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Another Sleep Med Options Thread + Valerian Root?


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#1 Lazarus Prime

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Posted 01 October 2007 - 05:26 PM

I have tried so far (and all either failed to be effective, or had over the top side effects)

Trazadone
Tylenol PM (it used to work! lol)
Simply Sleep
Melatonin (BAD BAD BAD)
Unisom
Seroquel (funny that an Anti-Psychotic makes me hallucinate)



I heard Valerian Root is supposed to work. anyone tried that??
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#2 lostintranslation

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Posted 01 October 2007 - 09:01 PM

I tried it a few years back. It smells exactly like dirty feet. :mad: For me, it had no effect at all. I didn't give it much of a chance though. I get a little nervous with herbal remedies, because there is no real dosage control. Sorry I'm not much help.
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#3 sorrel

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Posted 02 October 2007 - 09:57 AM

I notice you list a "bipolar" diagnosis but the only med you're taking now is Lexapro?
Maybe your insomnia is because your bipolar is not being stabilized.
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#4 Lazarus Prime

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Posted 04 October 2007 - 03:45 PM

I notice you list a "bipolar" diagnosis but the only med you're taking now is Lexapro?
Maybe your insomnia is because your bipolar is not being stabilized.

Yeah that sounds about right. I had the genius idea of going off all my meds cold turkey about a year ago (yes, ridiculous) and have been slowly getting back to level ground. I thought "Maybe i'm not Bipolar" (yes, ridiculous) and thought I could handle it on Lexapro alone. hmmm.

I think Depakote ER worked wonders for me, but then I sleep 10-12 hours and i'm still wanting more. Which is fine, sleep feels nice. But i'm 22 and i have shit to do :mad: i have a fulltime job i can't just sleep all the time. I'm hoping to try a smaller dosage of Depakote ER (was on 500mg) wanna try maybe 150mg at night? something like that........
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#5 Sara E A

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Posted 04 September 2008 - 10:37 AM

I've been taking Valerian capsules on occasion (maybe 150 mg), but not noticed an effect.

Come to think of it, the only thing I've never tried is chamomile tea. Wouldn't hurt, I suppose.
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Diagnoses: marburg multiple sclerosis, depression, seizures as a result of a surgery-created focus

Rx: Concerta 54 mg, Bupropion XL 300 mg, birth control, Keppra 500 mg 2x/day, Zolpidem 10 mg, Lamictal 25 mg

Supplements: Multivitamin, fish oil, calcium/vit d, occasional valerian, kava or melatonin.

#6 Lazarus Prime

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Posted 04 September 2008 - 09:09 PM

I notice you list a "bipolar" diagnosis but the only med you're taking now is Lexapro?
Maybe your insomnia is because your bipolar is not being stabilized.

Now i'm on Lamictal which is doing wonders WRT the mood swings. No more days off from work for mental health reasons!!! :mad:

However, difficulty sleeping soundly and/or difficulty falling asleep is still present. My girlfriend says it's because i'm on the computer late, which is true, but even nights without late-night computer, TV, etc., I still sleep pretty badly.
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#7 quiet storm

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Posted 07 September 2008 - 06:51 PM

Valerian had a mildy sedating effect for me, but I dont think its going to work for anybody but the mildest insomniac.
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#8 Lazarus Prime

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Posted 09 September 2008 - 12:51 PM

Valerian had a mildy sedating effect for me, but I dont think its going to work for anybody but the mildest insomniac.

That is a very good point. I highly doubt that i'm a "true" / diagnosable Insomniac. In addition to that, I am typically very sensitive to anything put into my body -- foods, medications, supplements, herbs, etc. Not as sensitive as some, but sensitive enough apparently :mad:

Anyway, as with anything take it with a grain of salt for sure. It seems to help for me, but make with that what you will.
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#9 quiet storm

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Posted 09 September 2008 - 07:29 PM

Very few people are true insomniacs. Most of it is caused by other factors. Heavy stress or anxiety. Untreated depression or bipolar disorder. Poor sleep habits. Poor diet.

There are other meds out there. Maybe an older sedating tricyclic like elavil. Remeron in a low dose works for some folks. And of course there is ambien and lunesta.
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Next time you think no one cares, try missing a car payment.

