CPAP machine. Those are the only nights I did not sleep well. Damn, I hated that machine. It made me very apprehensive and caused me to wake up feeling frightened every time I was about to fall aspleep.

I suppose these machines help some people, but I felt like they were devil machines.
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Re: Insomniacs?
Old 01-06-2006, 08:05 AM   #8
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Re: Insomniacs?

I sleep well, most of the time. Biggest problem I have is having to get up to urin8. The prostrate tightens on old pharts, ya know. Most times, though, right back to sleep. Those times when sleep is interfered with, I just take a longer nap the next day.
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Re: Insomniacs?
Old 01-06-2006, 08:08 AM   #9
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Re: Insomniacs?

I suffered with this for years. I also had cronic low back pain for so long that I just accepted it as normal. I tried all the drugs, too, as well as sleep hypnosis.

2 things finally worked for me: a foam mattress topper (thank you, TH) and glucosamine w/ chondroitin. It was a frickin' miracle, thank the Lord.

For the most part I sleep mostly through the night. I can usually catch 6 hours straight before waking up then lightly dozing until 6:00 am.

LL
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Re: Insomniacs?
Old 01-06-2006, 08:18 AM   #10
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Re: Insomniacs?

Have had insomnia for many many years. *Also have sleep apnea and use the CPAP machine from Hell. *My brother has one too and loves it; I can't stand it since it is so hard to sleep with a hard plastic mask attached to essentially an air pump to force air into your face. *I am still waiting to feel better with this thing but some people seem to take longer to adjust. *

Lunesta is my sleep drug of choice too right now. *I have tried them all and Lunesta seems to be the best without the nasty over dose side effects you get with some of the other stuff. *Ambien worked OK for a couple of months and then stopped so I was glad to get the Lunesta. *Ambier CR is a coated tablet that is supposed to give a longer slower dose release that the standard Ambien. *The problem with Ambien for me was waking up one a couple of hours after going to sleep with it. *Now I sleep longer now on Lunesta and don't wake up as much during the night.

Exercise seems to have little effect on my sleep pattern. *I may fall asleep earlier but I still don't sleep well and wake up several times a night. *

I am envious of those of you that can fall asleep, stay asleep most of the night and not feel like your are in a fog all day. *Having major sleep apnea means I stop breathing more than 60 times an hour which wakes me up. *The CPAP helps this but creates its own problems with discomfort so I may be getting more air during the night but the total amount and depth of sleep is still very low. *

My doctor says I need to sleep more....duh! *I believe that ER will help a lot because I won't have to wake up when DW gets up at 4:30am or crawl out of bed at 5:15am. *I can only imagine being able to sleep to 6 or 7 am every morning. *
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Re: Insomniacs?
Old 01-06-2006, 08:39 AM   #11
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Re: Insomniacs?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ()
One of the things thats plagued me for years, trying to get the brain to shut down when its bedtime.* Its not unusual for me to wake up 6-8 times a night and end up sitting up for an hour or two before I go back to sleep.
I've been reading a book that discusses the subject, TH, and it reminds me-- you don't by any chance smoke or drink caffeinated beverages, do you?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ((^+^)) SG
As part of the experiments, they hooked me up to a CPAP machine. Those are the only nights I did not sleep well. Damn, I hated that machine.
I've slept with forced-air facemasks many times. I don't know how Darth Vader did it, although I can certainly understand why he was always so grouchy.
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Re: Insomniacs?
Old 01-06-2006, 08:52 AM   #12
 
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Re: Insomniacs?

SteveR, I had the same problem, so i did not go for the machine even though I know I am putting myself at health risk.

There is a new Cannula out that I am going to try, hopefully it will be more comfortable.

For those who don't know, untreated sleep apnea can cause permanent brain damage, strokes, or heart attacks.
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Old 01-06-2006, 09:30 AM   #13
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Re: Insomniacs?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Howard
SteveR, I had the same problem, so i did not go for the machine even though I know I am putting myself at health risk.

There is a new Cannula out that I am going to try, hopefully it will be more comfortable.

For those who don't know, untreated sleep apnea can cause permanent brain damage, strokes, or heart attacks.
Howard,
I have some other issues that require the full face mask; I tried various nasal devices but they don't work as well. The good news is that my blood O2 level is now above 90% all night instead of below 80% most of the night. Oxygen is a nice thing to feed your body.

My family has a long history of heart disease. I am trying to keep that monkey off my back for as long as possible. Neither my brother nor I have had a problem yet and we have both gone 10 years beyond what the other males in the family have done by not having a heart attack yet. So far so good. I can't help wondering how much the sleep apnea could have contributed to the heart attacks in previous generations since it seems to be an inherited trait.

