I am having problems dropping off to sleep. I find that the only way to drop off is to have a large (healthy?) measure of whisky or rum. Once asleep I’m OK.

do you think that Baclofen or Gabapentin is responsible or is this an MS problem?.What do you think

Please go and ask your GP - alcohol is not the answer (I’m a little biased being the widow of an alcoholic) - government guidelines recommend having at least 2 alcohol-free days per week. I’m assuming that this is not happening with you? You do not want to be dependent on alcohol for anything, even getting to sleep. I had a problem for a while getting to sleep, my GP prescribed Amytriptilene (not sure of spelling), and I was able to stop taking it after a while (can’t remember how long) - now I have a normal-ish sleeping pattern.

Luisa x

I use Amatryptaline, usually reliable but some nights … Once asleep I’m fine, its the act of falling asleep. Its the occasions when I;m awake till 5 or 6 in the morning that worry me.

I understand what you are saying about alcohol, I don’t approve of it either but needs must.

Tried all sorts of pills to make sleep easier the only reliable one is amatryptaline but sometimes even it does not work

I doubt it’s the baclofenor gabapentin - if anything they cause drowsiness. I’m pretty certain alcohol should be avoided with baclofen so it’s probably a good idea to try & avoid that as a solution.

I went to a sleep clinic at my hospital, as I’d have trouble getting off to sleep. They recommended a book by Colin Espie (search for his name in Amazon and you’ll find the book - if you don’t want to buy it you may find it in your local library). One of the techniques he says to use is to only go to bed when you’re sleepy. If you’re not asleep after 15 minutes, get up and don’t go to bed again until you’re sleepy (not just tired but actually sleepy). Keep repeating this until you fall alseep. This sorted the problem for me. Now I don’t go to bed until I’m sleepy, and I almost always fall asleep pretty quickly.

There’s a whole load of other things I do that help. Lower the lights in the evening. Don’t drink caffeine after 6pm, and don’t eat late either (I try to eat my main meal no later than half six or 7). When (if) you get up in the night, read or do a puzzle rather than go on the comnputer or watch telly, as they can over stimulate your brain. Try a variation on counting sheep - count backwards from 1000 in steps of 3 (i.e. 1000, 997, 994 etc). I find listening to talk radio or audio books can be good too - I have the volume very low so I have to concentrate to hear them (I use headphones so as not to disturb my wife). Turn the clock around too - clock watching never helped me, as knowing it was 3am and I was still awake would just get my head worrying.

Hope they all help.


Hello Dan,

Seems like good advice, will give it a try and look at the book as well



Hi Patrick,

I take baclofen and amytriptaline at bed time and find that they are pretty good at getting me off to sleep, but if I have trouble I also take a valerian tablet which really helps.

I often have a glass of wine in the evening too, so don’t feel guilty, we already have enough things to worry about


Hi Patrick,

With all the medication i am on that make you sleepy it is not a big problem for me.

If it gets hard for me i try to think of what i would do if i won the Euro lottery,last year when it was at £161 million,i can manage it down to £100 million then i am asleep,it is harder than you think.

Good Luck.


I would ask what does of Amatryptaline are you on?

Hello Jellybean,

I’m on 2 *10mg to be taken in the evening. The problem is not sleeping, it is getting to sleep. Last night I managed about 5 hours after two nights at 2 hours or thereabouts each.




I bought a DAB digital radio for the bedroom last year and it’s been brilliant! I used to wake up a lot in the night for a wee and then found it hard to get back to sleep again. I love having an early night and lay in bed listening to “Nights with Alice Cooper” on Planet Rock, and if I find it hard getting back to sleep the radio goes on again. I find having some background noise helps and seems to stop my mind being so active so that I can drop off again.



Hardly listen to the radio. We have DAB and it does make finding and staying with a channel much easier.

After 2 consecutive nights at 2 hours each of sleep managed a sensible 6 hours sleep last night, feel a lot more human today. Still mystified at what stops me sleeping. I go to bed, read a bit, feel sleepy, turn the light off and ping I’m wide awake. Doing some CBT at the moment so might ask the woman who is doing it if she can help.

Hi, is it just that you are not tired, I often feel that I am not tired, if that’s the case I don’t go to bed and I don’t worry about it. I’ll sleep when I am tired. I don’t really attribute this to ms, it’s just the way I am. Cheryl:-)