Examples: Monday, today, last week, Mar 26, 3/26/04
Welcome home! Please contact lincoln@newbuddhist.com if you have any difficulty logging in or using the site. New registrations must be manually approved which may take up to 48 hours. Can't log in? Try clearing your browser's cookies.

Sleeping pills

techietechie India Veteran

What I take is .5 mg, contains alprax and melatonin. I've heard good things about melatonin.

Question is, Is it advisable to take it frequently?

Has anyone here taken sleeping pills regularly? How did it affect u in the long run? Any problems?

I suffer from insomnia and these pills are a blessing.

Comments

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    I take Zopiclone, but very rarely. I have a pack of 28 tablets, each one divided in two, making 56 doses. It takes me about 6 - 8 months to get through them all.

    I have discovered, through diligent research that there are four components lacking in someone who can't easily go to sleep:

    magnesium, potassium, Sodium and zinc.

    Since upping those to a healthy degree, I sleep much better.
    I place a grain of Himalayan salt on my tongue when I turn out my light and within 10 minutes I'm off like a baby.

    Fluid intake, coupled with making sure those minerals are up to correct levels, has basically seen me take far fewer tablets than ever.

    (You can take supplements of all of the above, but be very cautious with potassium. We usually get more than enough through foods like bananas, avocados and spinach. More potassium than you need can actually be quite dangerous. Adding the other supplements won't hurt. )

    lobsterKeromeHozan
  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Veteran

    Melatonin is generally considered safe to use longer term but insomnia should be a short term problem, and if it is chronic there is something else going on to address. As @federica mentioned, mineral imbalance is a very common cause. So is anxiety and failure to properly manage stress. (but mineral imbalance can be a cause of both of those things as well). Always look for the cause rather than only treating symptoms. Sometimes we must treat symptoms in the mean time, which is fine of course. But we shouldn't usually be stopping there.

    Hozanfedericadhammachicklobster
  • techietechie India Veteran

    Thanks, @federica and @karasti, for your wonderful replies. Very informative.

    My problem is not going to sleep but getting up at around 3 am or so, sometimes 5 am. Then you can't go back to sleep, that sort of thing. I eat a well-balanced diet - I am quite strong physically - so I am guessing I get all these minerals. Stress is most likely the real issue here (cuz I can sense some anxiety in the background at all times) - but since I can;'t deal with it through meditation/counseling I have now resorted to taking these pills.

    I can't deny the efficacy of these pills - I get a very good night's sleep, which helps me function well the next day.

  • KeromeKerome Did I fall in the forest? Europe Veteran

    Consider yourself lucky... when I'm having a sleepless spell I sometimes go for days without any sleep, and the doctors have had to prescribe me pills of 5 mg of lorazepam, which is a high dose, and that usually sends me to sleep and leaves me sedated and energy-less the next day. But lesser pills don't do the job... I'm grateful it happens quite rarely.

    0.5 mg of melatonin is relatively mild, they often sell 3 mg pills here while the maximum effective dose is something like 6 mg.

  • gracklegrackle Veteran

    @techie. I have used l-glycine which is an amino acid to improve sleep from time to time. 1000mg x three. About an hour before retiring. Quite remarkable. Others I know have also had good results. You awake refreshed. You might also look into the subject of sleep hygeine.

    lobster
  • gracklegrackle Veteran

    I looked up alprax. It seems you are at the lower end of dosage. Nonetheless the drug you are taking is a benzodiazepine which users should approach with some degree of caution. As with any drug knowledge is power.

  • ToshTosh Veteran

    @federica said:
    I take Zopiclone, but very rarely. I have a pack of 28 tablets, each one divided in two, making 56 doses. It takes me about 6 - 8 months to get through them all.

    It's good you take them rarely; I haven't heard good things about Zopiclone and have had a friend addicted to them.

    They're a potent mix when taken with alcohol too; I believe a street name for them is 'charge sheet' because you tend to lose all inhibitions.

  • ToshTosh Veteran

    A quiet mind and a tired body are the two requirements for a good night's sleep. If you're not exercising, start, and if your mind isn't quiet, welcome to Buddhism.

