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Ambien?
Old 05-20-2009, 01:24 PM   #1
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Ambien?

Still having sleep issues. I have some of that Ambien CR (timed release) stuff and it seems to work. If I take it two nights in a row, it doesn't work as well. I can fall asleep fine most nights, but wake up at 2 am or so with mind racing.

Anyone else try Ambien and switch to one of the other sleep meds? Just wondering if I should try Lunesta or something similar.

They say Ambien works pretty fast, but I've had times where I lay there tossing and turning for a long time.
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Old 05-20-2009, 01:28 PM   #2
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Still having sleep issues. I have some of that Ambien CR (timed release) stuff and it seems to work. If I take it two nights in a row, it doesn't work as well. I can fall asleep fine most nights, but wake up at 2 am or so with mind racing.

Anyone else try Ambien and switch to one of the other sleep meds? Just wondering if I should try Lunesta or something similar.

They say Ambien works pretty fast, but I've had times where I lay there tossing and turning for a long time.
Try to see a therapist that uses specialized techniques to train you to sleep better. I have had success with meditation, such that I rarely have trouble getting a full night's sleep anymore. Partly because my life is pretty calm now. A lot of crap going on can make it harder to sleep for many of us.

Ha
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Old 05-20-2009, 02:00 PM   #3
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Ambien, like Sonata and Lunesta are modern-day versions of the old valium, librium, xanax type drugs, though their mechanism of action is a little different. They produce less "dependence" than the older drugs, but lack the antianxiety and muscle-relaxing properties. Unfortunately, they seem to worsen other dependencies like alcoholism so they can be misused.

Ha is right - insomnia should be carefully analyzed before you use these drugs, not just to determine the right sleeping pill, but to rule out a zillion other things ranging from sleep apnea to hyperthyroidism, to anxiety disorders and depression and so on. I tend to prescribe them infrequenlty and for relatively short term use. Good counselling should help with the "I can't sleep because I'm worried about not sleeping" deal.

When drugs get the kind of marketing that big pharma is bringing to these agents, be afraid, be very afraid. They are not miracle drugs, are hyped like crazy, and probably offer only marginal value of the old standby drugs.
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Old 05-20-2009, 05:48 PM   #4
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I found I could not tolerate the Ambien. I called them my angry pills, the day after I took them all I wanted to do was rip everyone's head off the silliest reason.

I switched to Lunesta and found it to be a lot better medication. However, your insurance company will initially refuse to pay for the Lunesta, they want you to take the Ambien because it is cheaper. The Dr likely will have to go back to the insurance company to tell them you can't do the Ambien before they will approve.

I have had long term sleeping problems, probably for 30 years. However, the thing that I found works for me is Rolfing.

Rolfing Training at The Rolf Institute of Structural Integration

They do not promote it as helping sleeping issues but it worked from session one for me. Recently when my sleeping problems restarted I went and had a few sessions and I am good as gold again.
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Old 05-20-2009, 06:30 PM   #5
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I found I could not tolerate the Ambien. I called them my angry pills, the day after I took them all I wanted to do was rip everyone's head off the silliest reason.

I switched to Lunesta and found it to be a lot better medication. However, your insurance company will initially refuse to pay for the Lunesta, they want you to take the Ambien because it is cheaper. The Dr likely will have to go back to the insurance company to tell them you can't do the Ambien before they will approve.

I have had long term sleeping problems, probably for 30 years. However, the thing that I found works for me is Rolfing.

Rolfing Training at The Rolf Institute of Structural Integration

They do not promote it as helping sleeping issues but it worked from session one for me. Recently when my sleeping problems restarted I went and had a few sessions and I am good as gold again.
Very interesting. I used to know people who did Rolfing, and who were being Rolfed. I never could understand the supposed benefits but it sounds like you found a very important one.

