opiate induced insomnia: Hell everyone... - Restless Legs Syn...

Restless Legs Syndrome

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opiate induced insomnia

Jumpey profile image

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

23 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.


Jumpey profile image
Jumpey in reply to Madlegs1

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

Jumpey profile image
Jumpey in reply to Pippins2

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.

Jumpey profile image
Jumpey in reply to nightdancer

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

Madlegs1 profile image
Madlegs1 in reply to Jumpey

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

Madlegs1 profile image
Madlegs1 in reply to Vichic

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

Vichic profile image
Vichic in reply to Madlegs1

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.

Madlegs1 profile image
Madlegs1 in reply to Vichic

Oh- I so identify with that experience. 😠😢


Jumpey profile image
Jumpey in reply to Vichic

I agree.x

7venhigh profile image
7venhigh in reply to Vichic

Finally, someone that I can relate to! I take percocet 7.5 at night for RLS and chronic pain. I feel like I have tried everything in order to alleviate the rls symptoms but no matter what I do I consistently get that "creepy crawly" feeling around 9-10 pm like clockwork. The percocet used to help me sleep but now all it does is make the symptoms decrease while I stay awake for 2-3 days at a time.....HELP

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.

Jumpey profile image
Jumpey in reply to

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

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