Author Topic: Do Benzos interfere/supress with REM sleep  (Read 3181 times)

[Buddie]

Do Benzos interfere/supress with REM sleep
« on: February 03, 2010, 09:32:20 am »
I am curious as to if the benzies mess around with your REM sleep. I have not dreamt this deep and vivid since I can't remember when. When I was on a higher dose of the drugs my sleep wasn't a dream sleep and I couldn't remember dreams this intense. I would have dreams, but they seemed short and not detailed like the last few weeks.  I would have some, but not like this. Can benzos actually CAUSE the insomnia they were prescribed for. Cause I definitely think they cause anxiety that was never there before. Ooooops......... Excuse me. I KNOW THEY CAUSE MORE ANXIETY symptoms than before the medication. Do you think we go so long all stressed out from not sleeping and then when our brains are ready they just start to make up lost REM sleep? I feel this way, but wondering other experiences.
Thank you friends,
Bruce
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[Buddie]

Re: Do Benzos interfere/supress with REM sleep
« Reply #1 on: February 03, 2010, 03:45:32 pm »
Hi Bruce,

From what I've read, benzos do mess up your REM sleep.  When I was tapering, my dreams were very intense, vivid and disturbing.  I had never experienced such intense dreams before.  When I looked into it at the time, I learned that it is possibly REM rebound. 

Lyd
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[Buddie]

Re: Do Benzos interfere/supress with REM sleep
« Reply #2 on: February 03, 2010, 06:52:29 pm »

I believe Ashton does address the REM sleep interference in the Ashton Manual.  I recall reading that it does interfere with REM sleep and that it takes some time to return to normal sleep patterns after off the benzos.  I have been lucky enough not to get the anxiety thing that comes with benzo wd, but I can tell you a funny story about percieved anxiety.  When I asked my doctor to help me get off klonopin, he told me my anxiety would come back.  I said, you put me on this for sleep reasons.  He said, oh yeah, I did. ;)  I think you could look at this statement two ways....1) coming off this stuff or hitting tolerance with this stuff is known to produce anxiety and 2) the old "return" of your anxiety speech is pretty common (even if you never had it before). :laugh:

[...]
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[Buddie]

Re: Do Benzos interfere/supress with REM sleep
« Reply #3 on: February 04, 2010, 11:50:29 pm »
Generally well know sources on insomnia conclude that benzos, like alcohol (people waking up with a hangover are still tired despite many hours sleep), may net an individual a significant number of hours sleep but due to the hinderance of getting to the deeper levels of sleep it just is not the same as normal sleep.  It certainly is the case for me.  The trade off was I got (get) to sleep right away and generally sleep most of the night.  Of course, for most tolerance to the med and side effects are a drawback.  I (along with many) really want to sleep normally again without benzos and hope I can as the taper progresses.
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[Buddie]

Re: Do Benzos interfere/supress with REM sleep
« Reply #4 on: March 13, 2010, 06:09:14 pm »
I have had more dreams during the last month (since I started tapering) then I have had in years. So in my case it seems clear benzo's and z-meds did mess with REM sleep, this phenomenon also has been clinically proven in the past.

example:

http://www.europeanneuropsychopharmacology.com/article/S0924-977X%2897%2900102-8/abstract
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[Buddie]

Re: Do Benzos interfere/supress with REM sleep
« Reply #5 on: March 13, 2010, 09:20:34 pm »
Painless Doc,

I seem to have regained the ability to dream too as I have tapered down from Klonopin.....I lost that ability for a few months while on the "full dose" of klonopin...I was happy to see dreams returning because according to research that is a good sign....although some of my dreams are vary bizaree...I am happy they are back all the same... :)

[...]
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[Buddie]

Re: Do Benzos interfere/supress with REM sleep
« Reply #6 on: March 13, 2010, 09:38:48 pm »
Painless Doc,

.I was happy to see dreams returning because according to research that is a good sign....although some of my dreams are vary bizaree...I am happy they are back all the same... :)

Me too, years ago I used to create surreal (based on dreams )  paintings. Needless to say benzo's and z-meds destroyed that part of my life . Perhaps I will start drawing/painting again in the future  :)
« Last Edit: March 13, 2010, 09:59:13 pm by [Buddie] »
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[Buddie]

Re: Do Benzos interfere/supress with REM sleep
« Reply #7 on: March 25, 2010, 01:51:57 am »
It is confusing.  If benzos mess with REM sleep how is it that people dream?  Would it not mean that they are at a REM level even when on benzos?
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[Buddie]

Re: Do Benzos interfere/supress with REM sleep
« Reply #8 on: March 25, 2010, 04:16:56 am »
I hardly ever dreamnt on benzos and if I did they were short and I couldn't remember crap. Now I could tell you the kind of car and color in my dream if you asked me and I am on a really small dose. As I get lower they get deeper and more intense.
Rev Blue
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[Buddie]

Re: Do Benzos interfere/supress with REM sleep
« Reply #9 on: March 27, 2010, 12:03:58 am »
Benzos not only dysregulate or block REM they also block or alter stage 4 which is where growth hormone and body repair is done.

Sleep is a anabolic state, accentuating the growth and rejuvenation of the immune, nervous, skeletal and muscular systems with stage 4 being the most critical.

Benzos also tend to lighten stage 1 so as we progress: 1-2-3-4-REM then 4-2-3-1 we tend to rouse in stage 1 where non-benzo people should not....thus many awakenings.

REM occurs at the end of a 90 to 100 minute cycle - if you start dreaming early in this cycle you are REM deprived. Lack of quality sleep phases can cause anxiety and depression as well as impacting the immune system.

Here is a big truth to hold on to - there are no drugs that make you sleep - they render you unconscious which is far different than sleep.

Sit
Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.