Author Topic: Chronoc insomnia during Diazepam withdrawal  (Read 3107 times)

[Buddie]

Chronoc insomnia during Diazepam withdrawal
« on: October 24, 2007, 08:37:43 pm »
Hi there - I am new today to this welcoming and informative website. I had been on 1mg of Loprazolam for 3 years with insomnia when I noticed that my sleep duration was slowly getting shorter - in the end I was getting no sleep at all (I kid you not!) I didn't even feel tired, just "wound up" and in a trance. I then started to get really worrying symptoms - I got pins and needles in my fingers, toes and scalp. My face felt numb. My limbs, in particular my left arm became very weak - I couldn't read properly without the words flicking from side to side. I got runs of ectopic heart beats and I felt like a complete zombie. I went to my GP who told me the tingling was hyperventilation (he hadn't got a clue that I had gone into withdrawal on Loprazolam because the dose had never been increased). I was eventually sent for an MRI scan to check for MS! Anyway, I found Prof. Heather Ashton's book on another website, and realised myself that I was in withdrawal. I went back to my GP and asked for Diazepam so that I could taper - he knew nothing of this and just let me get on with it! I started on 10mg each night and the immediate sleep of 6-7 hours was absolute bliss. I now realise that I should have tapered off Loprazolam instead of an instant switch, because I suffered terrible withdrawal for 2 weeks and was really ill. After that, my body seemed to settle down and I stayed on 10mg Diazepam for 8 weeks. I then reduced by 1mg per month and am at present on 6mg. Now my problems have begun again - I am only getting 1 hour of sleep and my ectopic heart runs are back - I actually think with me, that they are directly connected to lack of sleep. I'm not really getting any other withdrawal symptoms and I know that if I went back up to 9mg I would sleep again, but I SO want to come off these things completely. I don't know if my insomnia is a withdrawal symptom that may get better when I have finished my taper, or if it's just the original complaint still lurking. It's really hard to look after a little girl, go to work and run a home with no sleep - I look really haggard! Has anyone else had this happen, and does withdrawal after 6mg just get worse? I'm desperate for sleep and have tried Valarian but it didn't help. I have no stimulants and excercise a lot. Please someone tell me that my proper sleep function will return one day and that I haven't completely wrecked my GABA receptors for life?!!! Thanks for your time, [...]
« Last Edit: October 24, 2007, 08:51:22 pm by [Buddie] »
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[Buddie]

Re: Chronoc insomnia diring Diazepam withdrawal
« Reply #1 on: October 24, 2007, 08:54:17 pm »
Hi [...]
Welcome, first things first people who have been on this stuff for 20 years have completly recovered. That said insomnia is a common complaint withalmost everyone. Some people find that calms forte, melatonin,benydrl, or tylenolpm aid in sleeping.
It seems like your taper is sloow enouhg however do you take a certain amount for 1 month and then bang drop a whole mg? If so as you get lower that mg will equal a larger % loss. Its better to drop 10% of your total dose every 7-14 days.
This might be contributing to your s/x returning. also when was your last cut and how long have you been feeling poorly.
Others will respond.Take care
Bobers
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[Buddie]

Re: Chronoc insomnia during Diazepam withdrawal
« Reply #2 on: October 24, 2007, 10:54:50 pm »
Hi [...],

Welcome to BenzoBuddies.

Just to expand upon what Bobers wrote: smaller, more frequent cuts are better tolerated that larger, less frequent cuts. At this stage, you will proably fair better if you cut by 0.5mg every two weeks rather than 1mg every month. Unfortunately, insomnia is par for the course for very many tapering off benzos, or as you have experienced, even when not tapering.

It is also worth baring in mind that getting off is the goal - how quickly you achieve this is unimportant. You need to function - you need to account of this when tapering. Please do keep in mind that the insomnia is just part of the process, try not worry about it, it will pass.

Although I recommend that you allow as much time as you need between each cut, some have become so totally tolerant of benzos, it makes no difference how long they wait, they will still experience some tolerance withdrawal symptoms. The fact that you have experienced this before made it highly likely that you would experience it again when tapering of the Valium. If you find that no matter how long you stick at a particular dose you still experience withdrawal effects, then you have no choice but to grin and bare it, and continue tapering off. This does not mean that you should taper off at an accelerated pace (you will only make things worse), but it does mean that you press forward.

