Author Topic: At least 5 years on Benzos followed by at least 1 year off Benzos Support Group  (Read 1278 times)

[Buddie]

My sleep "profile" has been a pretty severe. I didn't sleep naturally for over two years. The first few months after I discontinued the benzo I didn't sleep a wink. Couldn't move, stuck to the mattress, staring up a the ceiling. Total insomnia coupled with the debilitating symptoms of stopping a benzo. I started to take Benadryl and melatonin and it would allow me to sleep anywhere from 10 minutes to a half-hour at a time. I then switched Benadryl for medical marijuana edibles (indica-strain) which I heard could relax me enough to help me sleep. It really helped, actually, and I would sleep in 3-4 hour block. My cognitive impairment was so severe that I didn't notice if it was making my cognition worse, though I suspect it was. Eventually, I stopped taking the edibles and went back to melatonin and about nine months ago I was able to get sleep without any "substances" whatsoever. I can now sleep 4-5 hours without waking up, and on occasion, even longer.

One thing I notice is that despite getting more sleep now I never feel "rested' or "refreshed" in the way that I used to before benzos. I could be due to the sleep deficit or still-damaged neurotransmitters. Wondering if anyone else feels that way, too?
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[Buddie]

Yes, I very much feel that way (i.e. that sleep is not refreshing).
I think it is the damage from the benzos.  Every month I heal my sleep is improving.

If I spend 10 hours in bed using a bunch of "helps" as described in my signature, I can get enough sleep that I feel rather good for at least half the day.
The MTHFR is an interesting thing I am learning about.  It requires special forms of two of the B vitamins (not the normal type).  Here is my bedtime cocktail with the special notes about the two B vitamins for MTHFR.

(1) Two hours before bed, I take Pyridoxal 5’-Phosphate (do not take regular B6, it doesn't work with MTHFR).  Take very little, like 1/4 of the tablet, just let melt in your mouth.
https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B0006O2IZU/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o07_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
Note, if you take too much, you might get muscle spasms.

(2) Two hours before bed, I take some zinc to help convert glutamate to gaba.  I take perhaps 1/2 of the tablet of:
https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B00020ICLC/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o06_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

(3) Two hours before bed, I take Niacin, about ¼ of a tablet of https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B00INBIPZU/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1

(4) A variety of other things may be of some help:  Magnesium glycinate and maybe ¼ of an advil or aspirin and some L’theanine and chamomile tea.  For emergencies only, Benadry or ½ Unisom really works as long as I only use it for a few days.
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.

[Buddie]

I forgot to mention, that like [...], I also started using marijuana to help sleep, and I still do, and it does help.  I originally started using it for benzo rage, but I find it helps with all kinds of benzo symptoms.  I do wonder if it also is causing me some cogfog though.  I can never tell which is from what.  I remember being younger and still sharp while smoking pot, so I do think it is still from the benzos, but who knows at this point. 
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.

[Buddie]

Well, that is quite a regimen that you have developed Bob, and I am glad that it has provided some relief. I need to learn more about the MTHFR gene. I will look more at your regimen and see if maybe some of it may be helpful for me.

Well, sure enough, after our discussion about how having an event the next day can interfere with our sleep, it happened again to me. I had to fast for a big blood draw for today and I guess I was subconsciously nervous about the blog draw, and I barely slept a wink last night and was extremely agitated and exhausted today. I have to be honest, the last few weeks I feel that I have been going backwards a bit with symptoms. Too much time indoors and bad sleep, I guess.
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.

[Buddie]

Well I am in a wave again. I had a lot of pretty good days where my only pain was my shoulder.  Now my shoulder pain had magnified and I feel like my shoulders are made of mush and might just fall off as it seems like there's no muscle in them anymore. 

Bob- I read your progess log, and I see you are drinking gin to fall asleep.  I just want to say that I don't think drinking alcohol is a good idea for many reasons.  In benzo withdrawal, it could turn against you, and using it to fall asleep regularly could breed dependence.  Please be careful. 
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[Buddie]

Thanks [...],

I too have told others not to drink alcohol unless they are sure about what they are doing.

I am surprised I even tried it.

I do not plan to do it very often.  The sleep isn't very good but at least I can fall asleep on a bad night.  Even so, I think a 1/2 of a muscle relaxer and 1/2 unisom is safer for emergency sleep needs.

Hey, about your shoulder pain.  Are you getting enough vitamin D (via sunlight or supplements)?

Bob
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[Buddie]

That's good to hear Bob, I just couldn't not say something, but I know you are an adult and can make your own educated decisions. 

I have been getting vitamin d; I've been spending some time outside this summer.  I actually, last night, I took a quarter of a flexeril(muscle relaxer), and honestly, it helped me so much.  In general, I try so hard not to take any unnecessary medication, but damn, I was in so much pain.  My sleep was great, and my pain went away. I was able to go to the store today and in general, I feel so much better.  I know they have a risk of being addictive and hate to think I'm even risking that, but the as anyone who has gone through bwd, you know at some point, you hit your pain threshold and need to just do something.

What kind of muscle relaxer are you taking?  I think my muscles being tense and unable to relax, causes me so much grief.  I feel so much better after a massage.   
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[Buddie]

My pill bottle says Cyclobenzapr 10mg Tab

But I get good results (for sleep) by taking only 1/4 to 1/2 of a pill about 45 minutes before bed. 
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[Buddie]

Oh that is the same thing as flexeril.  Cyclobenzaprine. 
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[Buddie]

Shoot! I kept this group in mind before I hit the year off which was the 15th of this month. Took me a while to hunt ya'll down, and then it appears the thread went quiet.

Maybe some of the one year off olds will come back around. If not, thumbs up to the others that made it a year and more without the benzos. That's quite an accomplishment!
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.