Ha
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Old 05-20-2009, 07:05 PM   #6
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Doc started giving me ambien a couple years ago when my tinnitus started. It was so bad, so loud that I could not sleep. On occasion it is still pretty bad. I still hear it every day, all the time, but most days it is tolerable. It is aggravated by extremely stressful situations, worry, people problems and sometimes over-exertive exercise. Most of the time I need help sleeping I use melatonin and valerian, and sometimes doxylamine (otc), just a couple bucks if you get the WalMart brand. About once or twice a week though I use the ambien, especially if I have tossed and turned several nights in a row. Doc gives me 5mg tabs, dosed at 2 tabs (10mg), but I often take only one of them and I have backed off using them from almost every night when the tinnitus first struck to once or twice a week now, because I am concerned about dependency. I never get a case of the angrys, and as far as I can tell, I have never sleep-walked or driven the car while asleep...and when I take it I DO sleep. I never take it if I have to be up and functional within the next 8 hours. Sometimes I will wake up after 6 or 7 hours but it takes a while to awake fully if I do. If I go a full 8 hrs after taking it, I'm good to go.

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Old 05-20-2009, 07:33 PM   #7
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I take melatonin too, but the only one that works for me is the sublingual type by Source Naturals, and I can (should) only take about 0.25mg of it. (They have a 1mg tablet which is the smallest pill you can get .. up to 5mg I think. DO NOT GO OVER 1mg IMO.). (Any more than 0.25mg will bring about a nightmare for me.) Only in about 5 minutes time, it puts me in this dreamy altered state similar to the kind you get into when you have been meditating for a long time. No other melatonin - sublingtual or otherwise - has done this for me. I wear earplugs in addition since a tiny little could wake me up and once awake, I find it very difficult to fall asleep unless I am physically tired.

I read somewhere you have a back problem (or was it a hip), so maybe rolfing would work better for you to get you to sleep and stay asleep. Or some exercise.

I have no experience with prescription sleep aids.
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Old 05-20-2009, 07:40 PM   #8
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Valerian and melatonin have never done anything for me at all. I can take an Ambien and it might not knock me out. 3 hours later whilst I am still waiting to sleep I will have to take a second to do the job.

Ha, you might want to investigate rolfing. It really is an interesting therapy, and I say that as one who has tried just about everything. However, for me it is really important who is giving the treatment. I had a fabo rolfer in San Diego, really knew what he was doing and had a remarkable result. When we moved I had to find someone new and ended up with someone who I did not mesh with at all. Would take the first 20 mins of the appt. deciding what she would do as she was "intuitive" rather than following a routine. I found week after week she would treat the same area. The final straw was everything that had to be fixed I had to spend a lot of time visualising what the blockage was and had to go into detailed description of what it was and why emotionally I could not let go. That was the final straw for me as I am not really a new age person and found I was not getting the results because she wasn't actually doing the treatment.
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Old 05-20-2009, 07:45 PM   #9
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Wow, I am beginning to realize how lucky I am. All I have to do is cut out caffeine completely, take a day off work, and/or go to the gym, and I am guaranteed a good night's sleep.
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Old 05-20-2009, 08:03 PM   #10
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Yeah, my mom can sleep thru a train wreck. She is asleep before her head hits the pillow. I have extremely sensitive hearing and some anxiety issues.

I am in therapy. Therapist thinks getting good nights sleep is the first step toward addressing some of the anxiety and other issues I am dealing with (DDs autism, DWs refusal to accept it, me working full time and doing all medical and educational appointments, majority of child care, etc).

But, heck, I've slept poorly since late teens. Used to be off and on mild depression. Maybe I'm so used to it now.

I may ask about a sleep therapist. I do practice good sleep hygene and avoid caffiene after 2PM. Usually I cal fall asleep OK 10-2AM, then wake up with random thoughts about everything (life, kid, work, projects, hobbies). Mind won't shut off.

I just put up some light darkening curtains. I also use earplugs and white noise machine. As you can imagine, I hate traveling as I don't sleep much on the road.

Things are much harder to deal with when you only get 4 or 5 hours of sleep and wake up 15 times.
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Old 05-21-2009, 04:13 AM   #11
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I switched from Ambien to Lunesta and was quite happy with the switch. I only use it on overseas flights (which for me is about 20 times a year) so I can't comment on its efficacy for daily use.
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Old 05-21-2009, 05:56 AM   #12
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For a while I thought that melatonin was wonderful. I'd take it, and in 15 minutes I'd get into this dreamy state and fall asleep. But after a while I realized that this same thing often happened even if I didn't take melatonin. And I noticed that I'd often take the melatonin and have trouble falling asleep.

