I am now day 5 clean. Feeling great. But one thing is the past few nights I have taken 800mg ibuprofen and 5mg flexeril to help with the restlessness. It works! Should I stick with ot or slowly taper it down to get use to a normal nights sleep? Ive tried the tea hot baths and melatonin etc. They put me to sleep then I'm wide awake at 3am. I also can't afford no sleep because I am a stay home mom of 3 year old twins. Any suggestions would help. (Yay for 5 days clean)
I know exactly what you mean about being up at 3am!! LOL. Sleep is the last thing to return.. I am still up at 3am!! I've learned to go to bed as early as possible!! LOL. Congrats on day 5. Your doing great..
I'm not sure about that and I definitely don't want to mislead you in any way. Is the flex prescribed? My opinion (I'm NO expert) would be to take the smallest dose that works only for as long as needed. At 6 months in I still have to take Melatonin nightly..
There are also other alternatives to sleep aid medications that can help during opiate withdrawal. One thing that works well for a lot of people is the use of hot baths, hot tubs, and trips to the sauna. These methods help relax the body and can be great for dealing with the chills and aches/pains. Exercising is another option but is something that can be quite difficult to do when going through withdrawals. When one exercises, their body releases endorphins just like how our bodies do when we use our drug of choice. Not only is exercise healthy for you, it will also often leave you feeling tired at the end of the day. Some decaffeinated tea, warm milk, or hot coco before bed can be soothing for some as well and is great for helping with the chills. Coffee isn't a bad idea during the day to get you up and going while withdrawing but should be avoided close to bedtime. The great thing about these methods are that they are not addicting or habit forming.
There are also several relaxation techniques that can be beneficial as well. When I first heard of these, I thought they were just a bunch of B.S. but must admit they did actually help a little after finally giving them a chance. Relaxation techniques include breathing exercises, mediating, and listening to those audio tapes that play peaceful sounds or music. Lets face it, when you're withdrawing you're basically willing to try anything to help yourself get through those rough times. I also find creating and sticking to a going to sleep and waking up schedule helps a lot to with sleep. What I mean by this is to not have nights were you're up until 3 A.M. and wake up the next day at 11 A.M. then following the previous day by going to bed early and waking up early. Make a schedule and stick to it.
A breathing exercise that I have found to help with not only getting to sleep but relaxing works by lowering your pulse and clearing your mind. For some people, this works well while others may not notice much of a difference. It takes a little practice to get used to as well. It can also help when you have a panic attack or are frustrated. This breathing exercise is called the 4-7-4 technique and works as follows:
1. Sit down in a chair with your back straight and hands together meeting at your stomach.
2. Your fingers should interlock at your stomach with the backside (opposite of your palm side) of your hands facing out.
3. Inhale and take a 4 second continuous breath of fresh air and hold it in for 7 seconds.
4. After holding your breath for 7 seconds, release your breath for 4 seconds continuously
5. Continue this 3-5 times
Another thing that may help is simply reading a book, surfing the web, or watching a little television before bed. It will help keep your mind busy while giving you some entertainment to pass the time and relax. However, don't just sit there for a few hours watching television, surfing the web, or playing video games as this can have the opposite effect. Try doing something that you really enjoy that doesn't take up a lot of your energy. Having a good environment around you before you go to sleep can make quite the difference so make sure you're in a relaxed, quiet, and comfortable environment each night.
Herbal Methods -
There are also some natural herbs out there that are said to help with sleep. While I have never tried any of these herbs, the ones I most commonly hear about are Valerian Root and St. John’s Wort, which can usually be found at stores like GNC or Vitamin World. There are other herbal remedy's out there as well. I have also heard Lavender can help. Don't look at these herbs as something you shouldn't talk to your doctor about as some of them carry side effects or can have adverse effects with other medications. As always, be smart and talk with your doctor!
It may seem odd, but I would lay down in total silence and dark, not easy with 2 kids, but I would flex all my muscles in my body starting at my does and work my way up. Then I would count backward from 100 over and over. I found I would skip numbers, lose track of what number I was on, then I would wake up. I didn't sleep long in the first days, but I found that helped. Even if I didn't sleep, relaxing the body and mind did.
Reading a book always helps me get tired. I crawl in bed all comfy after a bath with my soft warm blankets, turn off the lights and read on my Kindle or phone. As long as you need. I start falling asleep within an hour. And even if you don't your mind is occupied and you don 't dwell on it all.
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