Natural Lunesta/Ambien alternatives? - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 04-22-2009, 09:03 PM
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Hi folks.



As I'm sitting here waiting for my lunesta to kick in, I figured I'd ask if anyone who's used either of these medications has had success in switching to a natural alternative (melatonin, valerian, etc). I've had lifelong insomnia -- since the age of five, at least -- and not much seems to help.



Ambien works really well for me, but I don't like the side effects -- basically a half-hour to hour long "blackout" per night, and once it even made me hallucinate : I did some reading and apparently it's often abused because people enjoy that sort of thing for some reason. Personally, I'd rather not suddenly think that there's a forest in my computer monitor and that my walls are moving :/



Lunesta doesn't work as well, and I usually wind up taking an hour to fall asleep still. I also get a bit of the disinhibition that comes w/ ambien (posting stuff on boards/etc that I normally wouldn't...such as this thread maybe? lol), but I can at least remember fairly clearly what I did the next day. Plus I usually still wind up waking up every 2-4 hours.



Any info/advice is appreciated!
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#2 Old 04-23-2009, 01:00 PM
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I've heard that meletonin can be effective in helping reset your sleep schedule, and there is a particular way to use it. My dad swears by it actually. I've had a bit of luck with valerian root, but now it seems to actually keep me up, so I don't take it anymore.



Have you looked into any non chemical forms of sleep enhancement, like hypnotherapy?

Oh, and are you getting enough exercise throughout the day? I don't have any links right now, but they've been finding mild to moderate exercise dyring the day, at least 3 hours before bedtime can really help.

I've found this from personal experience as well. I have quite a bit of trouble falling asleep if I haven't been active lately.

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#3 Old 04-23-2009, 07:12 PM
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I've tried every form of meditation and breathing exercises I've come across, but haven't had much success with using it for sleep (although it's great for relaxation). And exercise would probably help, since my job involves lots and lots and lots of sitting around in front of a computer.



Kind of a bummer to hear that the valerian stops working after a while, but it makes sense...seems like most sleeping aids do. And I had no idea that there was a proper way to use melatonin, but now that I'm looking for that specifically it seems like that and light therapy might help me get my cycle pushed back a few hours. I'll have to give that combination a shot.
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#4 Old 04-23-2009, 10:00 PM
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Melatonin works for me I get it in a cream instead of pill
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#5 Old 04-23-2009, 10:47 PM
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Do you use it every night, or periodically to get your body back on a proper sleep cycle?
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#6 Old 04-23-2009, 10:51 PM
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Usually just to get back on track. I might use it for a week at a time to help. Or if I'm having a particularly bad night I might use half a pump of the cream (1 pump of the bottle is a dose) or even 1/4 just to help me sleep. So it's better than sleeping pills because you can't take those at 3am when you can't fall asleep b/c you'd never wake up in the morning, but I don't have that problem with the melatonin. Like I said though I've never used the pills so I can't speak for those.
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#7 Old 04-24-2009, 03:47 AM
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I'd look for a holistic doctor near you. I've seen the doctor I work for get people off of sleep meds who've been dependent on them for 10 years. It may take a few tries but it's worth it.



Other than that, maintaining the same bed time and wake time, meditation, exercise, stress management, and a balanced diet can all make a huge difference. Good luck. I know it's not easy.
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#8 Old 04-24-2009, 08:30 AM
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I have insomnia sometimes. It takes me too long to drop off, and I get up during the night to urinate. I haven't used valerian (don't like the smell), but I think it can sometimes cause dependence.



I have found that a radio left on helps me go to sleep. So does a small dose (250 milligrams) of a calcium carbonate supplement an hour or so after dinner, which I started taking when I stopped using milk.



Finally, when I don't eat too much salt, I find I'm not so thirsty, don't drink quite as much, and don't have to get up during the night to urinate (but I make sure to drink enough water because I don't want to get dehydrated).

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#9 Old 04-24-2009, 08:42 AM
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Thanks for the info everyone! Lots of options. The health care center I go to does have an acupuncturist -- I'll have to make some calls and see what they offer and whether insurance covers it.

And I had no idea that calcium worked as a sleep aid! My multivitamin only has 5% DV of calcium and I've been meaning to get a separate supplement for it anyway -- guess this is extra motivation to do that.
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#10 Old 11-02-2011, 04:12 AM
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Awoke in Total Panic! I later learned, due to the short half-life of this drug, some people awake with, in essence, withdrawal symptoms. The short half-life, (the time it takes for the drug to leave your body) was purposely designed so people would not wake groggy. But for me, I experienced a terror, agitation, and anxiety I've never known. I asked my local pharmacist if this happens in some people taking this drug and he confirmed that it did. VERY SCARY. I don't know how you would know in advance if you are one of those people like me.

