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CPAP nightmare
Well I'm up at 1:30 again. The Ambien CR failed to keep me asleep and the anxiety from the zoloft has me wired again. I'd medicate but my wife hid the meds for sleepwalking fears. I was ready to fall asleep at 5:30 yesterday afternoon. My circadians are all screwed up.

Ready to call it quits. The CPAP, the Zoloft, the Ambien, everything, just give me a good night's sleep for once.

Quote:You'll never adapt as long as you keep sleeping without the machine.

Yeah, you're probably right.
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Hi bernerbits,

I am so sorry to hear about your continuing struggles.

If you are serious about getting off of your meds, I would google these terms:

1. Harm Reduction Guide to getting off of Psych meds - It is neither pro or con but discusses all the issues to consider in whether to get off of them or not.
2. Surviving Antidepressants Forum - If you decide to get off your meds, this is the forum to go to for support. Please don't be fooled by the title as they cover getting off of many types of meds. They advise members to do a very slow taper to minimize withdrawal issues and help you come up with a strategy for doing it. I know the standard advice is to consult your doctor and by all means do that. But be careful if he/she suggests a too fast tapering rate.


PS - The surviving antidepressants forum is not beholden to anyone financially and totally depends on donations for financial support.

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Well, it turned out the CR did help me get back to sleep. I was hoping it would get me straight through the night, but the second half of the night it helped me control the night wakings and lie peacefully in bed waking up from dreams.

Anyway I got about 8 hours of moderate quality sleep, 4 of them on CPAP.

For the person who told me I would never adapt - my sleep journal indicates that I am sleeping increasing hours on the CPAP each night, regardless of my ongoing sleep struggles.

Anxiety is still an issue -- it wasn't, until I lost almost two nights trying to sleep through, and opted for meds. Not sure what I'm gonna do about the Zoloft. It seems to be the wildcard here. On the one hand if I can get through the titration it will probably improve my sleep, my mood, fight anxiety without the daily use of Ativan, and taper off Ambien more effectively. On the other hand, I would be less anxious at night and throughout the day once it's out of my system.
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(09-20-2016, 05:30 AM)bernerbits Wrote: Anyway I got about 8 hours of moderate quality sleep, 4 of them on CPAP.

my sleep journal indicates that I am sleeping increasing hours on the CPAP each night, regardless of my ongoing sleep struggles.

Anxiety is still an issue

hi bernerbits,

good progress.

sounds like you made the initial breakthrough of being able to tolerate the CPAP for basic compliance and therapeutic effect.

if all you got was 4 hrs per night for a short while, you would still feel better and also meet the threshold for compliance.

expect this to cascade in a good way as you continue getting some restful sleep, feel better, sleep longer, and the CPAP hours will begin to climb on their own.

celebrate small victories and keep your chin up.

Saldus Miegas
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I fear that the Ambien is cheating... but my sleep therapist says she will help me taper off when the need comes.
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(09-20-2016, 09:44 AM)bernerbits Wrote: I fear that the Ambien is cheating... but my sleep therapist says she will help me taper off when the need comes.

Taking meds to sleep is not cheating. If you feel the Ambien is helping, that is all that matters.


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Well I'm calling it - this is a bad drug combination for me. My neurologist has me taking Ambien with time release Melatonin, and somehow that combination is shifting me onto a shortened sleep/wake cycle. My body's preferred bedtime has gone from 9 at night to 8 to (when I started the time release melatonin) 5 in the afternoon.

Ambien gets me consistent 4 hours on the CPAP but it seems hard wired to wake me up at 1. Last night I was able to get back to sleep on the Ambien CR, but tonight all it got me was a few hours of very light sleep/dozing/daydreaming after 1 AM.

My psychiatrist did not think the Zoloft was the source of my insomnia and anxiety, since I tolerated it well before. Going to ask my neurologist about switching to Lunesta or Restoril.
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Hi Berner Bits,

Just because you tolerated Zoloft previously, doesn't mean you can't have problems the 2nd go around. Obviously, you have to make the call but I just wanted to throw that out there for you to consider.

I am sorry you are struggling so much med wise. Hope things improve.

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Well, I did get 6 hours plus some hours of light stage 1 sleep; too bad it was concentrated at the *start* of the night instead of the *end*.

I'm going to stay on the zoloft as planned, giving it another week at a consistent 25 mg, then titrate up to 50 mg. I'm going to take 1 1/2 doses of Ativan per day, once in the morning and once at 1 PM, with the goal of weaning off daily Ativan as the Zoloft takes effect for anxiety.

I'm going to gradually push my bedtime back, 15 minutes per night as tolerated, until I am waking up at 5 as desired, and then increase by 15 minutes per week until I'm getting a full 7 hours.

If my neurologist doesn't want to change sleep meds, I'm going to switch from Ambien CR to the standard release Ambien, with 5 mg of Ambien at the start of the night, and 5 mg when it wakes me up in the middle of the night - if it wakes me before 3. I'll try this plan for a week and reevaluate again with my doctors.

Once I have the magic cocktail of drugs that has me sleeping through the night on CPAP for a full week, I will work on a taper plan, with my sleep therapist, to get me off the sleep meds and sleeping comfortably on CPAP. My psychiatrist has agreed to meet with me in October to discuss Hydroxyzine as a sleep aid/substitute for Ambien.
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Another thing to consider is 5-HTP. It is a naturally occurring amino acid that is a precursor to serotonin which is then converted into melatonin (that is a very high level summary). You might find that this boosts your serotonin, in turn boosting your melatonin leading to better sleep. I found that melatonin at bed time was like getting clubbed in the head. Taking 5-HTP earlier in the day produced overall better results.

I would not lean on this long term. I started taking this as an anti-depressant and it worked for that. But it focuses on one small part of a larger system and after a couple of years, I developed a dopamine imbalance that left me severely depressed.
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