insomnia...

chstr

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Mar 25, 2009
673
0
how do you deal with it?

I have to take a unisom every night in order to sleep. Usually it works like a charm but sometimes my insomnia just overpowers evreything. last night I was very restless and probably slept a total of 3 or 4 hours max. I made it through my work day, which was the first one after a 10 day vacation, and then took a unisom last night around 8 pm hoping to get a good night sleep. didn't work at all. Took another unsiom (first time I've evr tried this) around 1:30 this morning. It is now almost 3:30 and I still havent slept and now I'm freaking out because I have to go to work in about 3 hours, and then I have to drive to the city for an hour and a half for a 2 hour class and then drive back home for another hour and a half. there is really no way out of any of this. I'm getting pretty angry as I type this. :mad:
 

eawmp1

macrumors 601
Feb 19, 2008
4,135
5
FL
1) Medical advice online is for fools
2) Insomnia isn't a disease, it's a symptom. Poor sleep hygiene, stress, depression, lack of exercise, alcohol, stimulants, sleep apnea, pain, etc. are some of the myriad issues which lead to insomnia. Tranquilizers/hypnotics cause unconsciousness. They don't replicate the complex structure of sleep. They are habit-forming. Get the do a physician who concurs with this paragraph and get to the bottom of your issue. If the physician is quick to prescibe a medicine as a quick fix to get you out of the office, find a sleep medicien specialist/sleep psychologist.
3) The harder you TRY to fall asleep, the less successful you will be.
 

ayzee

macrumors 6502a
Jun 12, 2008
573
33
Do you do much physical activities? Maybe mentally your tired but not physically. Try some weightlifting/running before you go to bed, you will sleep like a baby :)
 

No ice please

macrumors 6502
Nov 21, 2009
388
0
1) Medical advice online is for fools
2) Insomnia isn't a disease, it's a symptom. Poor sleep hygiene, stress, depression, lack of exercise, alcohol, stimulants, sleep apnea, pain, etc. are some of the myriad issues which lead to insomnia. Tranquilizers/hypnotics cause unconsciousness. They don't replicate the complex structure of sleep. They are habit-forming. Get the do a physician who concurs with this paragraph and get to the bottom of your issue. If the physician is quick to prescibe a medicine as a quick fix to get you out of the office, find a sleep medicien specialist/sleep psychologist.
3) The harder you TRY to fall asleep, the less successful you will be.
I don't have insomnia but I have all those symptoms minus the alcohol (under 21) Now I think I should see a Doctor.
 

TSE

macrumors 68030
Jun 25, 2007
2,992
610
St. Paul, Minnesota
I had some sleeping problems in the beginning of the school year, these are what was causing it I pretty much nailed it down to, which has fixed it:

1. Stress - I quit procrastinating.

2. Energy - I quit drinking caffeine/taurine/Vitamin B drinks/chocolate within 4 hours of bedtime.

3. Physical - I starting working out 3-4 times a week, full body workout.

And I got my sleeping problems under control. My anxiety problems are another story, however.
 

chstr

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Mar 25, 2009
673
0
Do you do much physical activities? Maybe mentally your tired but not physically. Try some weightlifting/running before you go to bed, you will sleep like a baby :)
I do Bikram Yoga my friend ;) Did a class sunday and monday, should have knocked me right out

I had some sleeping problems in the beginning of the school year, these are what was causing it I pretty much nailed it down to, which has fixed it:

1. Stress - I quit procrastinating.

2. Energy - I quit drinking caffeine/taurine/Vitamin B drinks/chocolate within 4 hours of bedtime.

3. Physical - I starting working out 3-4 times a week, full body workout.

And I got my sleeping problems under control. My anxiety problems are another story, however.
thanks guys, anxiety is the big issue for me. I made it through today, wasn't fun though. Ended up sleeping about 2 hours tonight. Gonna pass out now...hopefully
 

citizenzen

macrumors 68000
Mar 22, 2010
1,546
11,628
how do you deal with it?
I'll bet it's because you think obsessively. You need to quiet that crazed monkey that's bouncing around in your head. Have you tried meditation? One thing that happens when you meditate is that you find your thinking mind is not your "true" mind.

Your thinking mind is the result of your brain and chemistry... your wiring... it is obsessive, usually shallow and self-centered. It will definitely keep you up at night. Your true mind is universal consciousness. It's always there, just masked by your monkey mind. Your true mind is expansive, compassionate and wise. Get more in touch with it and you'll sleep better.
 

Knowlege Bomb

macrumors 604
Feb 14, 2008
6,605
2,350
Madison, WI
I'll bet it's because you think obsessively. You need to quiet that crazed monkey that's bouncing around in your head. Have you tried meditation? One thing that happens when you meditate is that you find your thinking mind is not your "true" mind.

