What are we doing for sleeping problems?

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Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 3148
   Posted 9/2/2005 10:22 PM (GMT -7)   
redface  it is my 3rd nite up with no sleep. redface   i understand that prednisone jacks ya up a bit and makes people a little wired.  but this is nuts.  when i had a flare in june...i was up 5 nites in a row.  but i took a dose of pred wednesday...and i'm still restless from it.  well, the shoulder pain has a lot to do with not being able to sleep either.  i can actually feel the HEAT coming from them.  feels like a sunburn.
last nite i took 2 darvocet, and 2 zanax.  and nothing.  not even drowsy.
i have valium also...but that has no effect on sleep for me because i have it for AS.
my rheummie does not even Rx pain killers, so i doubt he will Rx a sleeping aid/sedative.
is anyone having success with anything for sleep??
did you get better results getting something from your PCP rather than the rheummie??
what about Valerian??
i never took anything besides Tylenol PM when i had the flu...but it never made me sleep. mad
also...it hurts to lay on my side.  and also the very very end of my spine kills!  you know the tailbone??  trying different set ups with pillows with little luck.
any feedback would be highly appreciated.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 1361
   Posted 9/2/2005 11:03 PM (GMT -7)   
Oh God, Yes I know the tailbone pain! I just prop the feet up as best I can and put a pillow under my knees, takes some of the pressure off. Also you know when you turn a patient and you prop the pillow behind them to keep them on the side? That position will also take some of the pressure off. My PCP RX;s amytriptiline(sp?) Elavil for me, I take it sometimes, but never really helps.

Hope you can rest some,
Don't walk in front of me....I may not follow
Don't walk behind me....I may not lead
Walk beside me..and be my friend...
                                    Albert Carnus
and Lord, put your arm around my shoulder and your hand over my mouth
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Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 3148
   Posted 9/2/2005 11:07 PM (GMT -7)   
ah, that's right! i'll try the side lying positon withthe pillow. it's just that all these bones sticking out...it hurts to lay on anything.
Elavil? i'll have to look it up. i am hoping this passes with time.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 4305
   Posted 9/3/2005 11:41 AM (GMT -7)   
My Theraphist prescribs me Lunesta was on Ambian but like Lunesta a whole lot better.I'am sorry that you have been up for five straight nights but I can relate to where you are comeing from.

You say you are on Valiums what typ of Valiums are you on and what mg are you on?You may need something a little stronger.I do hope that you get to feeling better soon.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 3148
   Posted 9/3/2005 12:53 PM (GMT -7)   
i have valium 5mg tabs. but they are for my AS spasms. it's the only thing that breaks the spasm. they don't make me drowsy.
i did here Lunesta works well. but does it make you feel hung over in the morning???
i just don't want to feel badly when i wake up...well, scratch that...i feel badly anyway whe i wake up. LOL.
i never had sleeping problems before...so that's why i'm at a loss about what to do. i guess my best bet would be my PCP??

thank you Curley

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Nov 2003
Total Posts : 7119
   Posted 9/3/2005 4:12 PM (GMT -7)   
A word of caution about sleeping with a pillow under the knees. A pillow under only the knees has the potential for causing blood clots in the legs, even in young people. The pressure of the pillow can impede the blood flow. If you need to get your legs up, prop the entire leg, not just the knee.

Erin, no experience with sleeping meds. The prednisone insomnia is really frustrating. My husband put his foot down when he found me outside washing the windows at 3 AM once! Your pain might also be adding to the problem. Your PCP ought to be able to give you something temporarily while you are prednisone. Are any of the meds helping the GI symptoms? I hope you get relief soon! --Ides
CD for 25+ years; finally Dx 2004. SpA diagnosed soon after.
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New Member

Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 18
   Posted 9/3/2005 4:19 PM (GMT -7)   
all those drugs! I used
to suffer from insomnia.

I want to suggest something
to you to try. This is what I do.
about two hours before I need
to go to sleep I take melatonin
and I take it with magnesium and calcium.

Then...and this is very important.
I begin to turn down the lights until
every one is dim and almost off.
The reason for this is our bodies
naturally produce melatonin but well,
with electricity, we confuse it so much
because we stay up all hours with the
lights on!

You need REM sleep to restore
your cells and health. You absolutely
need this deep sleep. It is during
that stage that human growth hormone
is released and this boosts your
immune system.

I took Xanax once, never again. I felt
like a zombie. Could just be me.

But believe me, the melatonin
makes me feel wonderful and I sleep
great. And I guess this goes
without saying but never eat a
heavy meal right before bed,
say at least 3 hours before.
One of the highest demands we
put on our bodies is to digest a
meal. Not a good thing to expect
it to do before rest!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 1884
   Posted 9/3/2005 8:29 PM (GMT -7)   

Erin, I'm sorry to hear about your insomnia. I have been there oh-too-many times. I took Elivil years ago, now they just tell me to take 25 mg of benedryl....sometimes it helps, sometimes it does not. 50 makes me too groggy the next day and that's not a good thing w/the kids.

