Drug related insomnia

Hi everyone. I have been taking Codeine successfully for about 6 months but have now run into problems which I think are related to the opiate. I'm wondering if anyone else who takes opiates has found the same.Initially the medication both calmed the RLS and had a sedative effect. As my body became tolerant of the drug the sedation wore off. This was not a problem because my legs remained still most of the time and I was able to continue to get good sleep.However ,for the last week I have been experiencing insomnia despite the fact my legs are settled. I believe this is drug related because I have no other reason not to sleep. My doctor says that this isn't the Codeine . My body is telling me it is. Has anyone else had this issue? If so how did you deal with it? Cheers.

18 Replies

  • I would have noticed that when I started an opiate I tended to sleep less even though my legs/body was settled.

    A quick look on google found this:


    and this:


  • Thanks for this Raffs. I have stopped the Codeine now.x

  • No problem glad to be a help.

    You may need to taper off, especially if you have been taking a big dose. One of the withdrawal effects is RLS so things may get worse before they get better.

    Have you an alternative drug to take or are you going to try drug free?

  • Just stopped. No side effects. I take diazepam once a week in desperation. I would like to aim for drug free.x

  • Fair play. I tend to just stop too. My body is that through other at that stage I never know if I am having significant withdrawals or not. To me opiate withdrawal although unpleasant will not kill you the way alcohol or benzo withdrawal will so I just keep the head down and 'bull on' so to speak

    looking to go drug free myself but its a good bit off yet.

  • Good luck.x

  • I have found that insomnia happens at the start of opiate treatment- and as time has gone on I'm getting used to it and having less trouble sleeping. Magnesium glycinate should help. Shortacting sleeping pills are beneficial for those situations that require a nights sleep for a 'heavy'following day.

    One thing this site proves- is that everyone is different!

    Raffs- I looked at those sites. Just to note that they are both treatment sites- so are inclined to play up the downside of opiate use. Also they deliberately muddy the distinction between dependency and addiction - playing into the whole debate to control drug use for their advantage.

    Very few people get addicted to medically prescribed opiates for chronic pain unless they are addictive personalities. They certainly will be dependent- just as a one legged person is dependent on crutches.

    Rant over😧

  • Sure wasn't I hoping that bit wouldn't be noticed!

    I was taking a lazy way of showing the GP wouldn't have had to look too hard to find the answer. I would not in any way endorse nay of those treatment options as I haven't read about them.

    I would say very few people become addicted to medically prescribed opiates for chronic pain unless they begin to use them to medicate mental/emotional pain, that's when they become addictive.

    Many alcoholics have taken opiates after major surgery, long enough to become 'addicted' yet once the drugs were stopped as they would normally be the person with the alcohol problem did not crave opiates and returned to alcohol misuse but never abused opiates, (although in the interest of honest some have gone on to develop opiate habits too)! There is excellent research showing how opiates used for pain are not as addictive as previously thought, it would be nice if the Dr's would familiarize themselves with up to date research.

    I have had to explain to so many Dr's the difference between dependence and addiction it became ludicrous!

    Feel free to rant about that to me any time its a pet peeve of mine too.

  • Sound man! My sentiments exactly.

    I hear my GP is retiring- am I going to have to go through the whole rigmarole of educating a new whippersnapper all over again! Duh!


  • Thanks Madlegs. I've stopped the Codeine now but am interested to know how long you had to persevere with the opiate before you could sleep. I was not addicted for sure. I would go back to codeine again if I could sleep. In the meantime I'm taking Diazapam once a week. When do you take the Mag? At night? I'm considering going drug free.x

  • I first was given Tramadol but was awake for 3nights in a row- changed to oxycontin and wasn't much better!!

    However- I persevered with the oxy and after about a month was able to sleep better- but never really well. But then, with the rls - I have never slept well.

    I take the mg with evening meal - it helps a bit. Also playing radio or music on timer is good.

    It is unlikely you will ever get drug free for severe rls unless they come up with a revolutionary remedy. And they don't even know what cause it yet!!

    I do have a pet theory that secondary rls (after operation etc) may be due in part to the opiates withdrawal , and that we don't give ourselves time to reset the receptors again.

    Good luck.

  • Thanks so much for your thoughtful replies. Good luck to you too.x

  • Mad legs 1, I also take the same magnesium you are and I've been sleeping like a baby , so soundly I had forgotten that such sound sleep existed. I have only been taking it for a very short time because I was trying it for the RLS and it turns out it makes me sleep! I LOVE it. I've been suffering from insomnia associated from my meds , TRAMADOL , not severe but enough that I get a bit sleepy during the day from lack of sound sleep, not anymore, I'm inLOVE with my newly found magnesium. I only take it before bedtime, it's a great relaxer. I also have the oil when I feel aches and pains in other parts of my body.

  • That's gas- I recommended the mg glycinate based on research- I haven't been able to locate it in any shops here- will have to go on the inet.

    I use the citrate form - works ok but not as effective as you're experiencing.

    Thanks for your input- given me the push to go get it.😆


  • Hi, I just looked at my magnesium and I take one 400 mg soft gel before bedtime of High Potency Magnesium. , not the one you use. It works wonders for me.

  • Grand- but what form is the mg?

    Citrate or oxide or what?

    There are about five forms! Each has a slightly different action.

    Aspatarte is not a good one to take.

    Just checked "High potency gel" - they are not too up front about the form of mg-(if it's the NatureMade one) but as far as I can make out it is oxide , which is the cheapest and most useless form.

    But , hey, it's working for you - so who cares?!!!


  • Yes i have but onky if i've drank too. I know one shouldn't drink whilst taking the meds but sometimes i do. If i do, i cannot sleep even 2glasses of wine

  • I have ms aswell as rls i take two high strength co codomol at night for the past three years i think they help me sleep but they also constipate me

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