Insomnia

Question:

Please describe your experience with insomnia. Submit Your Comment

Comment from: PlantGrrl, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: June 12

I am a woman in my 30s. I've had insomnia for years but struggle with bouts that last months at a stretch, every night waking between 2:30 and 4:00, doesn't matter how early or late I go to bed. It's not as bad as others in the forum from what it seems, I am not on any medications per se other than an occasional strong topical steroid for lichen sclerosus (LS), which seems to have started manifesting around the same years my insomnia did. I've never been on antidepressants or other drugs that affect serotonin levels. My insomnia appears tied to stress, anxiety and even delayed grieving from earlier emotional traumas. I've experimented with herbs due to addiction issues in the family. I found skullcap tends to stop my head-spinning and anxiety attacks better than Xanax. Wood betony actually allowed me to sleep without any grogginess that I usually associate with other sleep aids. And by sleep I mean a full eight hours without waking up. After months of not sleeping more than a couple hours a night it made me want to cry. I was desperate to sleep and many years spent without adequate insurance left me to be a guinea pig on myself. I have found that dealing with the anxiety and stress by going to acupuncture and therapy helps. The LS diagnosis presents somewhat atypically for me. LS doesn't have a definitive cause but presents in the same way as atrophy in menopause. So that sent me down a research spiral of looking at stress, hormones and within that I discovered that low estrogen can cause insomnia. I dug further and found an acupuncture point spleen 6 that is easy to home treat with just massage and acupressure that is meant to treat insomnia and hormone imbalances. I now try pressing on that point in both legs when I wake up in the middle of the night for a 10 or 20 seconds. It could totally be placebo effect, but it does help me fall asleep again. I still get insomnia, but have found a few things that help alleviate it for a few days at a stretch.

Comment from: Maxine, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: July 17

From the day I hit menopause, I no longer got any sleep. Since then, I was treated for years with all kinds of medication that also provide sleep remedies. I was on Neurontin, for example, and my dose got all the way up to 4000 mg. Science does not understand the relationship to menopause and chronic insomnia. Ask half the women in a room when their insomnia started and they will say with menopause. Hormones are not the answer and sleep hygiene is not the answer and natural ingredients are not the answer. We need specific medication but no one is looking.

Comment from: Linda, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: June 05

I have been treated for anxiety and depression for the last 17 years or so and have been taking medication. Like my mother, I also have RLS (restless leg) and I take Requip. I either cannot fall asleep right away or stay asleep anymore and my legs are so jumpy I have to get out of bed. It is now 3:20 AM EST and I have yet to fall asleep. I went to bed at 11:30 PM tonight. There will be times that I sleep for a couple of hours in four days or more. Very tiring and frustrating. I blacked out recently which does concern me. I have no medical insurance so therefore tests are out of the question.

Comment from: Rambud, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: November 29

I have been suffering Insomnia for over 30 years now and I am at my wits end as to what to do now. I have had two sleep studies done and they both said that I have sleep apnea. I have been given the machine to use to alleviate my condition but after two months of use the machine has not helped. I have discontinued its use. I have tried all sorts of medication--both prescription and herbal. They work for a week or two and then either I have to increase the dosage or try something new. I do not know what to do.

Comment from: sandy, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: November 14

My doctor put me on Seroquel XR 150 mg, it worked for a month. I went to a psychologist, and he gave me 200 mg Trazodone and 8 mg Romeron. None of these are working. I made an appointment with a sleep clinic tomorrow. The doctor had put me on so many depression medications and they all stopped working.

Comment from: TJCraftyWitch, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: May 30

Well I have suffered from insomnia for 25 years or so. I have had it since I was a kid. I use to just say I am a night owl. Which I am, but unless I am exhausted I cannot go to sleep, will toss and turn for hours. My mind just won't shut down. I sleep, but wake up throughout the night. Very rarely do I sleep the night through without waking up. I usually get 5-6 hours of sleep, on occasion less. This happens 3-4 nights a week, and then my body totally crashes and I will sleep for approximately 12 hours and still feel like I didn't get enough sleep.

Comment from: Dahaca8, 19-24 Male (Patient) Published: February 21

I am a 20 year old male who has recently found that has insomnia. I can't sleep almost all night until I finally fall asleep around the early hours of the day but only for 3 to 4 hours max. Then I'm awake again. I haven't tried medication yet as this has only been going on for a few weeks just realizing I can't sleep like I used to. Maybe it's cause I work during the night, I'm not sure but it is exhausting I want it to stop!

