Author Topic: No Ambien for two months.  (Read 393 times)

[Buddie]

No Ambien for two months.
« on: March 25, 2022, 05:04:32 am »
Dear forum!

It's only been two months since I last took Ambien (zolpidem). Nevertheless, I would like to post something positive today.

I've been taking Ambien for 15 years (5mg) and cut back fairly quickly (not recommended of course - just my way). In the last two years of taking it, I have repeatedly had strange symptoms such as dizziness, benzo flu, tension all over my body and rare but strange anxiety and panic attacks that I have never had before. I've been to a cardiologist to get my heart checked, spent a lot of money on massages, changed my diet, and seen a psychiatrist and psychotherapist. I came across this forum late and found the answer to many of my questions. I was in rehab every day. Nevertheless, I have to say that I was able to sleep about 7-8 hours every day with the tablet.

For the first few days of the weaning process, I tried to stick to the 10% rule and then unfortunately got impatient. Therefore, I stopped completely at 2.5 mg. I struggled with a lot of symptoms for the first two weeks, but I surprisingly found about 5 hours of sleep each night (not straight).

For anyone interested, here are my hours of sleep over the first two months (weeks):

1: 5-5-7-5-5-5-5
2: 7-5-7-5-7-5-7
3: 7-7-7-5-4-7-8
4: 5-8-7-7-4-5-8
5: 7-5-8-5-8-7-6
6: 6-7-7-7-6-6-4
7: 8-5-8-4-8-3-9
8: 5-8-3-8-3-9-4

I wake up very often and have been in a wave for a few days in my view. The frequent awakening is accompanied by a strong urge to urinate (probably the underlying fear). In the second half of the night, slight bouts of anxiety are possible, but I usually get them under control quickly with breathing techniques, etc.).

I currently do without coffee, alcohol and tea (actually I only drink water). I don't take any other dietary supplements or aids and hope that time will make my sleep more restful again. My sleep window currently starts at 7pm and ends at 5am. The large sleeping window gives me the certainty of finding enough sleep. Later, of course, I want to reduce it. The chemical fear and the frequent visits to the toilet are currently the most stressful for me. Otherwise I can currently do my work with 4 hours of sleep (of course not recovered).

I've read that the receptors take at least 90 days to recover and (as we all read from Ashton) can take months to heal. Hopefully I can also post a success story at some point.

Getting enough sleep is easily the biggest problem right now. Chemical fears are likely to stand in the way of a further recovery. Nevertheless, I would like to emphasize the positive! After 15 years of Ambien, I can sleep unaided (albeit badly at times). So we can heal and you and the forum have helped me a lot on my path so far.

I wish you all a lot of strength and a nice weekend! Greetings from Europe!
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]

Re: No Ambien for two months.
« Reply #1 on: March 25, 2022, 10:33:41 pm »
This is great to read! I think that you have the right idea to accept the broken sleep, the less hours, because this is natural, normal sleep. I often worry about people who require meds to sleep given what we've seen with supply chain issues, or if china decides to deny the USA all their drugs. wouldn't require an army to mess us up! Anyway, congratulations to you!
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]

Re: No Ambien for two months.
« Reply #2 on: March 25, 2022, 10:38:23 pm »
Thanks for posting an update, you've done the work to get off of the drug and you're still doing the work by practicing good sleep hygiene and acceptance that this will take what it takes.  I can see sweet slumber in your future.  :sleepy:
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]

Re: No Ambien for two months.
« Reply #3 on: April 09, 2022, 06:19:24 am »
Update 2 1/2 months off:

Sleep related week/hours:
9:9-6-7-6-6-6-5
10: 7-7-7-7-8-4-7

Remaining symptoms: broken sleep, hard time to fall asleep (2 hours). Could be a "window" (other symptoms). It's getting more difficult to tell when I am awake or asleep. I will stop checking the clock from now on. It doesn't matter (6:30am alarm). Bedtime 21:30 for the moment. My benzodamaged brain tells me that's it. I will not improve further. We will see ;)

Happy Easter!
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]

Re: No Ambien for two months.
« Reply #4 on: April 09, 2022, 09:04:17 am »
Well done [...], gosh I would give my right arm for that amount of sleep, but Im hoping. Keep it up.
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]

Re: No Ambien for two months.
« Reply #5 on: May 10, 2022, 03:52:49 pm »
Dear forum! My Update!

Week 11-15: There were 2-3 uncomfortable nights (with 3-4 hours of sleep). The rest has leveled off at at least 6-8 hours. For weeks I have had no other symptoms apart from the problem of falling asleep. As soon as I fall asleep, the sleep duration depends only on the alarm clock (until I have to get up). The problems falling asleep were the reason for starting Zolpidem in the first place. Before what I consider to be important days, I seem to be very nervous and worried about not being able to function. So far, however, this has never come true.

To calm my nervous system, I started strength and endurance training a month ago. I'm eliminating stress from my life step by step and I've also taken a step back at work. I am in nature every day and love long walks. However, when it comes to sleep, I don't think anything can force natural sleep. Only my complete acceptance of not being able to influence anything and time to heal my nerves to some extent will bring the last step towards complete healing (shorter time to fall asleep).

Have courage! It's not easy some nights. However, I have never been this fit and healthy (have had a check-up). Now the psyche has to come to rest :) Progress! Be kind to yourself!! Don't give up! All the best!!

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]

Re: No Ambien for two months.
« Reply #6 on: May 10, 2022, 10:44:43 pm »
I love your update, you're not letting anything get in the way of your health and sleep hygiene, good for you.  If many of us had done this before reaching for these nasty drugs we wouldn't have ended up here. 

You're amazing!  :smitten:
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]

Re: No Ambien for two months.
« Reply #7 on: May 11, 2022, 02:59:36 pm »
Way to go Sab! Iím happy for you 

 :smitten: :smitten: :smitten:
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.