#10 notfred

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Posted 09 September 2008 - 09:38 PM

I notice you list a "bipolar" diagnosis but the only med you're taking now is Lexapro?
Maybe your insomnia is because your bipolar is not being stabilized.

Now i'm on Lamictal which is doing wonders WRT the mood swings. No more days off from work for mental health reasons!!! :mad:

However, difficulty sleeping soundly and/or difficulty falling asleep is still present. My girlfriend says it's because i'm on the computer late, which is true, but even nights without late-night computer, TV, etc., I still sleep pretty badly.



Strict sleep hygiene can work wonders. Some basics are 1) go to sleep at the same time every night, even weekends 2) dark, cool, quiet room 3) No caffeine past afternoon 4) No TV, computer, or anything very stimulating 2 hrs prior to bed.
#2 makes a big difference for me. A cool room & white noise source helps with the early morning waking.

AD's just tend to be bad news with bipolar, so the Lex is suspect.

Doxipin kicks ass as a sleep aid and does not mess with sleep architecture, but might not be a good idea with bipolar. I use it as needed
when the Lunesta is not enough or when another medical condition requires steroids.

I am partial to Lunesta, of all the hypnotics it is the only one that works for me, but it takes a lot. However I have been on it 2+ yrs
and it still works as well as it did at first. Sleep studies show I have normal sleep architecture on it.


nf
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I am in full remission (296.36) from Depression. Insomnia, ADHD-PI, Epilepsy, and the Pseudoparkinsonian tremor are well controlled.

 

Psyc Meds: Forfivo XL 450 mg (Wellbutrin XL), Abilify 15 mg, (Aripiprazole), Eszopiclone 6 mg (Lunesta), Vyvance 70 mg, (dextroamphetamine) Levetiracetam 2,000 mg (Keppra), Propranolol ER 60 mg (Inderal)
PRN: Lorazepam 1-4 mg (Ativan), Alprazolam 1-2 mg (Xanax), Dextroamphetamine 10-40 mg (Dexedrine), Propranolol 20-40 mg (Inderal)

Supps: Multi-vitamin/mineral, Vitamin D 2,000 IU, Fish oil 7.2 g

Dx: Depression, Insomnia, ADHD-PI, Epilepsy, Dyspraxia, Tremor

I also take allergy and diabetes + it's complications meds.

All doses are a daily total.


#11 gardengypsy

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Posted 09 September 2008 - 10:38 PM

Well I know it's a stretch, but how about some old fashioned chamomile tea? Like someone else said, it's good to have a routine. AND NO TV in the bedroom. I swear by that, better for your sleep and better for marriages. But it's also good to make sure your bedroom is set up to feel like you go there just to relax, sleep. Nothing else.

I know all that stuff sounds too cheesy for people like us who take the meds, but if you want to try it couldn't hurt. You never know...

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#12 In_Remission_neuroquest

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Posted 16 September 2008 - 11:39 AM



Try some herbal blends. Trader Joe's sells night-time tea that is rather tasty and sedating. But better yet, is to put together your own herbal mix of sedating herbs. Catnip, Melissa, Motherwort, etc. There are many quite effective sedating and even a few antidepressant herbs. You can find them if you do a little googling. Otherwise you can try blends or blended extracts such as this:

http://www.herbheale...p?productid=716

I think few people realize just how many meds are either plant-based or developed from plant-generated chemical. From aspirin to anti-cancer drugs to galantamine and so on. The hypericin and hyperforin molecules of St. John's Wort for instance, if you look at the graphic of their structure, are beautiful.

Rhodiola anti-depressive




#13 lostanddelirious

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Posted 16 September 2008 - 11:52 AM

I use ativan sometimes to sleep.
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Current rx: Lamictal-500mg, Keppra-1500mg, Lithium-1200mg, Risperdal-1mg, Ativan-prn, Risperdal-prn, Geodon-20mg

Past rx: Tegretol, Dilantin, Depakote (15 yrs.), Zoloft, Abilify (3 trials), Celexa, Geodon, Topamax, Seroquel, Cogentin

#14 Lazarus Prime

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Posted 16 September 2008 - 07:27 PM

Heavy stress or anxiety.

