I am taking 1200 mg Lithium Carb for help with mood swings. It is very effective and there does not seem to be a down-side except one: I've got a bad case of insomnia. Benzodiazepines and Ambien caused me to be depressed / mood-swings. On Lithium alone I am really fine -- except for the sleeping, which is a BIG problem.
Any suggestions how to get better sleep while on the lithium???
Well, I do not know a solution other than eat carbs or drink something soothing like warm tea at your middle of the night peak. I have the same problem with Lithum, so if you do find some solution please let me know.
I find valium works well for me but normally my insommnia is related to racing thoughts rather than the Lithium. There are a lot of natural remedies some people swear by as well, Dozile is supposed to work well but I found it useless.
Sorry not much help, best advice is, as always, speak to your doctor
Someone will call me out on this if it is bad advice, I hope! I need to get allergy testing and it's been a very expensive year for us, so I've been putting off. (Plus, it's hard to leave the house anyway). We are uninsured.
Anyway, I take one pseudoephedrine only at night so I can breathe. The pharmacist recommended that I take Benadryl instead of some of the other OTC allergy meds. That was okay with my psychiatrist who knows I have a problem with pseudoephedrine winding things up and keeping me awake - or worse. So, I take a regular dose of Benadryl tablets to cancel out the pseudoephedrine. I have not heard of an interaction; the pharmacist and doctor both approved it. It is very good for allergies, but the major problem many people have is from drowsiness. You might ASK YOUR DOCTOR if it would do any harm, especially if you are on another allergy medication or if it might interact with some other prescription medication. Better safe than sorry. It does make make me drowsy. Sometimes I still don't sleep, but I don't have insomnia or anything. It's a different issue altogether... Actually, there are many safe medications that are not specifically for sleeping problems that will likely put you to sleep. Because of another physical health issue, I have a prescription med that does knock me out. I might use it once a month or every couple of months, so your doctor may have to think outside the box to help you find relief. I won't name the other medication here. I may already have said too much.
Thanks. That is news to me. I have only a short list of interactions they gave me at the pharmacy and the word of people who should know.
I had tried other decongestants because we keep pseudoephedrine in the pharmacies now since folks use it make meth. Unfortunately, they don't work. I only take one tablet, which is half the regular adult dose. I cannot handle two of those. I am bouncing off the walls. I will have to look and see how rare. I would hate someone to try it and then fall out.
I dread the idea of taking allergy meds daily, but then they told me that allergy shots would still take two or three months. I'm not keen on shots either. That's life, though.
I hate having to buy pseudoephedrine from behind the pharmacy counter. You have to show your driver's license and seems like I've had to sign something somewhere - maybe that was when I was in another state with my grandparents. It's too bizarre to feel like a suspect because you have a stuffy nose! My husband was supposed to get me some about 10 days ago and then we had unexpected bad weather. I ran out, was snowed in, yada yada. When I finally got out to the store five or six days later, I told him about it. It was one of those days and I looked like someone with a meth lab - dirty, tangled hair, clothes that didn't match, no jewelry or makeup, face broken out... He said, 'that's why you wanted me to get it'. You betcha!
I started lithium 4 days ago and despite my regular sleeping pill I'm having trouble sleeping. I have trouble dropping off (didn't used to be a problem) and I wake about 2 hours later with a sudden start and then can't get back to sleep. Feel very agitated and what I can only describe as "jumping/jittery".
Wondering whether to ask my doc for a valium prescription to help combat this.
Are you taking any other meds along with the lithium, bulldozer? I ask because I started on 600mg lithium about a month ago and was having similar sleep difficulties (see my comment above) but I am also taking 500mg of Depakote which took awhile to kick in but it seems it has had a moderating effect on the lithium induced insomnia now. Hang in there!
I'm having a heck of a time sleeping and I just was upped to 450mgs at night. I'm switching over to taking it mid afternoon to see if it makes a difference. I have a sleep disorder to start with and take 200mgs of Trazadone, 250mgs Lamactil, 100mgs of Seroqual and Ativan if I need it. On the positive side since my Lithium was upped, my restless legs syndrome has stopped, weird.
My pdoc also suggested splitting up my doses, to 150 mgs, 3x a day as a possible solution. That might be an option for you?
Yes I take depakote also. Currently on 500mg Depakote and 400mg Lithium and 20 - 40mg Zopiclone (for sleep). What worries me is that the lithium is going to be increased to around 900mg over the next couple of months and the Depakote reduced to 250mg, so if I'm having trouble sleeping now whats it going to be like then!
LetaB - I am wondering whether it is just a matter of waiting for things to settle down and that this side effect will go away on its own. Do you take both your meds at night?
LCC - I've decided to take my lithium 3 hours before bed rather than at bedtime to see if it makes a difference. I shall certainly mention splitting doses when I next see my psych after Christmas.
