HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Topics » Health » Mental Health Support (Group) » Insomnia - Advice/Ideas n...

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 01:37 AM

Insomnia - Advice/Ideas needed

Ok...I have been REALLY struggling with Insomnia for about a year. Related to my anxiety - just can't turn my mind off. I take Lexapro, which for years has helped keep my anxiety under control. It's a very low dosage. This past year, not so much. We are working on my dosage. I have a "rescue" script of Xanax for the really bad days, and while if I take it at night, I will sleep, I don't really want to get in the habit of taking it all of the time.

So, my doc and I have worked on a number of things... tried a number of different meds, melatonin, etc. Some stuff will work for a bit, some not at all, but nothing consistently. Exercise has really no impact, other than I will just be more tired while I can't sleep. Even while doing the Insanity series earlier this year. No sleep.

So, anyway, in an effort to try to shut off my brain, I have been trying some meditation for relaxation before bed. First night, really helped. I feel asleep before the app was even done. Some mild success since then.

To add to the insomnia, I have been struggling with cluster headaches for the past 3 weeks. No OTC meds scratch the surface when they are bad. 80% of the time they are more like a bad "normal" headache. Then the remaining 20% of the time they are horrid. Major pounding in the head, sound sensitivity, etc. I've had a shot at the doc and was given Fiorinal to take for 3 days to "stop the cluster cycle". Well, it worked for about 3-4 days, and now they are back.

I still have the Fiorinal, so have taken that a few times at the worst points. That can make me pretty loopy, sometimes sleepy, sometimes just "drugged". I've been trying to function without the fiorinal and using excedrin migraine during the day when needed. Anyway, last night, I take the Fiorinal because the headache was at a very bad level. Then I do my meditation app. I woke up in the middle of the night and couldn't move. Like, not at all. I know I was awake, because my dog woke up and was looking at me, and licked my face. I had these episodes happen years ago before the anxiety was diagnosed, and talked to my doc about them. Something about the natural way your body wakes up - body first, mind second...with sleep paralysis, your mind wakes up, and it takes a bit for your body to wake up. It is very freaky.

I know that is a lot of rambling info, and I apologize in advance if it doesn't make a ton of sense...I'm exhausted, but can't sleep, brain is like mushj...I'm just wondering if anyone has any experience with either insomnia or the sleep paralysis. If so, what helps for either?? This sleep paralysis stuff is NOT good for my anxiety. It is very scary. And yes, first thing on Monday I'm calling my doctor for another appointment on the headaches and the not sleeping. Just looking for any ideas or tips I can talk to him about.

The worst part of all of this is this effect lack of sleep has on the anxiety. I really, really, need to break this no sleeping cycle!!!

21 replies, 3089 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 21 replies Author Time Post
Reply Insomnia - Advice/Ideas needed (Original post)
2theleft Jan 2013 OP
JayhawkSD Jan 2013 #1
2theleft Jan 2013 #2
JayhawkSD Jan 2013 #7
libodem Jan 2013 #11
napoleon_in_rags Jan 2013 #3
tama Jan 2013 #4
HereSince1628 Jan 2013 #5
Neoma Jan 2013 #6
2theleft Jan 2013 #8
2theleft Jan 2013 #9
TexasBushwhacker Jan 2013 #15
Sophiegirl Feb 2013 #16
easttexaslefty Jan 2013 #10
2theleft Jan 2013 #13
mopinko Jan 2013 #12
2theleft Jan 2013 #14
Sophiegirl Feb 2013 #17
mopinko Feb 2013 #18
TexasBushwhacker Feb 2013 #21
JayhawkSD Feb 2013 #19
2theleft Feb 2013 #20

Response to 2theleft (Original post)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 01:50 AM

1. Go to a neurologist. Now.

 

Cluster/migraine attacks can be prevented. I was having migraines at the rate to 4-5 per week and my wife finally persuaded me to see a neurologist. He prescribed several different medications until he found one that would keep them from happening; in my case Topomax, which is an anti-seizure medication. They also use meds for Altzheimers and several others, and have to find the one which works for you. I now have about one per month, and sometimes go for several months with none.

I also have a sleep disorder, and the neurologist helped with that. I recently was diagnosed with Parkinson's Desease, but that's a different matter. It was caught early, since I was seeing a neurologist on a regular basis, so...

Anyway. see a neurologist, soon.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to JayhawkSD (Reply #1)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 01:56 AM

2. Thanks for the info...

And I'm glad you have gotten relief.

I have never had headache problems until now, so never really understood people who had them and how awful the pain is. It is kind of a win/lose proposition to research illnesses on the web because you can convince yourself that you have the worst of all possible diseases, but I did read about the clusters today and one thing was constant, see a neurologist. I will need to get a referral from my primary care, but will ask for that when I go this week.

Again, thanks for replying. And thanks for the insight on what has worked for you. I'm glad your Parkinson's was caught early.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to 2theleft (Reply #2)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 12:04 PM

7. Good, do that

 

I will be checking back on this threadfrom time to time to see how you're doing.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to JayhawkSD (Reply #1)

Thu Jan 24, 2013, 10:57 PM

11. That is what I think too

I had migrains start from other types of bad headaches. I wonder about seritonin syndrome? You need a specialist. Not sleeping sucks.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to 2theleft (Original post)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 06:56 AM

3. I've had mild forms of sleep paralysis and insomnia

What has helped me has been a cocktail of red wine, Tylenol PM and aspirin. But I have family members with deeper problems along the narcolepsy spectrum, and they ended up taking GHB when their symptoms were at their worst.