Your thinking mind is the result of your brain and chemistry... your wiring... it is obsessive, usually shallow and self-centered. It will definitely keep you up at night. Your true mind is universal consciousness. It's always there, just masked by your monkey mind. Your true mind is expansive, compassionate and wise. Get more in touch with it and you'll sleep better.
Veddy interesting...

Any recommendations for programs?
 

Keniff

macrumors 6502a
Dec 21, 2008
526
1
United Kingdom
how do you deal with it?

I have to take a unisom every night in order to sleep. Usually it works like a charm but sometimes my insomnia just overpowers evreything. last night I was very restless and probably slept a total of 3 or 4 hours max. I made it through my work day, which was the first one after a 10 day vacation, and then took a unisom last night around 8 pm hoping to get a good night sleep. didn't work at all. Took another unsiom (first time I've evr tried this) around 1:30 this morning. It is now almost 3:30 and I still havent slept and now I'm freaking out because I have to go to work in about 3 hours, and then I have to drive to the city for an hour and a half for a 2 hour class and then drive back home for another hour and a half. there is really no way out of any of this. I'm getting pretty angry as I type this. :mad:

Maybe, just lay off that crack pipe?

Or maybe, you're just worried about all those bodies you have in the basement (just get rid of them)!
 

iBlue

macrumors Core
Mar 17, 2005
19,182
15
London, England
Abstract said:
Try watching tv while laying down on the couch. Knocks me right out.
Definitely but it's not usually the most restful and long-lasting sleep.

1) Medical advice online is for fools
2) Insomnia isn't a disease, it's a symptom. Poor sleep hygiene, stress, depression, lack of exercise, alcohol, stimulants, sleep apnea, pain, etc. are some of the myriad issues which lead to insomnia. Tranquilizers/hypnotics cause unconsciousness. They don't replicate the complex structure of sleep. They are habit-forming. Get the do a physician who concurs with this paragraph and get to the bottom of your issue. If the physician is quick to prescibe a medicine as a quick fix to get you out of the office, find a sleep medicien specialist/sleep psychologist.
3) The harder you TRY to fall asleep, the less successful you will be.
^ This.



However to add on a more personal level, I suffered insomnia for years. Some nights I was lucky to get a 3-4 hours, sometimes I got none. It sucked. No wait, it would have to have gotten a lot better JUST TO SUCK. I had all sorts of meds that could knock me out but in the end I found that it really was situational. I was unhappy and when I made some big (and difficult) life changes I started sleeping again.

Sometimes insomnia is a short-term thing and for that it may resolve without much effort from the sufferer but for chronic insomnia, it's a little more complicated.

Try some white noise, like a fan or something like that. Don't have clocks glaring you in the face, it's unnecessary pressure (as odd as that sounds). Have clean, comfy sheets and your room not too hot or too cold. Maybe look into mediation. If nothing else it gives you something more peaceful to think about other than how much you wish you were asleep.

Good luck!
 

.Andy

macrumors 68030
Jul 18, 2004
2,965
583
The Mergui Archipelago
Tranquilizers/hypnotics cause unconsciousness. They don't replicate the complex structure of sleep.
Whilst I mostly agree with the rest of what you typed I don't think this statement is entirely correct. Drugs such as temazepam most certainly help one sleep. Their job isn't to "replicate" sleep nor do they make you "unconscious" (unless you OD) - they facilitate sleep. And they're wonderdrug when used and as you emphasised, are prescribed properly.

They are habit-forming.
But not when taken short-term and as required. Again when prescribed and used properly.
 

iBlue

macrumors Core
Mar 17, 2005
19,182
15
London, England
Whilst I mostly agree with the rest of what you typed I don't think this statement is entirely correct. Drugs such as temazepam most certainly help one sleep. Their job isn't to "replicate" sleep nor do they make you "unconscious" (unless you OD) - they facilitate sleep. And they're wonderdrug when used and as you emphasised, are prescribed properly.


But not when taken short-term and as required. Again when prescribed and used properly.
Do you know if there have been any studies behind the quality of sleep (completing sleep cycles, etc) when it's chemically induced? While sleep of any kind is better than none it's something I'm curious about.

In the throes of insomnia I found benzos and other sleep-aids to be a little difficult not to misuse. I was so desperate for sleep and when the regular dose didn't work I resorted to taking more. They are indeed wonder drugs but they do just treat (oh so kindly too) rather than "cure" the problem and can sometimes exacerbate the problem. I can't deny their usefulness at all though, even if there are some down sides.
 