    Hahahaha; I'm like an annoying Yoda.

    O.o

    HozanlobsterShoshinsilver
  • KeromeKerome Did I fall in the forest? Europe Veteran

    Most prescription sleep medications are addictive... I've tried a few, including zopiclone. During one stint when I took my lorazepam for about two months on end I did become slightly physically addicted and had some withdrawal symptoms when I ceased, namely a very unpleasant restlessness and insomnia for about a week. However there was no craving or anything.

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator
    edited July 9

    Yes, @Tosh , @Kerome , I'm very much aware of how addictive zopiclone can be. To her credit, my doctor will only prescribe them for me, for the very reason that I use them so sporadically. Were my usage to increase, she would be on me like a shot, and be far more circumspect in her attitude. She's a great doctor....

    ETA, since using a grain of salt on my tongue every night, I actually have used them even less than before.

    KeromeHozan
  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Veteran

    Sleep is actually quite a complex thing that requires balanced hormones in the body. A healthy lifestyle contributes greatly to that hormone balance. But things like lack of exercise, chronic stress, poor diet and major life change like puberty and menopause can play a huge role. It's not a coincidence that so many older people wake up at 3am to start their day.

    Tosh
  • RefugeeRefugee San Francisco Explorer
    edited July 10

    I would look at the sleeping pills as a short term solution allowing you to jump start your way into a long term, sustainable solution. You don't go into much detail about what's keeping you up at night, so I'll dump some general advice. For starters, sleep hygiene is critically important. Do you use any screens in bed? A phone, tablet, or laptop?

    If so, you might try cutting that out. The bed should be kept as a place for refuge, sex (if you're so lucky!) and sleep. Your goal should be to train the body and the mind to expect sleep when you get into bed. If you're looking at your phone or a laptop, you're training your mind to be active and engaged when you're in bed, which is the last thing you want.

    In some ways, we are exactly like programmable computers. Our bodies and minds respond eagerly to routines, schedules, and rhythms. So, keeping a consistent bed time and consistent wake time is crucial to establishing healthy sleep. You might be tempted to sleep in late on weekends to make up for lost sleep, but in the long run, it can be counterproductive.

    You should stop eating at least three hours before bed. Avoid drinking too much fluid during this time so as to avoid being awoken by a full bladder later in the night.

    On the subject of supplements and minerals, all the ones mentioned here are useful. I would emphasize magnesium; most Westerners are deficient, and obtaining adequate amounts from the diet can be hard (likely true in other regions as well, but I lack data). Glycine helps a lot of people; I've found it pairs well with taurine (the two work together in electrolyte regulation). A 5,000 IU Vitamin D supplement in the morning can help regulate the circadian rhythm, especially if you're not getting bright light in the mornings. Vitamin A is also involved in circadian rhythm regulation, so you'll want to make sure you're eating your veggies and fruits. I do not recommend Vitamin A supplements for most people.

    Melatonin is safe. There is no evidence that the body develops a tolerance to it or downregulates its own melatonin production. However, as little as 0.25mg is effective; there is no need to overdo it. Cherries, by the way, contain natural melatonin, so they can make a great after-dinner snack.

    Part of the way melatonin works is by regulating the body's core temperature; when it drops, that signals to the body that it's time to sleep. For this reason, taking a hot shower in the evening a couple of hours before bed can be helpful.

    Exercise uniformly enhances sleep quality. It can take time, but working some regular exercise into your day, even if it's just a thirty minute walk, can go a long way toward enhancing your sleep quality and your overall health.

    Finally, a tricky thing to avoid is the anxiety about sleep that makes it hard to sleep. When you have insomnia, you might fixate on whether or not you're going to be able to sleep, and this fixation makes it all but impossible. It's a thought spiral difficult to disrupt. Meditation can help, obviously, but it's not a cure-all. You could try listening to this podcast at night. It's a silly little podcast by and for self-labeled insomniacs. It's the most boring podcast ever. It's also comforting and silly. It might be kind of weird the first time, but if you're lying in bed tossing and turning, you could give it a shot.

    http://www.sleepwithmepodcast.com/

    Hope some of this was helpful. I've had my own issues with sleep and these are the things that worked for me.