Comment from: sleepless, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: January 10

I have had insomnia for about 15 years. Of late, it is getting worse. I am not sleeping more than five hours and am unable to sleep without medication. I never seem to be tired but wish I could sleep for longer. I have suffered from depression in the past and have been on medication. About three months ago I decided to stop taking all the medication I was taking and reduce down to just taking a sleeping pill. This has left me with even less sleep. I hate being on all the pills but am starting to wonder if should go back to taking the antidepressants again. This is the first time I have decided to look into this myself. I am feeling very frustrated at present as I have been looking at the clock since about 5am.

Comment from: 35-44 Female Published: January 06

I am a 35 years old with a 6 months old baby. I have been having sleeping problems since I got pregnant, but my condition seems to have worsened. I can't sleep and I do not think I have any stress. I told my GP and he gave me Halcion. It helps me but for a short period, I still wake up in the middle of the night without sleep. I need to consult but not sure if I should see a GP or a psychiatrist. This has been going on for more than a year now and it's getting worse. I know that I need serious help!

Comment from: AnnieS, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: September 20

Insomnia began 30years ago during a period of extreme stress. It has been relentless. I have been evaluated in a sleep lab and diagnosed with "severe chronic insomnia." I have tried everything, but at this point, I'm starting to think all is lost.

Comment from: Luckestar1981, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: August 23

I am a 30 yr old female and have been dealing with chronic insomnia and depression for almost 4 yrs now. At first not sleeping well for a night or two wasn't that big of deal. Then it gradually became every night. I'd take a Benadryl or two to knock me out which worked for a bit but then one or two became 7 or 8 and I knew that wasn't good for my body. Went to the doctors and was put on Ambien and Lexapro. I took Ambien for nearly a year before I weaned myself off of it. I still have trouble sleeping on occasion but I've found that about 40mg of melatonin does the trick. All this trouble started because I worked the graveyard shift for 4 years.

Comment from: Dazed, 55-64 Female Published: July 06

I am a 58 year od female, and have had insomnia for approx 3 years. Sometimes I don't have a problem falling asleep, but only sleep for 2 hours and awake the remainder of the night. I try sleeping in another bedroom, does not always help. Other times I feel sleepy, but cannot fall asleep and may get 1-1/2 light sleep. The following day I feel tired and feel as if I could sleep. I have no energy, bad memory, still no problem with eating. I have tried herbal teas, melatonin (made systoms worst)over the counter sleeping aids, at present I am trying megasure, only 2 days now. Hope this helps. Sometimes I feel as if I'm losing my mind, and walk around in a daze all day. I avoid sleeping during the day so I can sleep at night, doesn't seem to help.

Comment from: Endless Nightmares, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: May 02

I suffer from chronic insomnia. I am a 59 year old female. I have nightmares every night, sometimes 2 or 3. My psychiatrist prescribed Saphris which she said would also help with my depression (I am bipolar). That stuff whacked me out of this world. She is now prescribing me Ambien and with my nightmares I am afraid to take it. I am tired all the time. I never feel rested. I fall asleep fast and then in a couple of hours I am awake. I am spiritual and I exercise and eat well.

Comment from: Female (Patient) Published: April 19

I'm in my mid-60s and suffer from severe insomnia for more than 15 years. I've been on-and-off prescribed medications and have tried everything else to fall asleep, and nothing seems to help.

Comment from: ummate, 19-24 Male (Patient) Published: March 25

I am 24 years old and I am tired all the time because I can never get enough rest.

Comment from: Ginny, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: February 03

I am a 65 year old Female and have approximately 3 hours of sleep a night. I have tried herbal teas and over the counter sleeping aids(which make me feel worse) for my insomnia. I am in good health otherwise but feel tired all the time. The more I try to sleep the less sleep I get. I cannot sleep during the day either. I am angry and depressed most of the time because of the lack of sleep.

Patient Comments & Reviews

Medically reviewed by Peter O’Connor, MD; American Board of Otolaryngology with subspecialty in Sleep Medicine

REFERENCES: eMedicine.com. Insomnia.
<http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/1187829-overview>

FDA.gov. Medication Guide Intermezzo. <http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/drugsatfda_docs/label/2011/022328s000mg.pdf>

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