Advice needed on sleeping pills - Anxiety Support

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Advice needed on sleeping pills


Hi, 2.5 weeks ago my doctor have me Zopiclone to help me sleep as a short term measure. I know how addictive the are and really want to stop taking them, I tried taking just one last night but woke up at 3am and just couldn't get back to sleep. I don't know whether to just stop taking them completely and eventually I'll start to sleep again in a few days or what I should do? Anyone had similar experience and have any advice? Please no replies with horror stories of bad withdrawals, this is already what I am really anxious about! Thanks xx

22 Replies

I was on Zopiclone 7.5 for many years. They eventually did nothing for me. I was never tired, just felt wide awake all day and could stay awake all night. I ran out over the New Year and in January 2014 and I tried to stop completely. I never slept for 4 days and nights, there was no debilitating side effects as such. However, I was already suffering from anxiety and this became even more severe. Tapering off would not work and a young GP suggested I take tablets called Pherghan which were antihistamine. Considering I was on the maximum dose of Zopiclone, I didn't hold out much hope.

How wrong I was, that night I slept properly (not the short knockout period that sleeping pills give}. I carried on with them, the only side effect was a dry mouth, but it was worth it for the sleep. Then I realised that I wasn't anxious any more.

My life changed completely from then on. I take the Phenergan occasionally, not because they help me to sleep, but to ensure my anxiety never comes back.

Thanks this is helpful, is pherghan available at the pharmacy, are u in the uk? X

foxglove in reply to willow1990

Available OTC form Boots pharmacy - don't know about others. Helped me sleep! - but effects wore off after a time. Another product I use is Kirkland Sleep Aid (also anti-histamine), available on line.

P.S. I alternate as necessary. Different anti- histamines in products

willow1990 in reply to foxglove

Thanks I will certainly try it, after getting NO sleep at all last night I'm feeling pretty desperate xx

I am in the UK. I don't get it over the counter. It is on prescription for me for as and when I need it. I don't know if the OTC version is a strong. It wasn't an option when he prescribed a they don't prescribe lightly if you can get items OTC.

If you try it, you might find you do sleep and perhaps get sleepy, as your body is very tired, but you have been wide awake.

I hope it helps you. It is the best thing that ever happened to me, especially for my anxiety. My life has completely changed.

Fingers crossed x

foxglove in reply to willow1990

Good well I know the desperation of no sleep!

Good luck, let me know how you get on. Take it approx. an hour before you go to bed.

Have u tried piriton? X

Only for hayfever and sneezing. I never thought of antihistamine for sleeping. After he prescribed the Phenerghan, I never looked at anything else. You could try it I suppose, you never know. Warm Wishes.

Managed to get the phenerghan, going to try it tonight, feeling really anxious about bedtime. Do u find that u can't sleep without the phenerghan in the same way that u can't sleep after taking sleeping tablets? Am I just creating a new issue, and still won't be able to sleep unaided? Sorry, my worrying! X

Don't get anxious about them as you might keep yourself awake. Sleeping tablets just knock you out, rather like alcohol, so you don't get a proper, refreshing sleep.

I kept taking the Phenergan for a couple of weeks, as I said the side effects were a dry mouth. (The side effects from sleeping pills is being constantly awake). Now I only take Phen once in a while mainly to keep my anxiety at bay, which I haven't had for nearly 4 years now, sleeping normally when I don't take them.

One thing about my sleep pattern is that I don't sleep as much as I did years ago, probably to do with age. Also, believe it or not, my sleep is affected by the phases of the moon and I don't really sleep properly during a full moon, keeping awake. However, when I don't sleep now it is completely different and I just read or go on my computer.

I then sleep longer each evening until the next Full Moon. It is also helps if you get up early and go to bed later in the evening when you are ready to sleep. (I am retired), so if I nap at all, I am guaranteed not to be able to sleep at night, but it is a different scenario.

NB, I know you realise this, but you should not go back to sleeping pills, or use them with the Phenerghan.

I can only tell you what worked for me, I notice someone else said that they only worked for a short time, they might just have been unlucky.

You might be interested to know that I researched Phenergan and these are what doctors prescribed for sleep before sleeping pills came in to being.

NB, I should have said, if they don't work tonight, keep persevering.

Hallo, I also meant to say that I had had a long stressful day, unwound with a meal and drink, had taken the tablet and as I never assumed it would work, never gave it a second thought until I woke up on the morning and realised that I had slept. I had not thought about the tablet and I had expected it to work one way or the other.

So I took two last night - they kind of worked - I did sleep! But it was broken, and I woke with a panic attack around 3am but was able to get back to sleep after the panic attack calmed down a bit so better than the night before!! Should I take them again tonight? Xx

Yes, keep taking them for at least two weeks.

Just read a article in the paper from a dr . It said the pills available now are designed to clear your system by the morning to prevent a hang over feeling in the morning, They may not send you to sleep instantly. You need to find the time to wind down-around an hour before bed time. That means no looking at phones, Computers,tv etc, better still try 2 hours wind down. They emit blue light which suppresses the release of melatonin, the hormone that makes you feel sleepy. You also need to cool down your body temperature by 1c . A hot shower or bath will help as it sends the blood to the periphery of the body cooling your core. Keep your bedroom cool is also advisable to help this fall in temperature. Alcohol can interfere with the quality of sleep avoid too much before bed. Try to avoid naps during the day. Blue decorations in the bed room help too, Avoid purple colours. Avoid bright lights before bed time, they signal to our body clock that we should be awake. Try relaxation and breathing methods, before you go to sleep. Have a look on u tube, for a good one. Try this relax every part of your body in your mind. then repeat over and over again the word Calm, until you fall asleep. Hope this helps if not let me know and i will write a better method out for you. Gerrerd.

willow1990 in reply to gerrerd

Thanks Gerrerd these are helpful methods, the phenerghan is still helping so going to take it for the rest of this week and have a nice hot bath tonight x

I am glad it is helping. I did say take it at least one hour before and wind down as well.

Thanks, on the night that u didn't take them after taking them for a couple weeks, did u struggle to sleep? Xx

No. It was a couple of weeks later after stopping them, that I realised that my anxiety was gone. When I first took them, I had no expectations that they would work so didn't think about it and was pleasantly surprised that I slept. I thought the same when stopped taking them daily and again was happily surprised. I take them intermittently now. There are no side effects. See how you get on and if not just take them on alternate days and see how that goes. I don't know what strength yours are and I noticed that you take 2 daily. I only took 1 daily.

How are you managing with the Phenerghan?

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