    HozanJeffrey
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    This article may be of interest to some ...

    "This study explored the relationship between having a sense of purpose in life and sleep quality and sleep disorders.
    Researchers found generally, having a greater sense of purpose in life was associated with better quality of sleep and a decreased likelihood of sleep disorders like sleep apnoea and restless leg syndrome.
    The researchers suggest this may be down to people having better overall physical and mental health.
    Although these are plausible hypotheses, there are a few points to note. As with the majority of cohort studies, it isn't possible to prove cause and effect and fully rule out the influence of other health, lifestyle and personal factors in the associations.
    For example, having a healthy lifestyle can have an impact on quality of sleep. Drinking too much alcohol, smoking, not getting enough exercise, and mental health problems may reduce the chances of having a good night's sleep.

    And it's difficult to know the exact impact of having less of a sense of purpose in life on sleep quality. This is a fairly abstract concept that may have various external influences this study wasn't able to fully explore.
    The length of time a person has felt a particular way may also have an effect. For example, the effect on sleep may not be the same in someone who's felt they have no purpose in life for a long time compared with someone who's recently been under acute stress.
    It would be interesting to conduct this study in young adults to see if the findings are similar. There may also be different possible influences on sleep, such as different dietary factors (like sugary drink consumption) or increased screen use, in other populations."

    Refugee
  • RefugeeRefugee San Francisco Explorer
    edited July 11

    Viktor Frankl, a World War II era psychiatrist, developed a form of therapy based precisely on this premise, namely, that a person's subjective experience is determined by the meaning (or lack thereof) ascribed to that experience. It's called logotherapy.

    Logotherapy is a term derived from “logos,” a Greek word that translates as “meaning,” and therapy, which is defined as treatment of a condition, illness, or maladjustment. Developed by Viktor Frankl, the theory is founded on the belief that human nature is motivated by the search for a life purpose; logotherapy is the pursuit of that meaning for one’s life. Frankl's theories were heavily influenced by his personal experiences of suffering and loss in Nazi concentration camps.

    Origins of Logotherapy

    Victor Frankl was born in Vienna in 1905. He trained as a psychiatrist and neurologist, working from the framework of existential therapy. During World War II, Frankl spent about three years in various Nazi concentration camps, an experience that greatly influenced his work and the development of logotherapy. Frankl observed that those who were able to survive the experience typically found some meaning in it, such as a task that they needed to fulfill. For Frankl personally, his desire to rewrite a manuscript that had been confiscated upon arrival at Auschwitz was a motivating factor. After the camps were liberated, Frankl resumed his work as a neurologist and psychiatrist. In 1946, he published Man’s Search for Meaning, outlining his experiences in the concentration camps as well as the basic tenets and techniques of logotherapy.

    I highly recommend the book.

    karastiHozan
  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Veteran

    Excellent book. One I stayed up late reading under the covers when i was younger. Re-read it a few years ago. Really is a must read!

  • BunksBunks Australia Veteran
    edited July 11

    My daughter has been taking 2mg of slow release melatonin (under doctor supervision) every night for about the last 3 years.

    It was a life saver for our family!

    We used to have 3 or 4 nights a week where she'd get up at 1am or 2am and it was like the middle of the day for her.....she would just be bouncing off the walls!

    Now it's lucky to happen once a month.

    I am a big fan of melatonin :)

  • vinlynvinlyn Colorado...for now Veteran

    Due to a heart issue, I can no longer take melatonin.

  • KeromeKerome Did I fall in the forest? Europe Veteran

    @vinlyn said:
    Due to a heart issue, I can no longer take melatonin.

    Oh really is there some interaction? I'd love to know what it was because my father since a short time ago has been suffering cardiac arrhythmia and I know he sometimes takes melatonin.

  • BunksBunks Australia Veteran

    @vinlyn said:
    Due to a heart issue, I can no longer take melatonin.

    Me too? I haven't read about that in any of the side effects.

Sign In or Register to comment.