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Sleep medication reduction
#1
Question 
I'm new to this, and get my trial machine on Tuesday. What I am curious about is, has anyone been diagnosed with sleep apnea, got started on treatment and then over time been able to reduce or come off of their sleep medications altogether?

Thanks for any input!
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#2
a lot of insomniacs find they are having a hard time increasing their sleep when they start the CPAP regimen. some find relief, but most struggle or give up therapy (not because it was ineffective, but because many of the most irritating symptoms are still present). I'll add that the symptoms highly likely are not related to sleep disorder breathing. for those that stick with it, they usually stay on meds (or come back to them).

QAL
Dedicated to QALity sleep.
You'll note I am listed as an Advisory Member. I am honored to be listed as such. See the fine print - Advisory Members as a group provide advice and suggestions to Apnea Board administrators and staff concerning Apnea Board operation and administrative policies. Membership in the Advisory Member group should not be understood as in any way implying medical expertise or qualification for advising Sleep Apnea patients concerning their treatment.
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#3
Thanks QAL.....yeah I wondered if the two were even related? I have used sleeping medication for 15 yrs and still sleep crappy. Now that I have been diagnosed with OSA, I just wondered if with good tx I may have that option to opt out of sleeping meds down the road. I sure hope I don't have lots of troubles getting adjusted right away, tho I do realize its no walk in the park to start out.

Appreciate your input!
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#4
Hi Kakkles,
WELCOME! to the forum.!
Hang in there for more responses to your post and good luck to you as you start your CPAP journey.
trish6hundred
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#5
(07-12-2015, 06:22 PM)quiescence at last Wrote: a lot of insomniacs find they are having a hard time increasing their sleep when they start the CPAP regimen. some find relief, but most struggle or give up therapy (not because it was ineffective, but because many of the most irritating symptoms are still present). I'll add that the symptoms highly likely are not related to sleep disorder breathing. for those that stick with it, they usually stay on meds (or come back to them).

QAL

Hi,

Just curious what symptoms of insomnia are you speaking of?
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#6
I tapered completely off Ambien using a 16 week schedule posted by DocWils. I took the last dose a couple of months ago. I was on it for more than 5 years before the OSA diagnosis.
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#7
(07-12-2015, 07:28 PM)Kakkles Wrote: Thanks QAL.....yeah I wondered if the two were even related? I have used sleeping medication for 15 yrs and still sleep crappy. Now that I have been diagnosed with OSA, I just wondered if with good tx I may have that option to opt out of sleeping meds down the road. I sure hope I don't have lots of troubles getting adjusted right away, tho I do realize its no walk in the park to start out.

Hi Kakkles -- I think it's reasonable to expect that as sleep improves with CPAP, the need for a sleep medication may diminish or disappear, but the best bet is to go slow and don't start reducing the medication until sleep has pretty well stabilized on CPAP. I think a mistake some people make is to jump off their sleep medication too early when they start CPAP, and they end up dealing with the CPAP adjustment at the same time as a change in medication. For already-sensitive sleepers that can prove to be too much. Better to take it one change at a time.Smile
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#8
(07-12-2015, 08:50 PM)kaiasgram Wrote:
(07-12-2015, 07:28 PM)Kakkles Wrote: Thanks QAL.....yeah I wondered if the two were even related? I have used sleeping medication for 15 yrs and still sleep crappy. Now that I have been diagnosed with OSA, I just wondered if with good tx I may have that option to opt out of sleeping meds down the road. I sure hope I don't have lots of troubles getting adjusted right away, tho I do realize its no walk in the park to start out.

Hi Kakkles -- I think it's reasonable to expect that as sleep improves with CPAP, the need for a sleep medication may diminish or disappear, but the best bet is to go slow and don't start reducing the medication until sleep has pretty well stabilized on CPAP. I think a mistake some people make is to jump off their sleep medication too early when they start CPAP, and they end up dealing with the CPAP adjustment at the same time as a change in medication. For already-sensitive sleepers that can prove to be too much. Better to take it one change at a time.Smile

Great response!
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#9
Thanks everyone! I agree, about going slow. I wouldn't reduce my meds unless under a Drs regime...My sleep is precious to me and long term use of sleeping aids requires the decreasing to be monitored. I tried a few yrs back to reduce one and I was in agony, so the dependancy is definitely there.

I look forward to getting much better sleep. I start tx in 2 days so I am anxious and aware it won't be an easy transition but that the end results are worth it. (I hope at least!)

Thanks for the welcomes and input....Appreciate it...
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#10
I was one of those optimistic insomniacs who hoped that using CPAP would solve my insomnia problems, but unfortunately it didn't. I did notice some change in my sleeping patterns early on but eventually my insomnia returned. That said, I am sticking with the CPAP because I was able to get used to it fairly quickly and feel that the benefits still outweigh the negatives. My experiences of the past 6 months have led me to believe--at least in my case--there is no relationship between my moderate SA and insomnia. For others it may be different, but for me, I don't think there's any connection.

I used to be on Ambien but switched to Temazapam (30 mg) a couple years ago and it works much better for me. I use it sparingly, on average 1-2 times a week. I also have a short term sleeping pill (10 mg Sonata) that I take if I'm awake at 2 in the morning and can't sleep. A month ago I was having a particularly bad spell of insomnia and found myself using it 4-5 times a week but things have improved since then. Without it, I average 4-5 hours of sleep per night. With the Temazapam, I can get in 6-7 hours.

CPAP has not affected how often I use them though.
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