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Chronic insomnia, please help

(87 Posts)
Grockle Thu 03-May-12 17:46:17

I can't remember the last time I slept properly. I'm on ADs & have zopiclone but even with that, I wake up several times a night. I was up for over an hour last night. And woke up several times on top of that. It's a lifelong problem - I remember being 7 and not understanding how everyone else seemed to be able to close their eyes and sleep.

I've tried sleep hygiene, various meds, lavender oil, massage, no caffeine etc but nothing helps and I don't know what to do. I'm so tired I can barely move and I feel so sick, I can't eat. I have to be able to function properly - I need to go to work, look after DS etc. I don't know how to manage it. There must be something that will help?

Can you die from exhaustion? I feel like this is slowly killing me sad

DinahMoHum Thu 03-May-12 17:54:33

if its a long term thing, have you tried melatonin?

I feel for you, I get major bouts of insomnia and it runs my whole life at times. Its horrific

Grockle Thu 03-May-12 18:24:34

Yes, I've tried melatonin. Sometimes helps me drift off but not always and doesn't help me stay asleep.

It just all feels impossible atm. I'm a single parent with no help and I just can't do everything. I tried to have a nap today to ease the drunk-type feeling I now have through extreme tiredness but I couldn't fall asleep.

RabbitsMakeBrownEggs Thu 03-May-12 18:35:14

When I get like this a short course of temazepam sorts me right out.

Grockle Thu 03-May-12 18:40:07

My dr won't give me anything, other than zopiclone every now and then. And I have to beg for that sad

I don't want to need drugs to help me sleep but I'm desperate. I don't care what helps, but I need something. I've even found myself googling places to buy stuff online - I wouldn't do that but I have been tempted.

topsi Thu 03-May-12 18:55:40

What AD are you on, soem cause insomnia?

Grockle Thu 03-May-12 18:58:17

Mirtazipine. I don't think it's causing it but it's not made it better.

narmada Fri 04-May-12 13:39:45

Oh bum, was going to suggest mirtazapine as it sorted out my sleep issues. What dose are you on? Presumably they've gone as high as they can go with it?

Elibean Fri 04-May-12 14:06:41

I feel for you, Grockle - have had bouts of insomnia since childhood too, and I'm sure it becomes habitual, apart from whatever causes it in first place.

dh read somewhere that cherry juice (taken daily, small glass) helps hugely - to my cynical astonishment, it does seem to, somewhat.

Personally, if desperate to sleep, I take a 12 year old's dose of antihistamine (Piriton, or the one in kiddy cough medicines - cant' remember name) and that does it for me. I don't like doing it, but I'd rather take a small dose of kids' medicine than Temazepam or suchlike.

Nytol does absolutely nothing for me, by the way - cherry juice is better!

Elibean Fri 04-May-12 14:07:33

ps what you probably need most is a break with no responsibilities....I know, impossible dream....

narmada Fri 04-May-12 14:32:14

I am guessing that if mirtazapine and zopiclone in combination don't knock the poor OP out then a kid's dose of antihistamine is going to do not much but I would love to be wrong smile

Cherry juice, eh?? I'm going to try that one myself...

Staverton Fri 04-May-12 14:44:25

I had horrendous insomnia for years so I feel for you. I still can't sleep if mildly stressed, staying over at someone's house or if I have to get up super early.
Things that worked for me: strict sleep hygiene and sleep restriction, no caffeine after midday and realising that actually I won't die from lack of sleep. don't nap either.

I didnt try it but CBT or hypnosis may well work on your case

RabbitsMakeBrownEggs Fri 04-May-12 19:17:07

Also, bananas and turkey release something that triggers sleep, I forget what it is, but sure if you google it will explain.

nightcat Sat 05-May-12 12:34:54

that would be tryptophan (in turkey) which converts to melatonin

My suggestions would be:
Relaxing drops - from Holland & Barret or similar
Mg & vit B - also relaxing
Sleep in complete darkness
No screen time before bed (say 1hr or so)
Bath with some relaxing salts etc

Winetimeisfinetime Sat 05-May-12 14:22:06

I have suffered from chronic insomnia for years as well and after reading on here about someone who used to take Medised to help them sleep, I tried it and it really helped me which was miraculous as nothing else had. I now take Tesco's Sleep Aid ( the otc one ) as that has the same antihistamine as Medised without the paracetamol and find that I now only need a half dose for 2 or 3 days every now and again and it gets me back into a regular sleep pattern.
I know it is not ideal as it is tablets but it has really helped me and I now feel confidence that I can sleep, so wanted to suggest it. No idea if it might work if Zopiclone hasn't but may be worth a try.

narmada Sat 05-May-12 18:41:53

I saw a really interesting programme a year or so ago (might have been longer) about insomnia being treated with a kind of sleep restriction programme. Apparently it's very very effective. Might be worth looking up .

Grockle Sat 05-May-12 21:23:09

Thank you - I'll google sleep restriction and see what happens. Had a very busy and stressful few days plus very disrupted sleep so am hopeful that I'll have a good rest tonight.

DinahMoHum Sun 06-May-12 20:41:34

i find sominex (OTC) just as effective as temazepam, and more effective than zopiclone

gingerchick Sun 06-May-12 20:56:32

Am going to be following this thread I feel your pain I am a single mum with two girls and on ADs and haven't slept at all for 3 nights, can barely string a sentence together. Dr won't give me temazapam even tho I told her I am desperate and take codeine painkillers to try and knock me out, so sorry you going thru this too but I'm glad its not just me

gingerchick Sun 06-May-12 20:57:43

Sleeping problems been on and off for years

Grockle Sun 06-May-12 21:01:11

I take codeine too, in desperation. It just makes me a bit woozy & I have a very odd sleep. Not at all restful but better than tossing and turning and waking all night. Sorry you are not sleeping either. It's depressing - I argue with my GO about this- he says I don't sleep well because I'm depressed but I claim that I wasn't depressed til my insomnia got the better of me again!

gingerchick Sun 06-May-12 21:08:36

I took 8 solpadine last night ( am in no way saying this a good idea ) but just felt odd, my not sleeping just happens suddenly if I'm very stressed. The irony is the gp won't give me sleeping tablets because of risk of addiction,( have been addicted to painkillers in the past
) but she knows I'm abusing painkillers out of desperation very frustrating

Grockle Sun 06-May-12 21:31:52

No, it's not good. My GP doesn't seem to care what I do as long as he doesn't have to prescribe me sleeping tablets - I wonder if they are one of the things that they are monitored on and have limits on how many they should prescribe.

When I lived overseas I had a repeat prescription for sleeping tablets and took them everyday, with my dr there saying they weren't addictive.

gingerchick Sun 06-May-12 21:37:40

I wonder, bloody annoying tho although sometimes I think I couldn't sleep if I was whacked on the head with a shovel

Grockle Sun 06-May-12 21:40:55

It's very tempting to try it! I came to bed at 7 because I was so tired but I'm now wide awake.

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