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Re: Sheesh! I leave for two days.... fluffy

Posted by BarbaraCat on September 3, 2003, at 14:49:36

In reply to Sheesh! I leave for two days...., posted by fluffy on September 3, 2003, at 11:33:06

Hi Katy,
Welcome back - wondered where ya went! As far as the sleep thing, here's a suggestion. Wait until you feel good and stable with lithium, exercise, etc (soooooooo glad the lithium is helping!!! When it does, you bless the day you finally threw in the towell). That way you won't derail any good effects with lack of sleep. Don't be too concerned with addiction at this point because you can always unaddict yourself, if that's really the case, once your brain chemicals aren't wonked and you have that centered feeling to fall back on.

Then, when you feel like you want to go at it without temazapam, taper off over a week's period or so. You won't get as good a night's sleep to be sure, but it won't be as bad as if you went cold turkey. There's bound to be some rebound as your gaba receptors readjust, but won't be as uncomfortable as if you were unstable to start with. GABA supplements are worthless, they don't cross the blood brain barrier. Valerian can make BPs hyper (it's that paradoxical thang). Magnesium helps taken with Vitamin C and Vitamin B6. Some say melatonin is good, but others say it can deplete your own stores. One that is a nice gentle relaxer is Calms Forte. Nothing that knocks you out, just a homeopathic calmness encourager. But you have to already be on the road and take it as maintenance - it simply takes the edge off the day in a gentle manner. It's not heavy enough artillery to break the prescription sleep med habit.

It took me 1 week to get off Ambien and I had some rough nights. What I did when I just couldn't get to sleep and I was revving was to take a benzo (valium in my case) and it at least stopped the revving. I figure that even though it was in the same ballpark, it wasn't the same med and I'd still be getting over the one I was most tolerant to. As time goes on those revving nights get fewer and when they occur I can live with them even without a sleep aid. Now I'm usually tired at around 10:30pm and go to sleep pretty easily (as long as hubby doesn't rock the timbers with snoring). If I have a revving night, I'm not going to torture myself, figuring my sleep is more important than my white knuckle resolve to go without, and I'll take the valium, or better yet, I have it by the nightstand in case I really need it, like a security blanket. But I'll know if I'm getting too dependent again and don't choose to go that road anymore. I'll get up earlier and work out harder the next day. I may feel cranky and tired, but it's amazing how tiredness helps with falling asleep if you don't have those other crazy chemicals to contend with.

Another good method is to listen to a good sleep inducing CD with headphones. I'm usually out within 10 minutes. It just takes diverting the mind away from 'oh shit, I'm not asleep yet'. A really good series is by BelleRuth Naparstak at 'Peaceful Sleep' is a good one. I don't usually go in for the affirmation, imagery stuff, but she has something really fine going on in her work.

Another really important thing is to get into bed by around 10:30pm and turn off the lights. I've gotten finished re-reading "Lights Out" by T.S. Wiley and it is required reading.

I think that with enough exercise, balancing your chemistry and laying off alcohol, especially in the evenings, you're rebalanced body will more than ready to drift off for a visit from Mr. Sandman (hey, that could be something to look forward to!). BCat

> Hi everyone--
> I was shocked to see my mailbox full of maybe 40 posts!
> I'm not sure how to wedge my way back into the conversation. But I can say that I relate very much to the alchohol binging. I only seem to do it when I'm "up" (like Barb-cat). It's like--hey! I feel great! Paaaaarty! I think I spent all of last summer hypomanic, drinking like a fish. I would have at least 5 drinks in an evening, never realizing that I was drinking my friends under the table. I'm sure I was having WAAAAY more fun than them in my head. I did stupid things---like hooking up with guys I knew had girlfriends (some of their girlfriends were my FRIENDS!!). And I, too, enjoyed the hangovers (in a weird way). I felt all buzzed out--and a big, greasy burrito tasted so good. Then I'd sleep really well for 2 days. Then right back at it. It didn't help that my neighbor was an alchoholic. (turns out he's just been diagnosed borderline (or maybe bipolar--not sure). So, boy--did we feed off of one another.
> I don't miss getting drunk one bit!! Like Barb-cat, I'm working towards that centered happiness. Exercise (and Lithium) seems to be helping me a great deal. I'm doing a short session of iyengar yoga when I wake, and taking a 20 min. jog when I get off from work.
> One problem though...maybe you guys can help. I am still having trouble sleeping! I haven't been able to sleep unless I take Temazepam. I feel I may be on the verge of being addicted to the stuff. Do you know if taking a sleep supplement would be harmful to my "coctail" of meds? I bought this stuff from a health food store that contains valerian and GABA, and a bunch of other stuff. My doc didn't seem too keen on it. Maybe I should just bug him...
> Any suggestions from experience? Benadryl makes no dent, Ambien lets me sleep for 4 hours, melatonin--no dent. This Temazepam is juuuuussst right! But addictive!
> Anyway--good luck to all. I'm going to wrap my head around all that has been said over the past two days. Please take care.
> Katy




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