Yeah I am actually starting to sleep better now. My last job was customer service in a call center. I think that's probably the worst job for someone with Bipolar and depression. Anyways i'm at a non-customer-facing job now and things are much better. Ahhhhh.. it's amazing how much better your life is when your job doesn't make you wanna blow your brains out (figuratively :mad:)
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#15 Lazarus Prime

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Posted 16 September 2008 - 07:30 PM

I notice you list a "bipolar" diagnosis but the only med you're taking now is Lexapro?
Maybe your insomnia is because your bipolar is not being stabilized.

Now i'm on Lamictal which is doing wonders WRT the mood swings. No more days off from work for mental health reasons!!! :mad:

However, difficulty sleeping soundly and/or difficulty falling asleep is still present. My girlfriend says it's because i'm on the computer late, which is true, but even nights without late-night computer, TV, etc., I still sleep pretty badly.



AD's just tend to be bad news with bipolar, so the Lex is suspect.

Maybe. Maybe not. In any case, when i'm not on an AD I get really effing depressed. Well, more like moderate -- not the i-wanna-kill-myself-and-my-cat kind, more the kind where you just don't feel like doing anything, don't shower, etc. Trust me, I tried without Lex for a while. No fun. You'd think the AD effects of Lamictal would be enough, but they aren't for me. I'm one of the people w/Bipolar that's quite a bit farther into the depression spectrum of the disorder. I have a fairly constant depression throughout my entire life, with little spikes and peaks of hypomania throughout. The only true Manic episode(s) i've ever experienced was due to drug use or some other external stimuli.
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#16 Allie

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Posted 28 September 2008 - 03:58 PM

I took valerian for a while, and it made me a little sleepy but didn't knock me out the way Ambien does. More recently, I've been trying kava kava, scullcap, and passionflower, which work better (for me) than valerian, but not as well as Ambien -- though I mostly use them for those nights when the Ambien and Benadryl aren't cutting it, and I'm still up at six am and starting to hate my life.

I've heard of some people drinking valerian tea, but I can't imagine doing that without gagging, even the capsules were nasty. The stuff just tastes like ass, no way around it.
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Current meds and supplements: Celexa 80 mg/day.

Effexor made me twitch, Abilify gave me wicked EPS, Wellbutrin made my $%&^ hair fall out, and Trileptal numbed out my emotions -- Lexapro is the clear winner (but Celexa's cheaper). We think I have MDD and dysthymia, but I'm not taking my family history of bipolar 2 lightly.

#17 jen6791

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Posted 28 September 2008 - 07:36 PM

hi there- i'm new to this site but i noticed we have a lot in common as far as diagnosis and rx; i have had problems on and off with insomnia too, and have severe sleep apnea. and, oh yeah, worked in a call center (in bothell) for almost 5 years. lol... yuk. anyway, before i was ever diagnosed with depression or bipolar disorder, i was given the lowest dose of elavil, as was suggested. i'm fairly sensitive to meds, so i had to cut the lowest dose in half (25m?) and i was still a zombie in the morning, but once i got used to it it was alright. did that for a few years. but melatonin has worked well for me, for a long period a few years ago and i started again this week after weaning off lamictal. anyway, i know everyone is right; we're all different in what works to some degree. unless i'm about to pass out from sheer exhaustion, i have to have the t.v. on to go to sleep, but i cannot listen to any music containing lyrics or that's not really soothing. god luck to you- i know you'll find something that works for you!

I notice you list a "bipolar" diagnosis but the only med you're taking now is Lexapro?
Maybe your insomnia is because your bipolar is not being stabilized.

Now i'm on Lamictal which is doing wonders WRT the mood swings. No more days off from work for mental health reasons!!! :mad:

However, difficulty sleeping soundly and/or difficulty falling asleep is still present. My girlfriend says it's because i'm on the computer late, which is true, but even nights without late-night computer, TV, etc., I still sleep pretty badly.



AD's just tend to be bad news with bipolar, so the Lex is suspect.

Maybe. Maybe not. In any case, when i'm not on an AD I get really effing depressed. Well, more like moderate -- not the i-wanna-kill-myself-and-my-cat kind, more the kind where you just don't feel like doing anything, don't shower, etc. Trust me, I tried without Lex for a while. No fun. You'd think the AD effects of Lamictal would be enough, but they aren't for me. I'm one of the people w/Bipolar that's quite a bit farther into the depression spectrum of the disorder. I have a fairly constant depression throughout my entire life, with little spikes and peaks of hypomania throughout. The only true Manic episode(s) i've ever experienced was due to drug use or some other external stimuli.


