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Old 12-04-2011, 10:24 AM
 
1,261 posts, read 1,991,631 times
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I have had chronic insomnia for years. For awhile I was able to combat with a combination of exercise, guided imagery, diet and medication when necessary.

It's lately become much, much worse. Switched to a new med that makes me feel terrible -- zombie-like, low energy, depressed. It's just as bad and in some ways worse than the feeling I get after no sleep.

The main problem isn't falling asleep -- it is *staying* asleep. My body "wakes" after about 4-5 hours and I can't get back to sleep. Even the meds specifically tatrgeted for this don't work for me.

My family practitioner suggested that low serotonin levels cause this and suggested an anti-depressant (an SSRI). The thought of taking an anti-depressant is frightening to me. For one thing, they cause weight gain. . I already struggle with my weight!

Another fear is that I will become zombie-like and unproductive on the job. I briefly tried Paxil years ago while grieving the loss of a loved one. I gained 20 pounds and could not think clearly.

Does anyone have any experience with this? What worked and what didn't?

Thanks for your insight - I really need it!
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Old 12-04-2011, 11:25 AM
 
Location: Everywhere and Nowhere
14,131 posts, read 26,246,015 times
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You sure you don't have sleep apnea? You might want to have someone observe you while you sleep to see if you're not snoring heavily and gasping for air. Inability to sleep through the night and waking up zombie-like are two symptoms of that condition.

Are you at a healthy weight? Sleep disorders are more common if you're overweight. I'd say work on your diet and exercise before resorting to SSRIs.
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Old 12-04-2011, 12:06 PM
 
Location: Mostly in my head
19,631 posts, read 53,468,042 times
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Well, awaking early in the morning after sleeping for a while is a common sign of depression so you doctor was right to suggest a SSRI. Some of them do not cause weight gain but all have side effects. It's just a question of which one works best for you. Welbutrin is one that usually is OK but can cause some to get angrier than usual. It does not cause weight gain for most people.
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Old 12-04-2011, 12:11 PM
 
Location: SW Missouri
15,527 posts, read 29,228,109 times
Reputation: 21263
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brookside View Post
I have had chronic insomnia for years. For awhile I was able to combat with a combination of exercise, guided imagery, diet and medication when necessary.

It's lately become much, much worse. Switched to a new med that makes me feel terrible -- zombie-like, low energy, depressed. It's just as bad and in some ways worse than the feeling I get after no sleep.

The main problem isn't falling asleep -- it is *staying* asleep. My body "wakes" after about 4-5 hours and I can't get back to sleep. Even the meds specifically tatrgeted for this don't work for me.

My family practitioner suggested that low serotonin levels cause this and suggested an anti-depressant (an SSRI). The thought of taking an anti-depressant is frightening to me. For one thing, they cause weight gain. . I already struggle with my weight!

Another fear is that I will become zombie-like and unproductive on the job. I briefly tried Paxil years ago while grieving the loss of a loved one. I gained 20 pounds and could not think clearly.

Does anyone have any experience with this? What worked and what didn't?

Thanks for your insight - I really need it!
Good grief. Leave it to a doctor to suggest cutting off an arm to cure a hangnail.

Just buy some MELATONIN. It will increase serotonin levels and help you fall asleep. If you wake up in the middle of the night, just take a couple. It works in about 20 minutes. Great stuff and no side effects (like killing yourself).

20yrsinBranson
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Old 12-04-2011, 12:29 PM
 
1,261 posts, read 1,991,631 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 20yrsinBranson View Post
Good grief. Leave it to a doctor to suggest cutting off an arm to cure a hangnail.

Lol -- thanks for the laugh! And I kind of agree with you -- I am extremely skeptical, but so desperate for relief that I am considering it.

FYI - I am not that overweight, so I don't think that's what causing it. I am at the high end of normal for my height/age, etc., but I have to really work at maintaining it.

Also -- my experiences with melatonin have not been positive. Does not induce sleep and makes me extremely groggy during the day.

I've also tried valerian, kava kava and bendryl. They do not work.

