Sleep Disorders/cant sleep at all.


i have exactly the same problem as Karen. i cant sleep without sleeping pills. ive been taking sleeping pills for five years now and sometimes they dont work. when this happens i cant sleep at all unless i drink alchol, which i dont recommend. the other day i flew back to the uk from america and suffered jet lag. i couldnt sleep at all. i tried in the afternoon to take a nap, but my head just tied itself into knots and i couldnt sleep, not even for a few minutes. in the evening i resorted to drinking rum and coke and then slept for about an hour. i woke up and couldnt fall asleep again, so i eventually resorted to taking 7.5mg of zopoclone plus the drink i had already had. i know this is dangerous, but i was desperate to sleep. i eventually slept. but the fact is if i do to much in a day or travel accross time zones i cant sleep at all. the sleeping pills are keeping me alive, but i dont think they will work for much longer. what should i do?

aFTER AWHILE alcohol acts as a stimulant and gives you more insomnia. I suggest you contact your physican and tell him you want to withdraw from the sleep meds.  You should cut 1/4 off every 10 days.  Understand insomnia will get worse while withdrawing this is because your brain is fighting to not return to normal sleep pattern.  You can ask your physician to give you ativan but only if the withdrawal is bad as you will anxiety and even ativan then can become addicting. You cannot do this without the physician knowing.  I fyou take a capsule sleep med.  open the capsule and spill a quarter of it out.  then 1/4 after 10 days or whenever the withdrawal effects diminish.  meantime try these natural tips.
Do this religiously for 4-6 weeks although some have seen changes in as little as 2 weeks.
3 hours before bedtime stay away from, caffeine, alcohol, chocolate, exercise, caramel colored soda like coke,pepsi, ginger ale or root beer, all this make for restless sleep.

When you get in the bed take a few slow deep breaths in and out, make sure room is dark, you can put some mellow music while you go off to sleep but make sure the alarm is set so it turns off after 30 minutes.  When you go to bed if you start to twist and turn only do it for 20 minutes, then you must get out of bed,go into a different room ,then read a book or magazine, no computer.When you start to doze immediately go back into the bed. This retrains the brain into thinking that the bed is for restful sleep only.  Do this as many times as you awaken thru the night. It will lesson.

30 minutes before sleep take a hot bath and put your hands, palms up under the bath water. Latest research is that the palms of the hands send signals to the brain that its time to wind down and get ready for sleep.  15 minutes before bedtime drink a glass of plain warm milk. Milk when heated contains tryptophan a natural amino acid sleep inducer.

If after all this is done for at least 4-6 weeks and you see no improvement consider going to a sleep center and having your sleep evaluated. Your local hospital can refer you.  For more information go to

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Karel Sleis


all questions on sleep disorders,expert on narcolepsy,its symptoms


i have narcolepsy since age l6

past chairman of the american narcolepsy association
member of narcolepsy network

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