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#18 Erika78750

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Posted 23 October 2008 - 02:21 PM

what happened when you took melatonin, it's worked really well for me.

I tried valerian and it did absolutely nothing at all. Not even a little sleepiness.
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#19 Lazarus Prime

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Posted 13 January 2009 - 09:26 AM

what happened when you took melatonin, it's worked really well for me.

Terrible, terrible things. Mania and depression mostly. For some reason it seemed to exxacerbate any Bipolar symptoms. Really wierd. For a while it was great, but I had to take increasing amounts for it to actually knock me out. I was eventually taking 5mg each night, and I would cry during the day for no reason, feel like i'd been up all night drinking, or any other random things. From what I recall I was still self-medicating at the time and don't recall if I was on the correct med combination, but either way i'm scared to go back to Melatonin. It did really wierd things to my moods.


I haven't tried many of the meds suggested above (sorry guys) but I think i'll try the non-pill stuff first. Stress has been an issue in one form or another since about mid-2008, and my sleep habits aren't very good. Top that off with me being about 75 pounds overweight and not excersizing at all, and you've got a recipe for disaster :) Honestly I think my Apnea is mostly from being fat. That DX of course makes sleeping complete shit. I am actually looking into getting surgery done on my sinuses -- I have a deviated septum which I believe is a big part of the Apnea-type symptoms I have.

Anyways, i'll try good old-fashioned "healthy lifestyle" and we'll see if that makes things better for me :mad:

Edited by Sduibek, 13 January 2009 - 09:29 AM.

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#20 stellalina

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Posted 13 February 2014 - 09:37 PM

I have tried so far (and all either failed to be effective, or had over the top side effects)

Trazadone
Tylenol PM (it used to work! lol)
Simply Sleep
Melatonin (BAD BAD BAD)
Unisom
Seroquel (funny that an Anti-Psychotic makes me hallucinate)



I heard Valerian Root is supposed to work. anyone tried that??

Why did Trazadone not work for you? 


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#21 jared ad astra

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Posted 14 February 2014 - 12:51 PM

L-theanine may be worth a shot for anyone trying to calm their minds to get to sleep.


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Dx: 

Major depressive disorder (MDD)

Attention deficit disorder (ADD)

Anxiety disorder NOS

Chronic migraines

Inflammatory Bowel Disease—Crohn's colitis
 
Current Psych Meds:

Fluoxetine (Prozac) 40mg

Abilify 10mg 

Adderall XR 15mg

Gabapentin (Neurontin) 100mg TID

Alprazolam (Xanax) 0.25mg PRN
 
Current Non-Psych Meds:  

Propranolol ER 160mg for migraine prophylaxis

Apriso 1.5g for Crohn's colitis

Uceris 9mg for Crohn's colitis

Hyoscyamine (Levsin) 0.125mg PRN for intestinal cramps related to Crohn's colitis

Sumatriptan (Imitrex) 50mg PRN for migraines

Ondansetron (Zofran) 4mg PRN for migraine related nausea.

 
Past Psych Meds: Zoloft (pooped out), Celexa (not much of a response), Effexor (major irritability and anxiety), Wellbutrin XL (exacerbated anxiety at higher doses), Buspar, Ativan, Ambien, Seroquel IR, Hydroxyzine

 

I can't give medical advice, but I am well versed in biology and science and will use them as weapons against brain cooties!


#22 Junebug

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Posted 06 March 2014 - 11:38 AM

I'm struggling with this as well right now - I'm unable to fall asleep, period, if I don't take something.  I have heard good things about Ortho-Sleep by AOR and Kavinace PM by Neuroscience.  I have Ortho-sleep but haven't tried it yet and, unfortunately, Kavinace is way beyond my financial ability.  On one hand, I do sort of feel that these things are good for people with low level sleep issues but not for the biggies, and on the other - YMMV.

 

I tried to include links but my poor computer has had too much "cattus interruptus" and poops out constantly (sorry!)  Also, a no go with the quote function. 

 

 

 


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