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Re: Insomniacs?
Old 01-06-2006, 09:55 AM   #14
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Re: Insomniacs?

There are definitely a lot of medical conditions that can disrupt sleep, from apnea to restless leg syndrome to chronic aches and pains to anxiety. Since you have to get lunesta from your doctor, they should discuss and investigate causes rather than the symptom - insomnia is usually a symptom. If your doctor just goes ahead and prescribes you a sleep med without asking a lot of questions and wanting to investigate contributing causes...get another doctor asap.

I've been a bit of slug lately, but slept no better after doing a days yard work, a couple of hours on skates and/or in a kayak, or after chasing a baby around the house all day. Dont smoke, do drink a cup of coffee or two in the afternoon, have tried "no motion" beds (which do help if you're disturbed by the spouse or pets moving on the bed), water beds (which help you go to sleep as you're getting into a warm bed first thing but can be problematic if sharing a bed with someone who moves a lot), memory foam (which does help if you have minor aches and pains), setting fixed bed and wake times (good luck), glass of wine, no booze, lots of booze, yada yada yada. I'm two decades into this, my dad has the same problems and so did his dad, so theres something genetic in it.

It all boils down to stopping the brain from spinning. I wake up and have to sit there saying "dont think, dont think, dont think" and hope I fall back asleep. Then there I go "left my glasses on top of the dog house...need to put milk on the shopping list...should look up xyz the next time I have the 'puter on...I should tweak my satellite dish to see if I can get a few more points of signal out of it...man precious metals and energy have really run up, maybe I should sell those...gee, if I rearrange the living room and put this here and that there the baby will have more room to play in...I should dig around and see if I can find the access cap to the septic system as we'll probably need to pump it this summer". Nothing anxiety related really, which is a primary cause of this sort of problem.

And some people wonder "what WILL I do if I retire early." Plenty.

Lunesta is categorically a "hypnotic"...in very simple terms it turns off your brain from conscious thought.
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Re: Insomniacs?
Old 01-06-2006, 09:55 AM   #15
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Re: Insomniacs?

DW has insomnia. She takes Ambien but still stays up until 2 am and then sleeps to 11 am. I go to bed at 11 pm and fall asleep within 15 minutes and sleep to 7 or 8 am. We only have have limited hours each day when we are both awake. Maybe that's why we're still married after 36 years?

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Re: Insomniacs?
Old 01-06-2006, 10:07 AM   #16
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Re: Insomniacs?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ()
... it turns off your brain from conscious thought.
A good-looking woman does the same thing for me.

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Re: Insomniacs?
Old 01-06-2006, 10:10 AM   #17
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Re: Insomniacs?

Tried that. I watched five episodes of "The Man Show" one right after the other and it didnt work.

"Its research into my sleep problem" I told Mrs. (). "Yeah right, you just want to see those girls jumping on trampolines you lying sack of ****!"
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Old 01-06-2006, 10:57 AM   #18
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Re: Insomniacs?

Quote:
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Tried that.
Well, TH, judging from your post count so far today (still before lunch!), I sure hope you got a good night's sleep.

Because I'd hate to imagine the post count if today's achievements came from a bad night's sleep...
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Re: Insomniacs?
Old 01-06-2006, 11:07 AM   #19
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Re: Insomniacs?

Eh, its been raining buckets here for 3 weeks, the baby has started sleeping until after 8:00, and he's become fairly self-entertaining. AND I have a new 32" monitor to play with!
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Old 01-06-2006, 12:40 PM   #20
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Re: Insomniacs?

Quote:
Originally Posted by grumpy
DW has insomnia.* She takes Ambien but still stays up until 2 am and then sleeps to 11 am.* I go to bed at 11 pm and fall asleep within 15 minutes and sleep to 7 or 8 am.* We only have have limited hours each day when we are both awake.* Maybe that's why we're still married after 36 years?

* Grumpy
DW works a crazy schedule. Goes to bed at 8-9pm; gets up at 4-4:30 or 10am depending on her schedule. I go to bed near midnight and might fall asleep by 1am and then get out of bed (after being awake since DW got up) at 5:30am.

(), I have seen a ton of docs. on this issue over the 30+ years I have had it. My family also has it; dad and mom as well as brother. We all run 100 MPH on 4-5 hours a night. My doc. said even if they were to "fix" it now, I would never make up my sleep debt. Maybe so, but at least I have no CC debt.
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