.Andy

macrumors 68030
Jul 18, 2004
2,965
583
The Mergui Archipelago
Do you know if there have been any studies behind the quality of sleep (completing sleep cycles, etc) when it's chemically induced? While sleep of any kind is better than none it's something I'm curious about.

In the throes of insomnia I found benzos and other sleep-aids to be a little difficult not to misuse. I was so desperate for sleep and when the regular dose didn't work I resorted to taking more. They are indeed wonder drugs but they do just treat (oh so kindly too) rather than "cure" the problem and can sometimes exacerbate the problem. I can't deny their usefulness at all though, even if there are some down sides.
I just wrote a long post with a lot of references and lost it all to a crappy network - argh :D!

Anyway there's a fair bit of research out there but a bit confounded. The field of sleep in it's modern incarnation is relatively young. It focuses more on sleep from subjective measures (rate your sleep on a scale of 1-10) to more objective (i.e cognitive performance and reflexes etc after sleep). Measures that are perhaps more meaningful in the real world than sleep cycles (but these are measured too). A lot of the good big research studies are funded from a POV of accidents/workplace productivity as a result of insomnia. The drugs are really only good for short-course/non-continuous use as you and eawmp1 point out and some people can't tolerate them at all given the problems with daytime effects. From memory benzos decrease the amount of REM sleep by <10% and you end up sleeping more lightly than you otherwise would (which of course is not applicable if you've insomnia).

Anywyay to dump some references (which I'll readily admit aren't exactly what you are after but are in line with what wer'e discussing - if you'd like them I can email them to you :).

Am J Health Syst Pharm. 2008 May 15;65(10):927-34.

Diagnosis and treatment of insomnia.
Passarella S, Duong MT.

Pharmacy Department, Tampa General Hospital, Tampa, FL 33601, USA.
Abstract
PURPOSE: The diagnostic criteria and treatment of insomnia are reviewed. SUMMARY: Insomnia is most often described as a subjective complaint of poor sleep quality or quantity despite adequate time for sleep, resulting in daytime fatigue, irritability, and decreased concentration. Insomnia is classified as idiopathic or comorbid. Comorbid insomnias are associated with psychiatric disorders, medical disorders, substance abuse, and specific sleep disorders. Idiopathic insomnia is essentially a diagnosis of exclusion. A wide array of terminology exists for defining the duration of insomnia symptoms, which may add to the confusion regarding insomnia classification. Acute insomnia refers to sleep problems lasting from one night to a few weeks, whereas chronic insomnia refers to sleep problems lasting at least three nights weekly for at least one month. Diagnostic tools for identifying insomnia are multifactorial. Nonpharmacologic interventions for insomnia include sleep-hygiene education, stimulus-control therapy, relaxation therapy, and sleep-restriction therapy. The most effective pharmacologic therapies for insomnia are benzodiazepines, benzodiazepine-receptor agonists, melatonin-receptor agonists, and antidepressants. Choice of a specific agent should be based on patient-specific factors, including age, proposed length of treatment, primary sleep complaint, history of drug or alcohol abuse, and cost. CONCLUSION: Many treatment options are available for patients with insomnia. Behavioral therapies should be initiated as first-line treatment in most patients. For patients who require the addition of pharmacologic therapy, the drugs with the most evidence for benefit include benzodiazepines, benzodiazepine-receptor agonists, melatonin-receptor agonists, and antidepressants. Selection of a specific agent must take into account numerous patient-specific factors.
This is interesting (and inexcusable) and reiterates what yourself and eawmp1 were emphasising;
Expert Opin Pharmacother. 2008 Feb;9(3):351-62.

Pharmacotherapy of insomnia.
Bhat A, Shafi F, El Solh AA.

University of Missouri at Kansas City, Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Geriatrics and Hospital Medicine, Department of Medicine, Truman Medical Center, Hospital Hill, Kansas City, Missouri, USA.

Abstract
Insomnia is the most common sleep disorder in the industrialized world. A variety of precipitating events have been identified, but when it becomes a persistent problem, maladaptive patterns become established, thereby, perpetuating the sleep disturbance. Individuals with insomnia have impaired next-day functioning, which impacts their quality of life and places them at increased risk of motor vehicle accidents. Insomnia is commonly associated with chronic medical conditions, as well as an increased incidence of mental disorders. Despite considerable scientific advances in both the understanding and treatment, insomnia continues to be inadequately identified and treated, with < 15% of those with severe insomnia receiving appropriate treatment. The mainstay of treatment for insomnia is cognitive-behavioral therapy, along with judicious use of hypnotic agents.
Of course the other place there's lots of research done into benzos (and other drugs) and sleep is the military;

Mil Med. 2006 Oct;171(10):998-1001.

