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Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 174
   Posted 6/8/2008 12:57 AM (GMT -6)   
hello H.W,
Just been reading the usuall amount lataly, and was woundering if anyonetakes a ambien cr or equvilent to get to sleep. I know ther is no way in h_ll that my rsd would let go to sleep even if I take a so called pill cocktail. My primary thinks it;s better to take a sleeping pill than several pain pills throughout the night.I don'tnow, Kind of sounds like a little of this and a little of that.
One of the problems when taking it is, the snoring real loud.
Another is really talking in your sleep.
And also it takes alittle time to remeber what you did the night before(even when you do nothing)
I dont know, with all the problems from using the sleep aid, I can allways count on getting at least 5 solid hours without dreaming how hurt  I am because the sleep aid stuff really puts me out.(I really look forward to it each night)
           Well I guess thats my 2 cents foe a while,
everyboby who has been writing in latly are making alot of sence and all the repliesare so positive and helpful, it's nice to come to a place like this.
               Hope Everyone Has A Painfree day!!!!!!!

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 183
   Posted 6/8/2008 1:57 AM (GMT -6)   
I too take a sleeping pill nightly to get a good sleep.If I don't, the morphine I have to take seems to keep me from getting to the R.E.M. stage of sleep and I wake up as tired as when I went to bed.Todays sleep medications like Ambien, if taken as directed by your Dr. are not as dangerous as the barbituite cocktails of yesteryear but they still deserve serious respect.I don't think I snore anymore than usual and my wife hasn't complained of me talking in my sleep.Maybe it's because I make more sense when sleeping than my daytime conversations,who knows? Take care and God Bless.  

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 254
   Posted 6/8/2008 4:18 AM (GMT -6)   
If my 2mg of Clonazapam doesn't work, I will sometimes take 50mg of Trazadone at night. I will be out like a light in about 45mins and sleep through the night.
Do not forget to entertain strangers for by so doing some have unwittingly entertained angels.  (Hebrews 13:2)

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 233
   Posted 6/8/2008 9:44 AM (GMT -6)   
I take a sleep aid, but it's over the counter.  I take 5-HTP and have been for about 2 months now.  I love it.  I don't wake up groggy, no more nightmares and I feel like I've had a good nights sleep as well as rested.  It's a natural product that comes from a plant in Africa.  You can buy it with other things in it like valerien, but I like just the 5-HTP.  i brought this up on the fibro forum, but for some reason no one seemed to think it was a good idea, maybe because of the name.  My pharmacist thought that it was a great alternative to Rx's.  It raises the seritonin level which people with fibro and many other need, since it is a naturally occuring chemical in all of us.
Gentle hugs,
Fibro, Osteoporosis, OA, RA, DDD, IBS, Vertigo, Tinnitus, Carpel Tunnel, Epilepsy, TMJ,  Hypothyroidism, Familial Tremors, Spasms, Neuropathy, Trigeminal neuralgia, heel spurs

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2008
Total Posts : 23
   Posted 6/8/2008 10:10 AM (GMT -6)   
I take Ambien to sleep because with RSD I'm in constant pain and I wake up a lot. It works ok for me but my doctor really wanted to put me on Sonata but my insurance won't cover it. So for now I'll take it until my ins. changes.
CRPS 1 in the right leg
Spinal Arthritis
Anxiety Disorder

One day at a time

Regular Member

Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 27
   Posted 6/8/2008 3:08 PM (GMT -6)   
I am new to this but I just wanted you to know that I take klonopin for sleep and trazadone at bedtime for pain. I forgot to take one night and was up and down all night. What works for one does not mean it works for all but you might want to try another sleep aid.
Sunny wishes

Disce Pati
Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 61
   Posted 6/9/2008 9:21 AM (GMT -6)   
I have been prescribed the lowest dose of ambien - I take it very infrequently. When I do, I notice I have some of those weird side-effects that are considered rare (I eat in my sleep for example - probably sleep walk but unlike seeing empty bags of food near my bed I leave no evidence of walking around asleep).

My pain doc suggested taking benadryl for sleep - that is the active sleep ingredient in tylenol PM - for me that works nightly because I also have allergy problems so I can take care of both things at once. Not sure what the long term effects of that is - I have heard from friends that it can do awful things for legs, mimics restless leg syndrome for her. I haven't noticed that but like Gramps says - everyone is different and yo have to respect that.

The other thing that my PCP prescibes is Tizanidine (zanaflex). I take 2.5 mgs at night and it never fails to put me to sleep about 45 minutes later; it is virtually like shutting me off with a switch. I have been using that for almost a year now and haven't experienced any loss of effectiveness and I have absolutely no "morning-after" grogginess, etc. This is my most trusted sleep aid.

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 38
   Posted 6/9/2008 7:55 PM (GMT -6)   
I take Bendryl to help me sleep and I also have allergy/sinus problems. I also take a muscle relaxer called Zanaflex that doctor gave me to help me sleep. I'm out in like 20 minutes or less and sleep good 6 hours. I do have weird sleep problems though sometimes talking in my sleep or getting up and eating and watching tv. Really vivid bad dreams are also a real issue for me.
2002 Carpal Tunnel Surgery, Plantar fasciitis, Migraines / Daily Headaches, 2005 Gastric Bypass surgery (200 lb weight loss), 2006 Hernia repair (due to wls), one week later complications and an emergency surgery Bowel obstruction, March 2008 another Hernia repair, chronic back and leg pain all over muscle pain (doctors say it's related to fast weight loss and loss of laxity in muscles etc, Nerve damage / pain in back legs and arms / hands, herniated discs and spinal stenosis in lower back, high blood pressure, anemia, constant throbbing/rushing/heartbeat sound in right ear(doctors have no idea what this is), anxiety and depression most likely related to chronic pain.

Have been on so many different medications! Currently 75mg Fentaynal patch, 600mgs Neurontin 3xday, Immitrex as needed, Avapro, Prozac 80 mgs, percocet for break through pain as needed, Skelaxin as needed, Zanaflex (at night to sleep and muscle Relaxer)

Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 103
   Posted 6/9/2008 9:26 PM (GMT -6)   
HI there,
I have 3mg of lunesta nightly. It helps me get about 8 hours of sleep a night. My doctors arent worried with me taking it nightly...they said considering all my health issues, its the least of our worries! If I dont get enough sleep, my pain is worse and my immune system breaks down. My PM doc is a strong believer that lack of sleep and pain go hand in hand! Lots of luck!

26 years old, living in Chicago, Chronic abdominal wall pain due to nerve entrapment. I have IBS-D and neuropathy. Gall bladder removed, 2 failed exploratory nerve surgery, pancreatitis, several hospitalizations for IBS flareups. Medications: Welchol, Align, Lunesta, Oxycodone, Thiamine, Zyrtec-D
I am a dance teacher and choreographer who loves children and cats! I am to be married on June 27, 2009 to my wonderful fiance Jon!!

Regular Member

Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 177
   Posted 6/10/2008 4:30 PM (GMT -6)   
My doctor's tell me that, generally, sleeping medication is less damaging to one's organs than pain meds. Taking into account that a sound sleep is vital and help's the healing process you should definately try them, under doctor supervision of course, and provided you lower the dose of your pain meds, but those details are best left to doctors (the good kind at least).

Don't let them put you on anti-depressants when you don't need them. My regular neurologist arranged an appointment with a new pain management doctor who started at the clinic. This young guy looked at me, looked at my medical file, and prescribed anti-depressants. I told him I didn't need them as I wasn't depressed and that the whole point of the appointment was to lower my daily dose of pain meds. His response was that someone with that many injuries must be depressed. I repeated I wasn't. He said that was clearly a sign I couldn't think straight any more; clearly a sign of depression and give me the the meds right away (on top of the prescription). At home I threw them in the trashcan and told my neurologist I dind't won't to see that guy ever again.

As Gramps said our new doctors sure like prescribing anti-depressants. What's the next step, putting prosac in baby milk?
To stand and be still at the Birkenhead Drill is a mighty bullet to shew.

Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 275
   Posted 6/10/2008 7:10 PM (GMT -6)   

I tend to go through periods where I don't sleep and then I go through periods where I sleep fine.  Right now I'm not and my husband wants me to talk to my docs about it.  I have tried a few things in the past and either they were to strong, ie trazadone, zanaflex, or they didn't work ,ie  flexeril, tylenol pm.  My pcp wanted to put me on anti-depressants, but as I am not depressed, I refused.  So we'll see what they come up with.


Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 138
   Posted 6/12/2008 2:31 PM (GMT -6)   
I use Restoril, a very old and gentle sleeper, a benzo, member of the Valuim family. I take the smallest dose ( 7.5) but it goes all the way up to 15 & 30, which would send me into next Tuesday....

It is very effecive, doesn't interfere w/ your REM cycles & just lets you drift off, like a natural event. My GP gave me them 2 years ago when this all began & I've been taking one every PM since then. I had never used sleepers b4 that, so she suggested this one b/c it's so gentle and easy on you. I'm a believer! When I had my PLIF, the hosp staff almost laughed at it, it's that "old". "I think we have some here" my nurse said, "but we don't get much call for them." They managed to find me a 15 mg, which was a bit much, but I told them to "keep an eye on me" which they did.

B4 that, I would use benadryl on occasion. Up to 4 depending on need. They are pretty safe, available OTC and also help if you have alergies.

But for me, it's good old Restoril. Give it a try! (and you can combine it w/ pain meds if you watch the dose amount.) Didn't interfere w/ my dilaudid or valuim at all. So you don't have to worry about not waking up.... LOL!

Nov. 06-- Lammy @ L4, removal of spinal cystic tumor @ L4/5(benign)
Dec. 06--Re-operation for post-surgical spinal fluid leak.  2nd surgery caused sciatic nerve damage & radiculopathy in R leg/foot,  increased spinal instability (grade 1 spondy, 17%), epidural scar tissue binding nerve roots, damaged facet joints & worsened DDD @ L4/5
Jan.  08--PLIF fusion/discetomy surgery w/pedicle screw instrumentation @ L4/L5, another lammy (@ L/5 this time) & bone marrow harvest from left iliac crest for packing bone around disc cages after total discectomy @ L4/5. 

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 92
   Posted 6/12/2008 10:18 PM (GMT -6)   
I have been taking valerian root (cat's a** pills as my wife calls them, due to their interesting smell) for the past few months. It really seems to work well for me... My sister inlaw is a pharmacist and she says Benadryl is ok to use, but told me not to make it a every night thing as it can be habit forming. I haven't needed it since I started with the valerian.

Disce Pati
Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 61
   Posted 6/12/2008 11:22 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Underthebus,

I am not sure exactly about the "habit forming" property of the tizanidine as it is a muscle relaxer with the side-effect of putting me to sleep (a common side effect). I only use 1/2 of the lower dose pill a night (1 mg = 1/2 pill). According to my pharmacist that is a very low dose. I have been taking it fairly regularly for almost 6 months and it has not lost its effectiveness - like some of the other pills that I have taken with sleep side-effects producing pills. That makes me think that it may not be habit forming (in the sense that you need more to get the same effect); I also do not notice dificulties falling asleep if I do not take it - again, making me think that it is not habit forming - at least for me (everyone is different, of course).

I am not sure how appropriate it will be to ask your doc for this for the sole purpose of using as a sleep aid. But, if your doctor has mentioned using muscle relaxers as a possible pain reliever then maybe you can direct her / him to tizanidine. Muscle relaxers are a pretty standard adjunct for pain relief so you may not be out of line to bring that up at your next visit if you think tight muscles are part of your pain profile.

I originally got it from my pain doc when we were working on my trigger point muscle spasms as a result of abdominal organ damage (a common self-defense reaction of the abdominal muscles after surgery or internal injury is to tighten the muscles to protect the organs. Sustained muscle contractions causes spasms and can greatly add to the pain picture according to my pain doc. When I first started treatment with her we spent a lot of time trying to get the muscles to relax - we tried trigger point injections, myofascial massage, muscle relaxants along with the pain meds; I am happy to report that now, 5 years later, it seems to have worked!).

In my situation, I think that zanaflex works much, much better than anbien; it puts me to sleep quickly, reliably and i have absolutely no hung-over feeling in the morning or upset stomach when I take it - and most importantly, no eating while I am asleep! It sure may be worth a mention to your doc if you think it is the right thing to do.....

Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 87
   Posted 6/12/2008 11:33 PM (GMT -6)   
Yeah I think i have been prescribed every anti-depressant in the book. You're rigth gramps, they DON'T have a problem with it. Finally after my up-teenth manic episode (finally in their office, in front of them) they believed me that I cannot take them...

I am realizing that I sound hateful a lot toward docs, but, I can't help it. I have NOT had good history with ones that listen. I thought I finally found one, then realized he's probably crazier than I am....
***** Fibromyalgia 2007 ***** Degenerative Disk Disease with Herniation T7, T8, T9***** Generally pissed off broad ******

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2003
Total Posts : 7314
   Posted 6/14/2008 2:30 AM (GMT -6)   
I've been using Ambien nightly for several years. I do periodically take a break from it, so that I can stop the reliance on it, but often stay up most of the night when I do that.

I have tried several of the more common sleeping pills, but Ambien seems to work the best for me. When I'm on high doses of steroid, I sometimes take the Ambien CR to get that second dose in to keep me asleep, but usually I only need the first shot to knock me out.

I have had several episodes of amnesia from using Amien, but every time, it was because I stayed up way too long after taking the pill. Those nights, I also stagger a little too - just like if I had been drunk. The trick is to get myself in bed within 30 minutes of taking the pill. Another problem with staying awake too long is that sometimes, I outlast the hypnotic effect and need to take a second pill in order to get to sleep and I'm on the higher 10mg dose. Sigh.

It seems that I have a very high tolerance for meds and almost nothing makes me sleepy. I could probably eat 3 or 4 Benedryl without getting tired. My migraine med, Fioricet, should make me tired, but I could take it and go out dancing (if my joints would let me).

Since my CP began 25 years ago, I've tried almost every anti-depressant out there and haven't found one that did much in terms of helping me to sleep. The only psychiatric medication that helped with sleep at all was an anti-psychotic called Seroquel (quetiapine), that I was given during an acute pain episode after a procedure. I wasn't on it long term, but at least I got some sleep.

My narcotics are great for helping to keep my pain levels within a tolerable range, but I don't ever expect to be pain free and the 40-60 mgs of Oxycontin doesn't make me sleepy at all, even when I add 10-20 mgs of Lortab. This class of meds is not designed to induce sleep. In fact, if narcotics do induce sleep, you are likely overmedicated.

Valium (diazepam) and Klonopin (Clonazepam) have helped to get me off to sleep when the Ambien alone wasn't enough due to the steroids I take, but I've only used them short term.

I take Zanaflex (tizanidine) on a regular basis for muscle spasms and even at twice my dose, it doesn't make me very sleepy at all. My Neurontin is also purported to help with sleep, but again, for me it's useless in that department. At least it does help me with the nerve pain.

Lunesta worked ok at the highest dose, 3mgs, but it wasn't as effective as Ambien and left the most horrid aftertaste which lasted well into the day. Nothing would get rid of it. I brushed, ate and still could taste it. Since nausea is a common symptom for me, the last thing I need is a med which causes a bad taste.

Rozeram didn't seem to help all that much.

So, these are the experiences I've had with meds to help me sleep. I hope you all find whatever works best for you.
Keah a.k.a. Wormy
 God helps those who help themselves.
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New Member

Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 6/21/2008 11:32 AM (GMT -6)   
 Hello CRPS    I am new to this forum but I am not new to chronic pain.     I take Vicodin ES dailey for lumbar disc ruptures, tears leakage ect.     I have  issues falling asleep and staying asleep and I have taken Ambien, Xanax, Valium, in the past but in looking for a non-narcotic sleep aid and I have found Meltonin  tablets work wonders for me and my wife.    I believe we take 75MG 1/2 hour prior to bed and it puts me in a deep allnight sleep.     This may be a good alternative and this is all natural over the counter and in-expensive.    May be worth a try.       Good Luck

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 6795
   Posted 6/21/2008 12:58 PM (GMT -6)   
I just wanted to welcome you to HW, since this was your first post. I'm glad something natural like melatonin works for you; I take my usual bedtime "cocktail" which at present is working, but making your suggestion may well help some people.

Thanks for postiing.

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