I found great website where to buy cheap ambien http://www.ambiencheap.com/ I bought ambien from here.
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#11 Old 11-02-2011, 08:38 AM
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Beverly- 8-10 yrs???? That stuff isnt' supposed to be prescribed long term or even to be used every night. That's not how it was originally formulated. I used to work with chemically dep people who of course had long term sleeping problems, and while one Psychiatrist prescribed it nightly, I was educated by another about the previous....again not nightly and not for as many yrs as you have been on them.

Both Lunesta and Ambien are habit forming, and I actually do know pts who had episodes of leaving their houses and driving at night. If you can find other non habit forming sleep helps, that would be great!

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#12 Old 11-02-2011, 12:38 PM
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#13 Old 11-02-2011, 02:57 PM
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If you take the lunesta every night, there may be rebound insomnia after stopping. Maybe talk to your doctor about weaning to a smaller dose (don't break the extended release ones).

Melatonin 3 mgs taken @ bedtime with calcium/magnesium if that is ok w your digestion can help. It is great with sleepytime tea. Make sure the room is dark, tv off, no nightlights. Some people like valerian root, or marijuana if legal in your area.

Good luck, hope you get some sleep!
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#14 Old 11-02-2011, 03:08 PM
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This thread is two years old.

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#15 Old 11-02-2011, 03:09 PM
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Wait...you can get medicinal marijuana to treat insomnia in the U.S.?! Jeez.

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#16 Old 11-02-2011, 04:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Scorpius View Post

This thread is two years old.

Well, I hope to god the OP is getting a good night's sleep by now!
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#17 Old 11-02-2011, 05:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LedBoots View Post

Well, I hope to god the OP is getting a good night's sleep by now!

Hah, I know, right? Good sleep is very important!

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#18 Old 11-02-2011, 06:03 PM
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Wait...you can get medicinal marijuana to treat insomnia in the U.S.?! Jeez.

Edit: oops. Video has the f-word in it. Grownups can look up Garfunkel and Oates Weed Card on youtube, if they like.
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#19 Old 11-02-2011, 06:22 PM
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- and BTW, insomnia can be just as debilitating as most of the other things medical pot is used to treat.
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#20 Old 11-02-2011, 10:43 PM
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man, I didn't even notice that!

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#21 Old 11-13-2011, 02:59 PM
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Beverly- 8-10 yrs???? That stuff isnt' supposed to be prescribed long term or even to be used every night. That's not how it was originally formulated. I used to work with chemically dep people who of course had long term sleeping problems, and while one Psychiatrist prescribed it nightly, I was educated by another about the previous....again not nightly and not for as many yrs as you have been on them.

Both Lunesta and Ambien are habit forming, and I actually do know pts who had episodes of leaving their houses and driving at night. If you can find other non habit forming sleep helps, that would be great!

I have a friend that suffers from insomnia and uses Ambien every night and has for a few years now. I've tried to explain this to her, but of course she listens to her doctor that prescribes it to her instead. It is so frustrating when I see physicians do crap like this! Her insomnia is very obviously a psycological issue, but of course many people want the easy way to do things and just take a pill.

I use Ambien off and on for insomnia, but would NEVER use it as a regular treatment frequent issues with insomnia. Mine is usually from occasional stress and/or migraines. I have started researching alternative treatments such as melatonin though to see if that would work for me.
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#22 Old 11-14-2011, 07:39 AM
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Non-benzodiazepines are newer drugs that are effective in treating insomnia with fewer side effects than benzodiazepines. Ambien, Ambien CR, Lunesta, Sonata and Rozerem are some of the non-benzodiazepines. Sonata last a short time and is good for people who cannot fall asleep. Ambien requires people who plan on sleeping for at least seven hours. Lunesta and Rozerem can last even longer. Rozerem is not habit- forming. All natural/herbal drugs are not so effective. I prefer always to buy ambien without prescription
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#23 Old 11-20-2011, 11:06 PM
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As previously stated, melatonin works very well, especially with herbal tea! Not all melatonin supplements are vegetarian, but vegetarian supplements are very available. I know that Earth Fare carries them, and I imagine that other health food stores would as well.
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#24 Old 11-21-2011, 04:06 PM
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As previously stated, melatonin works very well, especially with herbal tea! Not all melatonin supplements are vegetarian, but vegetarian supplements are very available. I know that Earth Fare carries them, and I imagine that other health food stores would as well.

"Herbal tea"? What kind of nonsense advice is that?
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#25 Old 11-23-2011, 09:23 AM
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- and BTW, insomnia can be just as debilitating as most of the other things medical pot is used to treat.

Yeah, apparently insomnia can take years off your life.

auto correct can kiss my ask
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