The neurologist, plus a targeted sleep study is going to be your best bet to get the meds that really help you.

Until then, all I can do is express sympathy and compassion. Sleeplessness is the worst, it really opens the gates to the deepest Cantos of mental illness, even in a person who would be totally okay and sane with good sleep. I've been there.

PEace

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to 2theleft (Original post)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 07:57 AM

4. Long walks in the woods nt.

 

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to 2theleft (Original post)


Response to 2theleft (Original post)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 01:03 PM

6. My sleeping got better when I started taking Seroquel.

Extended release, so it literately knocks me out for the whole night instead of only 4 hours. But, that's probably not a good reason for me to take it. Though, that's essentially what I use it for.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Neoma (Reply #6)

Mon Jan 21, 2013, 12:07 PM

8. being knocked out for 8 hours sounds like heaven.

zzzzzzzzz I'm glad you're getting some shut eye!!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to 2theleft (Reply #8)

Thu Jan 24, 2013, 12:36 AM

9. Thanks all, just to follow up...

Had another appointment with my primary care doc today. Thorough exam. He said the muscles in my neck, shoulders, etc are super tense and that can be putting pressure on my nervers. On a round of steroids, muscle relaxers at night, and pain meds during the day to stop the pattern. If that doesn't happen by Monday, off to the neurologist I go.

Taken the first dose of muscle relaxers. Feeling them start to kick in. This relaxing feeling that is creeping up on me is kinda feeling nice.

Fingers crossed this nips it in the bud.

You guys are awesome in this forum. Really, really appreciate the ideas, the support, etc!!!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Neoma (Reply #6)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 02:00 AM

15. Regular Seroquel works for me

I take 150 mg. My problem is falling asleep, not staying asleep. I also take melatonin and magnesium. Magnesium is good for helping your muscles relax. Get a magnesium supplement that is mag citrate, orotate, etc. because they are absorbed better than magnesium oxide. I take this one:

http://www.vitacost.com/vitacost-magnesium-ultra

Here's a $10 coupon if you buy $30 products from Vitacost.

https://www.vitacostrewards.com/3H820Z

Theanine and GABA are also good for relaxation.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Neoma (Reply #6)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 10:12 AM

16. This works for me too.

I have the same "I can't shut my brain down" problems. Seroquel had made a HUGE difference.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to 2theleft (Original post)

Thu Jan 24, 2013, 06:24 PM

10. I take Ambian and

a melatonin. I've also taken trazadone for sleep. (a low dose)
Hope you get some relief soon.
💗

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to easttexaslefty (Reply #10)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 12:44 AM

13. I've tried trazadone, but

it only worked for a few days. Just got a prescription for ambien. I'm hoping it works. Hesitant to take it with all the other stuff I'm taking at the moment trying to break my headache cycle...muscle relaxers at night and fioricet during the day. I'm looking forward to trying it after that cycle is over though! Glad to hear some good feedback on it.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to 2theleft (Original post)

Thu Jan 24, 2013, 10:57 PM

12. for some reason

counting backwards from 1,000 helps me. breathing slowly and deeply while i do so makes it work much better.
i took ambien for a long time, and i love, love loved it. but i think because i do always have a couple drinks at night i ended up with a pretty serious depression from it. if you don't drink, tho, it is heaven.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to mopinko (Reply #12)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 12:50 AM

14. Counting

used to work for me. Then I get sidetracked on adding numbers or subtracting numbers, or a number will remind me of something else that I "need" to worry about. It definitely all depends on where my anxiety levels are as to how difficult it is.

Last week I downloaded two meditation apps for my iphone. I have been listening to them this week while I drift off. Allows me to force myself to focus on their voices. I still have that focus problem like I do with counting, but not as bad. Might be because of the meds I'm taking for the headaches at the moment are also calming my mind down some. I drink, but not every day, so hopefully the ambien will help on the nights that I don't along with my "meditation"...not sure that I am truly meditating, but forcing my mind to focus and not wander seems to be helping. I have been getting about 5 hours of sleep each night this week, so that is better than it has been.

I do appreciate the info on ambien/drinking. I will make sure I'm very careful.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to mopinko (Reply #12)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 10:14 AM

17. Ambien

I am one of those people that does sleepwalking on Ambien. It's a scary thing, so I had to stop taking it.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Sophiegirl (Reply #17)

Tue Feb 5, 2013, 12:33 PM

18. yeah, i did some dumb shit, too.

i still miss it.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Sophiegirl (Reply #17)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 10:42 PM

21. Did you know they've cut the recommended dosage in half?

I've heard that cops have pulled over people DUA - driving under Ambien in their pajamas.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to 2theleft (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 11:05 AM

19. HAVE YOU SEEN A NEUROLOGIST YET?

 

I am telling you, dude, what you are dealing with is a problem for a neurologist. I suffered for too long until my wife persuaded me to see one. Wasted time that I could have been feeling better.

GO SEE A NEUROLOGIST. That's what they are for.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to JayhawkSD (Reply #19)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 02:02 PM

20. Not yet...The original meds worked until last week.

Was traveling for work. 2nd day, they started up again. I go back to primary doc tomorrow a.m. to get the referral to the neurologist. I had a few weeks of relief and it was heaven. I guess now we will figure out what the long term approach is after the neuro checks me out.

I hope he finds that I really have a brain if they do a scan of some sort. My mind has been seriously slugglish since these things have started back up!

Thanks for checking on me. I'm hopeful I can get to see the neuro in the next few weeks - am out of town AGAIN next week for work, so will do my best to get an appt for the week after.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread