Posted 6/19/2010 12:54 AM (GMT -6)
One thing you shouldn't do is go on Ambien or something like that. I was on it for five years and recently quit it on my own. At first it was wonderful. I slept at night. However, after a while, I had to move up to the Ambien CR, and then I had to start taking other meds with it to get it to work better. Finally, it was taking hours to work and I hated the binge eating it was making me do in the middle of the night. After I quit taking it, I didn't sleep for 3 nights (just an hour the first night, maybe two hours the second. I stopped on a Wednesday night and saw my sleep doctor (who is also a pulmonologist) the next Monday. I told him I had stopped taking Ambien, and the reasons, and he asked me how it was going. I told him the night before I saw him I had slept 5 hours. He asked me if I was a clock watcher. I told him yes. He asked me why. I told him that when I worked, I needed to know what time it was because then I knew I HAD to get to sleep; now that I no longer work, I just wanted to know how many times I woke up during the night. He said to TURN my clock radio around. If I woke up during the night and it was DARK, turn over and go back to sleep. Don't look at the clock. If it was LIGHT out, then it was time to get up. He said the anxiety from thinking I wasn't going to get to sleep was making me having trouble getting to sleep! Seems so simple now.
My husband has worked shift work over the last 20 years, and I have also, and that has contributed to my sleep problems.
This same doctor told me last year that I would never be able to get off Ambien for the rest of my life since I had taken it so long and also that even if he worked intensely with me, I would probably still need it 3-4 times a week. I wish I had time and money to work with him intensely. I told him I'd have to be admitted somewhere to work on my sleep problems because I have had a problem with sleep all my life, although the FM has made it worse. He's two hours away, though, and I'm not up to driving that distance on a regular basis.
Of course, that didn't solve my problems. I'm naturally a night owl, and if I'm left to my own devices, I will stay up until 4 a.m. and sleep until noon (it doesn't help that my husband gets up at 3:30 to go to work). Seems my body just wants to do that. It's a problem when I keep my grandchildren, though, or have appointments in town or go out of town. Now that I'm off my Ambien, I have started taking Xanax about an hour before bedtime to get rid of the anxiety about thinking about sleep, then I'm taking trazodone and Soma to get to sleep. It's actually working pretty good.
I hope some of this helps you.