I try to exercise, but I seem to need extreme amounts of it to have an effect. And then I get sore and unmotivated. The last really great nights sleep I had was during a spring trip to NYC. I thought I would really have trouble, because of the noise, being in a strange bed, etc. But we walked non-stop *all day* -- and the noise is so high and constant that it was almost like background noise -- filtered out unpleasant things like DH's snoring and noisy hotel neighbors coming in at 3 a.m.

What about 5htp? Has anyone had success with it?

Thanks for all of your replies - I appreciate the support!
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Old 12-04-2011, 12:51 PM
 
Location: southern born and southern bred
12,480 posts, read 14,364,838 times
Reputation: 19530
I hate SSRI drugs. Hate them. I won't even elaborate as to why. Just google SSRI side effects---enough said.
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Old 12-04-2011, 02:05 PM
 
Location: Santa Cruz, CA
2,190 posts, read 5,726,130 times
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Try this homeopathic remedy.
It works for me.
Hyland's - Calms Forte,
You have nothing to lose.
It's a very inexpensive option and there are no side effects.
Hold the little pills under you tongue and let them dissolve.
This is the traditional way to take a homeopathic remedy but i noticed recently that the direction now say to just swallow.
I imagine that they do this for ease of use but it's really more effective to go the traditional way.
Also, if you're someone who deals with a racing mind when not able to sleep, use this opportunity to practice simple meditation.
Just watch your breath as you inhale and exhale. When you become aware that the mental wheels are spinning again (and they will), just bring your awareness back to your breathing.
Happy zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz's.

Last edited by jaijai; 12-04-2011 at 02:19 PM..
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Old 12-04-2011, 05:24 PM
 
Location: SW Missouri
15,527 posts, read 29,228,109 times
Reputation: 21263
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brookside View Post
Lol -- thanks for the laugh! And I kind of agree with you -- I am extremely skeptical, but so desperate for relief that I am considering it.

FYI - I am not that overweight, so I don't think that's what causing it. I am at the high end of normal for my height/age, etc., but I have to really work at maintaining it.

Also -- my experiences with melatonin have not been positive. Does not induce sleep and makes me extremely groggy during the day.

I've also tried valerian, kava kava and bendryl. They do not work.

I try to exercise, but I seem to need extreme amounts of it to have an effect. And then I get sore and unmotivated. The last really great nights sleep I had was during a spring trip to NYC. I thought I would really have trouble, because of the noise, being in a strange bed, etc. But we walked non-stop *all day* -- and the noise is so high and constant that it was almost like background noise -- filtered out unpleasant things like DH's snoring and noisy hotel neighbors coming in at 3 a.m.

What about 5htp? Has anyone had success with it?

Thanks for all of your replies - I appreciate the support!
You are very unusual my friend. I would certainly give 5htp a try, it couldn't hurt, after all.

You might also try a hot bath. Nothing puts me out faster than a hot bath before bed.

good luck

20yrsinBranson
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Old 12-04-2011, 05:28 PM
 
Location: Everywhere and Nowhere
14,131 posts, read 26,246,015 times
Reputation: 6815
Quote:
Originally Posted by SouthernBelleInUtah View Post
Well, awaking early in the morning after sleeping for a while is a common sign of depression so you doctor was right to suggest a SSRI. Some of them do not cause weight gain but all have side effects. It's just a question of which one works best for you. Welbutrin is one that usually is OK but can cause some to get angrier than usual. It does not cause weight gain for most people.
I wouldn't diagnose depression without a little more to go on than just disrupted sleep. You would usually have other symptoms. Sounds like the doc may have overreacted.
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Old 12-04-2011, 07:29 PM
 
1,261 posts, read 1,991,631 times
Reputation: 1892
Quote:
Originally Posted by 20yrsinBranson View Post
You are very unusual my friend. I would certainly give 5htp a try, it couldn't hurt, after all.

You might also try a hot bath. Nothing puts me out faster than a hot bath before bed.

good luck

20yrsinBranson
Unusual -- ?? In that none of the above mentioned remedies work?

Valerian - gave me an accelerated heartbeat.

KavaKava -- did nothing.

Benedryl - I have allergies and I take a lot of antihistamines. Benadryl stopped making me sleepy a long time ago. I would have to take large doses and I am not sure what is safe any more.

Hot baths - gave me dry skin.

I agree -- I do have a severe case, which is why I am here. Hoping against all hope that someone else has experience and can suggest something.
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