I had wrongly assumed that it would knock me out so I'm really surprised its had the opposite effect. Its all a learning curve I suppose, just damn frustrating while your going through it.
You might be a little hypomanic actually, thats not uncommon as you are beedding things in, and do not forget any new drug can cause disruption with existing drugs - lithium because of its nature can affect absorbption of other drugs easily which is why checking before taking anything is vital.
Ohh damn forgot to say that Lithium Insommnia is only anecdotal from everything I have read, its not a noted side effect apparently and as with all anecdotal symptoms its hard to know if its really a side effect.
When you consider that insommnia is not unusual for BP's and most of us take more than one drug and that we also cycle through mood states it becomes really hard to say that its the Lithium for sure, I personally would tend to discount this as a side effect because I have only ever read in forum posts on various forums and without knowing peoples individual cases its hard to say
Lithium is a drug that gets blamed for everything on the planet by some patients so its hard to say, a lot of it is the halo effect and the me to thinking process because patients read all these vocal horror stories and think lithium is evil and they need medication X to fix them - the reality is that Lithium is still the most effective and widely prescribed mood stabiliser around because it works and is safe in 99% of circumstances*
I found with Zopiclone, if you didn't go to bed right after taking it, you end up staying up all night! I did, and forgot to mention, I took my Lithium at dinner last night, and got a decent 6 hours sleep. I just took my Lith. just now 4:30 my time and I am going to see what happens. I'm wiped out after having so few hours of sleep the last few days but I know if I nap, I'm never going to sleep tonight :( Aren't the symptoms of BP just a ball of fun? (deep sarcasm here)
Oh, meant to say that i don't think its hypomania, not unless you can get a 4 hour hypomanic phase that starts at the same time 3 nights on the trot half an hour after taking the tablet. Also definitely not showing any signs of hypomania during the day, just damn worn out, lol!
Today i would sleep, sleep, sleep - i'm shattered, sadly not going to get the opportunity.
Bipolar and having to take Lithium is discouraging to such a lady. I am fighting insomnia at present and that is where the name sleepwalker comes in. I really wish I could just sleep. I have put out some questions and hopefully I will get some answers.
i started taking lithium 300 mg once at am , and two at pm ,and i think this is causing me to have insomnia which is really bad ,last night i took two xannax 05 ,and one sleeping pill and finally at around 1;30 i fell asleep ,this morning was hard to get up , is this something lithium causes? need some answers , please...........Brown , S
I have been on Lithium 1500mg/day (600mg/morning and 900mg/night) and only the last three months since the upgrade in MG from 1200 to 1500 have I been waking up every 4-5hours nightly and most of the time can't fall asleep for hours later. I also take Ambien 10mg/nightly to fall asleep sometimes I have to take 2 of them. Being Bipolar I have always had trouble sleeping but I'm suspecting the 900mg/night might be too much. I'm going to try to switch it to the morning. I would suggest eating enough throughout the day, good salt and definitely water intake. Also sometimes the Lithium level might be too high for you even if it is in the 'normal range' (0.5-1.2), it might need to be a little lower to suit your symptoms and sleep. Good luck. I love Lithium it has helped a lot.
I have Bi-Polar Disorder and it unfortunately messes up many aspects of your daily life including most importantly your sleep. I'm on 300 mg of Lithium as well as 300 mg of Lamictal at night and my mind just won't stop racing - it won't shut off. So, I end up laying there for about an hour or 2 getting so frustrated and then get up and start raiding the kitchen for something to eat. Right now, I'm eating a spoonful of peanut butter (reduced-fat, mind you) and oh, it tastes good!!!! But..................I'd rather be sound asleep in my warm bed dreaming happy dreams and feeling rested and relaxed by morning. So, I'm hoping for the best and holding out that things will start to turn around somewhat for me. Lord knows, I need a miracle. Any other suggestions would be more than welcomed. Thanks!
This is a part of the B100 vitamin and is found in the health food store.An expert with 40 years experience and a Bipolar daughter swears by Choline.Take up to 2,000 mgs a day and spread it out if you can.
I have Bipolar and insomnia for 40 year.I have just been properly diagnosed with Bipolar 1 and I will use TRUE HOPE vitamins from Alberta,Choline for racing thoughts and a small,small amount of Lithium.TRUE HOPE vitamins are helpful to people like us BUT THEY CAN MAKE antidepressants 5 x stronger and other meds.This can cause MORE mania so research and talk to a doctor if you go my route.
Vitamins have been shown to improve mood and 20 years of pig testing was done on anxious agressive pigs.
A Harvard pychiatrist testified in 2003 that the vitamins were keeping his patients stable but they so Health Canada allowed the company to continue.
Site on Bipolar and Choline ,racing thoughts and insomnia http://www.bipolardisordersymptoms.info/bipolar-symptoms/racing-thoughts.htm
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