Prednasone can really make me jittery and up - but that is so strange you took it Wed. and are still having problems.

Ow...I know the tailbone pain! sad   To top that with the shoulder pain, no wonder you can't get any rest. Drugs or no drugs, pain like that is difficult to overcome. Is there somewhere in the house that you CAN get comfy? Like laying on your other side on a sturdy couch? On the floor?
Do you have any pain patches, ben gay or icy hot? Does any of it work even a little bit? Can someone give you a massage with a pain cream in your bad spots with the lights down where ever you can get comfy and have them just let you fall asleep afterward?
I'm wishing you a good night's sleep.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 3148
   Posted 9/4/2005 1:48 PM (GMT -7)   
i think i'll give the benydryl a shot...makes sense. i will call my pcp tuesday if i am still having trouble. the pain is not tremendous but it is the HEAT and THROBBING that really keeps me up. yea, i feel like cleaning the house at nite too. i didn't sleep well last nite either like 3am to 6am. poor joe,,,,probably kept him up!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 1884
   Posted 9/4/2005 2:22 PM (GMT -7)   
That's how my feet were in the beginning...man, that was a living...well, I can't say that word here.  The throbbing and the muscle spasms were so bad, even a SHEET was too heave to lay on my toes. I had to sleep all the way down on my bed on my stomach and hang my feet over the edge...I remember too many times just living my life on the couch in a very uncomfortable position, but just right not to freak the pain out....I just sat there and barely ever moved anything other than my eyes,  was never rested, or able to sleep. It was the most depressing and painfully torturous time of my life. No wonder I'm obese now. sad
Anyway, I wouldn't wish any of that pain and misery even on my worst enemy - so, Erin, I'm praying you get some sleep and rest and finally some pain relief. Lack of sleep makes everything SO much worse!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 3148
   Posted 9/6/2005 7:53 PM (GMT -7)   
redface  okay, what i did was attained some valerian capsules from the pharmacy.  i'll see if they help any.  i have taken them in the past for minor sleeping problems.  if still no good...i'll ask for like a Lunesta or something.
here's to hopefully a good night's sleep redface

Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 344
   Posted 9/6/2005 8:02 PM (GMT -7)   
I can sure relate to not sleeping. I have struggled with it most of my life. At first it was just not being able to sleep at night, I always could sleep when it was time to get up for work. Then gradually I started waking up early as well as not being able to get to sleep till the wee hours of the morning.
I used to find sleeping on the couch did help, the support of the hard back of the couch and some boring program on the television would usually do the trick.
I must be a bit ADD, because whenever I take benedryl, I wake up. If I take one of the non-drowsy forms of some sinus relief med, I tend to get tired, whereas the ones that are suppose to cause drowsiness wake me up. However lately, I think due to depression I find myself sleeping for days at a time. It is a strange feeling when you do not have to get up for work, when housework hurts too much, and your children are grown. Some days it just seems to stressful to get out of bed.
Hope you find a way to get some sleep. That rem sleep is crucial from everything I read. I have to rebook my sleep clinic visit, but after listening to my husband describe the experience in detail, I just can not see me being in a rush for that.

My dad used to tell me that his trick was to turn everything off, lock up the house, check the stove, get a drink of water for his side table and then turn the radio on to a quiet station, but to keep the volume low enough that he would have to strain to hear it. Whilst trying to lie very still so he could hear the radio he would drift off pretty quickly. It worked for him. Wishing you all good rest and pain free and stress free nights.
Judy/Effie redface

New Member

Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 9/11/2005 4:30 AM (GMT -7)   


notice my screen name.  I have taken prednisone off and on for the past 4 years for asthma.

I know about the insomnia.  I have walked the streets of town at 2 in the morning and been stopped by the state police.  I have cleaned. I have read.  I have went swimming.  I went onto the computer.  ect. ect.

what has somewhat worked for me, and I use the word somewhat because I have to take my prednisone sometimes immediately!!!

Take prednison when you first get up.  Don't wait till late morning or lunch.  Preferably I try it at around 6 in the morning. Next, NO caffenine.

NO salt (prednisone retains water, increase appetite, raises blood pressure, hence, can't sleep). 

Drink LOTS of water to flush out your system and help with appettite.and try to get some excersise, like taking a walk with the spouse or yourself for about 1-2 hours.  this will work off that excess energy.

My wife has seen what I go thru on this Drug. 

She knows that when I am not in the house at 3 in the morning when on prednisone, she doesn't even have to ask.

Lastly, you mentioned pain.  The worst pain I ever had in my legs was from the side effects of prednisone.  Like generic charley horses. Hurt like hell for several hours.  Took a nap and it went away.

I hope this helps.

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