I saved this post of mine as this topic comes up a lot here, insomnia is one of the more difficult issues during detox......
Insomnia is one of the most commonly reported symptoms of detox/withdrawal, and probably one of the more irritating. Sleep affects our mood, energy levels, concentration, everything.
While it is frustrating, some of the best advice I've seen is to try to allow the sleep to come back as naturally as possible, which is best for the long run. If you're going to try anything, I agree that a more natural supplement would be the best choice. I would personally not advise taking a prescribed insomnia med, for a few reasons...one, because obviously there are some risks involved. These are some very potent medications, and everyone reacts differently to them. The biggest reason is because, depending on how long you would take one of these meds, you will have to deal with rebound insomnia when you stop taking them. The rebound insomnia is often bad enough that it makes the initial insomnia look like a walk in the park. Insomnia meds should be limited to the shortest course possible, to avoid dependency, and the rebound insomnia issues.
That being said, I am a professional insomniac. ;-) I have struggled with my sleep for YEARS, not due to addiction, but due to many other factors (anxiety, depression, shift work). While I don't always get the best night sleep...I've learned some tricks of the trade that sincerely do help. Before turning to potent meds, I would advise you to exhaust all other methods, including the more natural or OTC remedies (which, you should also limit as much as possible, because rebound insomnia will occur with those too, after enough regular use).
Here are some tips to help with your sleep:
1. Avoid any and all stimulants (caffeine, nicotine, energy drinks, etc) as much as possible, especially within 4+ hours of bedtime.
2. Exercise is a great way to induce sleep, as it releases natural endorphins. Even a brisk evening walk will help. Your exercise should be an hour or more before your bedtime..you don't want to exercise right before bed.
3. Try to avoid eating a heavy meal close to bedtime. If you're hungry, stick to a light snack an hour or more before bed. Avoid ALL fluids 3 (or more if you can) hours before bed. Nothing worse than finally getting to bed and have mother nature wake you up!
4. Stick to a consistent bedtime and a consistent bedtime routine. Even on days when you don't FEEL tired at your bedtime, try to stick to your routine...that conditions your body and brain. Pick a reasonable time. If you work 3-11:30 and get home at 12, a reasonable time isn't 12:30, as you would need time to unwind after getting home.
5. Create an environment conducive to sleep and relaxation. Your bedroom and bed should be an inviting place that you look forward to retiring to. Keep the room clean and clutter free, keep dust levels down. Keep your bedding washed with clean or fresh smelling scents. Choose comfy, non-binding clean smelling PJs. ALL of our 5 senses affect our mood, and also our sleep. If you have a quiet room, but your sheets smell like feet (lol), that won't be very relaxing. Keep the room DARK. Keep weather in mind. In the summer, you would only need a light sheet or blanket, in the winter, heavier blankets are necessary to keep you comfy. Again, back to the senses...if you create a bed that keeps you too hot or too cold, that will interfere with your sleep. Keep a glass or bottle of water at your bedside, in case you awaken with that dry mouth and need for a drink. This way you don't have to get out of bed to get something to drink. Light soothing music or white noise machines for LOW (not blaring) background noise can be helpful. Try to avoid using TV as a background noise, as our brains are still working while asleep, and the things you hear from the TV could affect your anxiety levels and even dreams. Basically, sleeping with sounds of "The Chainsaw Massacre" in the background won't lead to happy thoughts. ;0) A warm bath or shower is great before bed...dry your hair. Never go to bed with wet hair. NOT comfy!
6. Ignore the urge to get out of bed. Even when you're feeling frustrated, try to remain in bed, reposition yourself, adjust your sheets, read a book if you are not falling asleep, but the more up and down you do, the harder it is to get and stay asleep it is. The same goes for nighttime awakening. If you DO fall asleep and wake up in the middle of the night, ignore the urge to get out of bed...again, reposition yourself, adjust the sheets, and try to go back to sleep. When you get up out of bed, you're waking yourself more. If you stay lying in bed, you are not as awake. If nature calls...go to the BR, and get right back to bed..no snacking, no smoke breaks (I'm bad at this...lol). Those things are murder for sleep. Get up...go potty, right back to bed.
7. When you DO manage to finally start on a consistent routine, you'll find things that help and hurt your sleep. Take note of them and adjust your regimen as needed. Sleep patterns will change, and life happens, so sometimes, adjustments need to be made. Consistency is TRULY the key..I cannot stress that enough.
8. Listen to your body. For a while, while your sleep is lousy, you will feel tired at odd times of the day. Your body is telling you it needs rest, so heed the wanring...take a nap. Lie down on the sofa, and catch a 1 hour (or less) nap. Don't nap for hours at a time, that will interfere with your nighttime sleep. An hour is the perfect amount of time for a refresher. Also, don't nap in bed. Once you're conditioned, your bed should be for nighttime sleeping only.
Hope these tips help some...I know these are the things I do that help me get some decent sleep. It's not always foolproof, but it works pretty well. Please be patient for a while too...your body is getting back to normal, and that takes some time. If you are going days without any sleep, definitely see your doctor. Sleep depivation is a whole other ballgame, it can be dangerous.
Best to you...sweet dreams!
I'm on day 20 and am sleeping pretty well, about 8 hrs a night now (don't throw anything at me:)! The first 2 weeks were rough and I was waking up after 3 hrs and tossing and turning. I think it got better at day 10 and then better each night thereafter. Initially I was taking melatonin but now I'm going to sleep with no assistance. It takes time, and its frustrating in the beginning. I remember saying "all I want is just a good night's sleep." Hahaha! It gets better, and I think that it helps to heal quicker once those restful nights finally arrive.
SLEEP? oh how I miss it BUT it will get better!
Theres nothing like a good night's sleep of the oxys lol buti will say this withdrawal feels so easy is almost scary.no rls no up set stomache no jitters just feel bummed out and extreamly lazy. maybe that's the clondine working idk. Just can't wait to get over this feeling ya know
3 weeks today:) sleep is still horrid!! I just lay on bed, racing thoughts, wiggling legs... It's gotta give soon!!
What is this "sleep" everybody is talking about? Sounds addictive.. ;o)