My conclusion, together with some further research, was that it was just a placebo effect.

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Tinnitus. It is aggravated by extremely stressful situations, worry, people problems and sometimes over-exertive exercise.
Does it really get louder, or do you just notice it more? Mine is absolutely constant. Usually I don't notice it at all, but if I pay attention to it, it seems remarkably loud. If I'm worried or stressed, it's more likely to bother me, but it isn't actually louder.
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Old 05-21-2009, 06:37 AM   #13
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Does it really get louder, or do you just notice it more? Mine is absolutely constant. Usually I don't notice it at all, but if I pay attention to it, it seems remarkably loud. If I'm worried or stressed, it's more likely to bother me, but it isn't actually louder.
For me it does. After a really good night's sleep, it is barely there...I can still hear it but it is barely there ( I listen for it most days, to see how much it will affect my day. If I have to listen to hear it whisper, it is usually not going to bother me that day, unless something bad happens at w*rk). When I've gone to bed late and gotten up too early it is powerfully loud. When I have to deal with stupid people doing stupid things, it blares.

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Old 05-21-2009, 11:21 AM   #14
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When I go thru extended periods of insomnia I suffer from the tinnitus, which is really noticeable when I am trying to get to sleep.

However, now that I am sleeping better it seems to have gone away, so for me there is a link between lack of sleep and the tinnitus.
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Old 05-21-2009, 12:58 PM   #15
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Thanks, I may try another sleep aide. Now that the weather is getting better, I am going to try to exercise more. And worry less.

I want to learn some calming/meditation techniques I can incorporate into my bedtime routine. Anyone have any resources that worked to teach something like this? I have about 0 time available, so a quick reference quide or maybe an audio book I can listen to while commuting would be ideal!

Thanks!
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Old 05-21-2009, 01:05 PM   #16
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Thanks, I may try another sleep aide. Now that the weather is getting better, I am going to try to exercise more. And worry less.

I want to learn some calming/meditation techniques I can incorporate into my bedtime routine. Anyone have any resources that worked to teach something like this? I have about 0 time available, so a quick reference quide or maybe an audio book I can listen to while commuting would be ideal!

Thanks!
A Harvard MD named Herb Benson wrote a good little book called The Relaxation Response. Pure technique, no *****-pocus of any kind. You might like it. Most libraries will have it.
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Old 05-21-2009, 01:46 PM   #17
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Check your library for books on how to sleep well. My favorite title is:

Desperately Seeking Snoozin'

which is only funny if you remember the movie with a similar name.
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Old 05-21-2009, 06:30 PM   #18
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Thanks, I'll check into those. I remember the movie Al, but never watched it. Chick flick?
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Old 05-25-2009, 07:14 PM   #19
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If your sleep issues have to do with an over-active mind,
perhaps clonazepam ? My doctor poo-poo'd the newer stuff
like Ambien and Lunesta, but I can't remember his exact
reasons (it wasn't cost, my insurance is very good). He
said he has a lot of patients like me that "think a lot" (or
something like that) and that clonazepam seems to work
best for us. I should stress he has me on a very low dose
(0.25mg, aka. 250ug, sounds like an LSD dosage - at least
he SAYS it's very low and I needn't be concerned about long-
term use. I know if I skip it occasionally (after a year or so
of use), I might notice a slight decline in quality of sleep,
so I don't think I'm terribly hooked.
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Ambien?
Old 05-25-2009, 07:59 PM   #20
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Ambien?

I have had periods of insomnia for various reasons(menopause, stress, anxiety) over the last half dozen years. I have tried Ambien, Sonata, and Lunesta and they all worked somewhat for me but were not complete solutions. The best thing I have found is making sure I get some fresh air daily, exercise early when I can, don't eat anything too heavy late at night and limit caffeine and alcohol. I also keep my bedroom dark and quiet and on the cool side. I now watch TV in my den, not in the bedroom, as I reserve the room for sleep only and get in bed only when I am tired and ready to sleep. A hot bath or shower just before bed is also helpful to me. Get some comfy pillows and high quality cotton sheets. Keep the pets out of the bedroom if they tend to maraude at night. Good luck. Chronic lack of sleep can be awful and I do sympathize.
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