My Insomnia and Starting Ambien ER

So last night, if you read the first part of this, I started Ambien ER 12.5mg.  As you have read, my insomnia problem has been a long one, a tiring one (no pun) and one that has sucked the life out of me.  Add pain to that, painsomnia, and you can forget about sleep most of the time.

So how was last night?

Let’s see.   I took my gabapentin, baby aspirin and now my Ambien 12.5 ER at 11pm.  I was out before my watch told me it’s time to start winding down – midnight.  Since I didn’t have work today I was able to sleep until my body woke me up; at 11am!  WOW!

I don’t think i sleep walked or did any of that crazy stuff people report because i woke up in the same position i fell asleep in; hugging my body pillow.

Yes, while waiting for my prescription last night at Costco I went around and saw these ultra comfy body pillows that were faux fur and were so incredibly comfortable I had to have one.  It took much pressure off of my nerves and allowed me to also wake up without the intolerable nerve pain down my legs and arms.

All in all, bueno!

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My Insomnia Has Reached Hell to the Nth

Since being forced to stop my nightly dose of marijuana – it put me to sleep – I have not had a good night’s sleep in 4 months.

For many of you reading this you are probably cringing saying to yourself “omg how do you function”.  I’ve been there many times in the last 17 years, I know hot to cope, what to do, what to eat, drink, etc.

Today after years of medications that would work and then stop working (Oxazepam (Serax), Temazepam (Restoril), Clonazepam (Klonopin), Alprazolam (Xanax), Diazepam (Valium), Lorazepam (Ativan)) we have decided to take a new U-turn in sleep management BUT remain on the clonazepam as it has shown useful while I finally get to sleep, it keeps me there.  That’s mostly the problem.  My sleep problem is called DSPD (yes I’ve done all those sleep studies, etc) and it means that I lack a wave that is there to put the brain to rest.  I use medicated sedation in its stead and then rely on the rest of the night to allow the brain to keep me asleep.

So today my primary care physician heard the necessity of sleep in my voice and decided on trying Ambien (Zolpidem ER) ER (Extended Release) @ 12.5mg which is the highest dose.  We’ve learned through time that the minimum or first doses have 0 effect on me so we always start higher than a normal sleepless person would.

Already I have anxiety about starting a new medication and what it will do or won’t do with regards to my sleep, or how it might interact with my heart and perhaps throw me into atrial fibrillation, or interact with the narcotics in a negative way, etc, anxiety.  The more I think about it the more anxiety I get about it so I need to just forget about it completely and think more positively about it and that I will in fact get sleep tonight.

Ambien is a sedative-hypnotic.  I have not been on this classification of medications before and “hypnotic” makes me kind of writhe around in my seat.  Someone like me, I do my research, and I find all the things that a hypnotic will do vs what it won’t do.  So, so far, it looks like it may work on me.  Perhaps not the first night, due to anxiety, but the second night.  I also like to start at the lowest dose versus jumping up to the highest as we’ve done previously so I am going to split the tablet in half and take half the ER dose into 6.25mg for tonight and then probably 12.5mg tomorrow night.

It’s just finally hit the point where the pain is taking over, nerve pain especially, and it’s having such a detrimental effect on my sleep health and my sleep backlog.  In the past week from last thursday to today I’ve had probably 9 hours of sleep with microsleeps in the middle of the days whenever they happen as I can’t control those and you never remember them – but they do happen.

Wish me luck, I’ll need it.

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