Usefulness of temazepam and zaleplon to induce afternoon sleep.
Simons R, Koerhuis CL, Valk PJ, Van den Oord MH.

TNO Human Factors, Aerospace Medicine Group, P.O. Box 23, 3769 ZG Soesterberg, The Netherlands.

Abstract
Insufficient daytime sleep may result in reduction of effectiveness and safety during overnight military missions. The usefulness of temazepam and zaleplon to optimize afternoon sleep and their effects on performance and alertness during a subsequent night shift were studied. Method: In a randomized double-blind within-subjects design, 11 subjects took 20 mg of temazepam, 10 mg of zaleplon, or placebo before a 5:30-10:00 p.m. sleep period. Sleep length and quality were measured. Subjects were kept awake throughout the night while alertness, cognitive performance, and muscle power were repeatedly measured. Results: Temazepam provided significantly longer and qualitatively better sleep than zaleplon or placebo. During the night, sleepiness increased and muscle power was impaired in all conditions. Better sleep was correlated with less sleepiness during the night. Conclusion: Temazepam is useful to optimize a 4.5-hour afternoon sleep before overnight missions. Irrespective of hypnotic treatment, sleepiness and fatigue increased during the night shift.

Aviat Space Environ Med. 2004 Jun;75(6):512-9.

Sleep-inducing pharmaceuticals: a comparison of melatonin, zaleplon, zopiclone, and temazepam.
Paul MA, Gray G, MacLellan M, Pigeau RA.

Defence Research and Development Canada Toronto, North York, Ontario, Canada.

Abstract
INTRODUCTION: Current military operations often require pharmaceutical methods to sustain alertness and facilitate sleep in order to maintain operational readiness. This study was designed to compare the sleep-inducing power of four medications. METHOD: There were 9 men and 14 women, ages 21-53 yr, who were assessed for psychomotor performance before and for 7 h after ingestion of a single dose of placebo, zaleplon 10 mg, zopiclone 7.5 mg, temazepam 15 mg, or time-released melatonin 6 mg. The experimental design was a double-blind crossover with counterbalanced treatment order. Subjects wore polysomnographic electrodes to record total sleep and sleep latency during 4-min periods with eyes closed immediately before and after each psychomotor test sequence. Subjective drowsiness was assessed by questionnaire. RESULTS: There were drug x trials interactions for zaleplon, zopiclone, and temazepam for total sleep, sleep latency, and subjective drowsiness. More sleep, shorter sleep latency, and more drowsiness occurred immediately after psychomotor testing compared to before testing for all medications. Melatonin did not cause any sleep prior to psychomotor testing sessions, but caused sleep and reduced sleep latency after psychomotor test sessions from 1 3/4 h to 4 3/4 h post-ingestion. CONCLUSIONS: The sleep-inducing power of the medications before psychomotor testing was zopiclone > zaleplon > melatonin > temazepam. The corresponding effect after psychomotor testing was zopiclone > melatonin > zaleplon > temazepam.
 

iBlue

macrumors Core
Mar 17, 2005
19,182
15
London, England
I just wrote a long post with a lot of references and lost it all to a crappy network - argh :D!

Anyway there's a fair bit of research out there but a bit confounded. The field of sleep in it's modern incarnation is relatively young. It focuses more on sleep from subjective measures (rate your sleep on a scale of 1-10) to more objective (i.e cognitive performance and reflexes etc after sleep). Measures that are perhaps more meaningful in the real world than sleep cycles (but these are measured too). A lot of the good big research studies are funded from a POV of accidents/workplace productivity as a result of insomnia. The drugs are really only good for short-course/non-continuous use as you and eawmp1 point out and some people can't tolerate them at all given the problems with daytime effects. From memory benzos decrease the amount of REM sleep by <10% and you end up sleeping more lightly than you otherwise would (which of course is not applicable if you've insomnia).

Anywyay to dump some references (which I'll readily admit aren't exactly what you are after but are in line with what we're discussing - if you'd like them I can email them to you :).

...
Oh I hate when that happens, you get a great post and technology fails.

Thanks for the reply and the references. And sure, if it's not too much of a bother to gather I'd like to read more. I think you have my email address.
 

.Andy

macrumors 68030
Jul 18, 2004
2,965
583
The Mergui Archipelago
Oh I hate when that happens, you get a great post and technology fails.

Thanks for the reply and the references. And sure, if it's not too much of a bother to gather I'd like to read more. I think you have my email address.
No probs Blue got your addy. Will try and email them to you tomorrow. I'm on a bit of a gimped computer here and should have access to a better one then :).