opiate induced insomnia

Hell everyone,

I'm wondering whether anyone else has shared my experience with opiates. I have been experimenting with rotating codeine and tramadol for my RLS. They both work to eradicate symptoms. But after a couple of weeks they stop me sleeping. This is so frustrating.I then have to stop and not take any medication for a period. Has this happened to you?x

22 Replies

  • Yes. I have experienced insomnia with both Tramadol and Oxycontin. However , I persisted with the Oxy and was ok after a few months. I used short halflife sleeping pills occasionally to get a good nights sleep every now then.

    I find that there are many insomnia inducing substances which I have to be careful to avoid. Cafeine , chocolate , sugar and sweeteners, chemical colourings- many medications contain these. Raising agents , sulfates and alcohol and so on.

    Also, sleep hygeine is important- dark bedroom , no electrics , exercise earlier in the day , making a next day jobs list before bedtime , mindful winding down etc.


  • Thanks for your feedback. I appreciate it.I don't eat the food stuffs you mention- unless it's inadvertent. My sleep hygiene is ok-although I don't always get up at the same time if I haven't slept at all. This disease makes a good circadian rhythm difficult and sometimes my difficulty sleeping is due to that. However, I also know that sometimes it's the opiates.x

  • Tramadol gives me insomnia butter I am ok with Zomorph x

  • Cheers for your feedback.x

  • Yup, as madlegs has said, One of the side effects of tramadol is insomnia. It can work great for RLS, but it can be a cause of insomnia. I take it, and do not have that issue, BUT, I take a sleep med, too.

  • Yes this is what i have found. Although my doc has said it doesn't cause insomnia!x

  • He obviously hasn't read the leaflet. It's well known that opiates produce insomnia.

    And on a lighter note - I notice that a poster over on Pain Concern has the answer to all our problems. Just get a few hours sleep- simple really--- now, Why wouldn't someone here not have thought of that? 😆😢😈😴

    Good night.😎

  • It has been the bane of my life. I can lie awake all night - pleasantly mellow and gloriously symptom free - but not able to function the following day.

    I use cannabis taken as an edible to help overcome it. I also take pregabalin (Lyrica) to induce sleep (it is supposed to be particularly good for deep sleep I understand) but I am going to ask my doctor for zopiclone next visit.

  • Thanks so much for this info. I'm the same -relaxed and symptom free but not able to drop off at all. I will try CBD oil with the tramadol to see if this helps. I used Gaba with it last night and slept well.x

  • Hope the cbd works for you. Although i found it good for general well being it didn't really help me to sleep. I find I need the full THC cannabis experience to get me to sleep and even that doesn't always work.

  • Thanks. Glad you get from it.x

  • I take a rather large dose of OxyContin which works pretty well for me to control my RLS , as I've had Insomnia all my life it hadn't occurred to me that it was causing it ATM. I don't know if it is, but I'll take a night of lying in bed reading or listening to music etc any day aover walking around the house in the dark while jumping out of my skin. Lesser of 2 evils I suppose.

  • I think that's probably true for all of us. It's just that once one gets the rls symptoms under control one gets greedy and starts to look for something approximating to a normal life - and being awake all night (however mellow and relaxed) doesn't really allow for that.

  • So true....

  • Very true and why wouldn't we want that?x

  • Vichic --Do you find the oxy lasts the 12 hrs for you? I ask this of everyone.

  • Hi, yes it does. If I stick to the routine of taking regularly ..which I do they're fine. The one I take is a slow release, so I usually don't feel any different. Except for a few months ago we travelled for a family wedding & with all the excitement etc I forgot to take it. Well I had the worst night, night from hell. Even after realising & taking it , prob about 5 hours late...I was experiencing torture, every nerve in. My body was screaming. Horrible. I learnt my lesson from that one.

  • Oh- I so identify with that experience. 😠😢


  • I agree.x

  • That's right, I often feel I am being greedy ...when I do get a couple of hours sleep I just want more, it's so nice.

  • Trmadol doesnt give me insomnia, i must be one of the lucky ones.

  • You are very lucky in that regard. I'm pleased for you.x

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