The good news is that as your dose continues to diminish, you will probably feel more clear-headed. Nothing is written in stone with benzo withdrawals, so you might well experience improvements with the insomnia too as you continue to taper. Your brain chemistry is repairing itself as you taper; it only stands to reason that the less Valium there is in your system, the more your GABA system will return normal functioning. Again, don't take that as a signal to taper off too quickly, as it would seem that we have a maximum rate of repair, so a too rapid withdrawal only results in you experiencing more extreme withdrawal effects whilst your brain functioning returns to normal at a similar rate to that it would have done if you tapered more slowly.

I just want to reassure you, you will get better, and you will get through this. There are lot of members who have recently reported problems with insomnia. They will have plenty to say about the various sleep aids, I'm sure. You can also try the search function (from the green menu bar) to find the recent threads yourself.

Take care, and good luck.
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: Chronoc insomnia during Diazepam withdrawal
« Reply #3 on: October 25, 2007, 01:39:05 am »
welcome to the forum - it is always good to see more people getting off an addictive drug. ;)
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[Buddie]

Re: Chronoc insomnia during Diazepam withdrawal
« Reply #4 on: October 29, 2007, 03:54:36 pm »
Welcome to BenzoBuddies :)

I really empathize with you.  I also experienced terrible insomnia during my taper.  I started my taper at 30 mg Valium and am now at 10 mg.  I have tried lots of over the counter sleep meds and herbs.  The best thing that I have found is Valerian root extract.  I tried Valerian root herb that I got at the local drug store but that did not work.  I then went to the Vitamin Shoppe and the herb specialist there suggested that I try "Standerdized" Valerian root extract.  "Standerdized" means that it meets certain guidelines regarding its' purity.  I take 2-3 though the bottle suggests one a nite.  It has helped me sleep a lot better.

Good luck to you and congrats at getting down to 6 mg!

Maggie
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[Buddie]

Re: Chronoc insomnia during Diazepam withdrawal
« Reply #5 on: October 30, 2007, 09:39:54 pm »
reading all these sleeping probelms got me thinking about what i go thru trying to sleep.

1. getting comfortable.
2. the right temp.  that seems to be the hardest for me - i get so hot - so turning on the over head fan seems to help.
3. remember no coffee (thats true for me anyway) even decaf has caffeine in it although not as much.
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: Chronoc insomnia during Diazepam withdrawal
« Reply #6 on: October 30, 2007, 10:32:49 pm »
Please someone tell me that my proper sleep function will return one day and that I haven't completely wrecked my GABA receptors for life?!!! Thanks for your time, [...]

You will definitely be able to sleep again.  It takes some time and probably some alternative methods before you can even sleep for 4 hours without waking.  Recently, during my rapid taper from Valium, I've picked up some Advil PM and that seems to work very well.   I've tried something called Alluna which has valerian and hops in it, but it is not strong enough.  So, good luck.   I know what you are going through.   It will get better.    :)
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: Chronoc insomnia during Diazepam withdrawal
« Reply #7 on: October 30, 2007, 11:22:34 pm »
hi

i'm a life-long insomniac which got me ino trouble with benzos in the first place.  i am almost 2 years benzo free and still have trouble sleeping. if you are over 40, hormones could be playing a role.

i used hydroxyzine hcl (atarax) near the end of my taper and it helped a great deal with anxiety and sleep. it is an antihistamine and not addictive. i still use it on occasion.  50mgs should help.  good luck

p
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[Buddie]

Re: Chronoc insomnia during Diazepam withdrawal
« Reply #8 on: November 02, 2007, 04:24:27 am »
Yeah, the Advil PM has an antihistamine in it that helps to induce sleep.  Too bad that we have to resort to taking pills to sleep.  Is there something wrong with the world in general?  Yes!  The world is a crazy place and if you are AWARE that everything is not puppy dogs and sweetness and light, then you might not be able to sleep well.  My insomnia started after a couple of large earthquakes rattled me at a deep level.   Stick with the lighter antihistamines for sleep and stay away from any benzos.  They cause many problems as you may well know.  The guy that discovered the first chemical formula for benzos died within the last couple of years.   He has been praised for his efforts.   I don't think he really ever realized how much harm the benzos have done to so many millions of people.    :(
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: Chronoc insomnia during Diazepam withdrawal
« Reply #9 on: November 02, 2007, 04:43:22 pm »
yes there is something wrong with the world in general - our food is grown w/o the proper nutrients - it has been bio engineered to be easy to process, withstand pests and our ground is depleted of nutrients due to all the chemicals and lack of crop rotation.

so we need digestive enzymes to absorb our food in our body and we are older and don't have use of all the good stuff to balance us out that we had when we were young.

but we have the Internet and we are suppose to be wiser.  :yippee:
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.