Hi sorry for going anon but hope you understand. I have major problems sleeping all related to stress including fear that I could loose my job. No way out of this one including citing disability. So to sleep I often have to take temazepan - yes I know not great and shouldn’t be regularly used but needs must. Tried other alternatives camamile tea, nytol, avender spray, Barts home remedies etc. My problem is I know 20mg temazepan is max dose. However sometimes this just doesn’t work. So I take 40mg and that does work. My questions are what damage am I doing to myself and does anyone else do this? The way I rationalise it in my head is that people committing suicide (not me) take absolutely loads so what harm can 4 x 10mg tablets do? Thanks xx
I’m not too sure about short term effects of 40mg, but it might pos effect liver function, or other issues that could cause problems later on down the line? I would doubt that would have happened already in a short time (but am no expert), but prob a risk you should be aware of long term x
The main thing with diazepam is that it is( in most circumstances ) only meant to be prescribed short-term for insomnia. Tolerance can build up really quickly, (not sure of your circumstances, but this could be one of the reasons you are needing to take more than reccommended dose?)
Not sure how you have enough tablets in the house to take twice reccommended dose… if it is a prescription from doctors, you and you’re taking more than you were prescribed, will run out quicker than normal and they might not refil the prescription straight away (it will flag up on records that your refil is not due),
It is prob not a good / safe / long term solution…
I honestly think your best option is to go and speak to doc directly. They will be able to advise longer term solutions… there are other (less addictive ) medications they can prescribe (so you won’t have to go back to trying chamomile tea, homeopathy etc)… I think a lot of antidepressants have sedative and anti-anxiety properies, and can be used for that end, also other options that your doc will be able to advise about…
please don’t struggle on in silence, or put your health in danger (by taking too many daizepam) , there is help out there. x
Thanks Hun Tried to post anon just in case someone reports me to the doctor police for being stupid and taking too much temazepan - I pressed the post anon button BUT it didn’t work. My name still came out at the top Yes totally agree not an ideal thing to do. However stress is unbearable with no resolution. When stress was not so bad I didn’t take them which is best. Really do try to stick to just one or two. Only a couple of times I have been desperate and taken 4 - STUPID GIRL Appreciate your suggestion of talking to GP about alternatives. Do you know the names? Just worried he would stop temazepan. Which I love as I call it easy sleep. But will really try to stick to recommended dosage. Xxx
just to say that you have come up as anon.
it still shows your name to you only but everyone else sees anon.
I have had similar situation, can relate totally.
I think one way to approach it with gp is to let them know yor insomnia is a serious ongoing issue that is impacting your overall health and ability to function, and that you are concerned about losing your job as a result. You can approach the temazepam issue by saying something like:
“Taking temazepam does help me sleep and really helps me, but I’d rather just use those when I really need them anddont want to take them regularly because I know thats not a good thing”
That might hopefully reassure your gp that you do need then from time to time and they are helpful to you, but that you are aware of risks of overusing and therefore want to take them responsibly. This worked for me - my gp seemed to trust what I was asying and continued to prescribe them (except I get diazepam not temazepam) , but I think that was largely because I showed awareness of risks and need to use them sensibly.
I think it is probably helpful to be open with your gp that your insomnia is linked to stress etc.
There are loads of different antidepressants - too many to name really! but i think the main thing is to explain that insomnia is a big part of your symptoms -.Some antidepressants have quite a stimulating effect (good for people whose depression / anxietymakes them need to sleep all day), whilst others are quite sedative (good for people who find themselves unable to sleep). So it is really important to let your gp know which way it effects you, and what you need from the medication. Sometimes they start you at quite a low dose, and you have to work upwards to an effective dose, so it may not be as fast-acting as temazepam. Definitelty better to get doctors advice.
Also, it doesnt need to be an 'either ‘or’ situation…, if 2 temazepam is highest dose but isn’t enough, the doc would not be able to reccommend taking more than that, but they might supplement it with a different medication (like antidepressants or others).
So dont worry too much that they will ‘stop’ your ‘easy sleep’ medications (I like that phrase) - that probably won’t happen xx
The thing is what happens when 40mg stop working, and they will, what then ?
it will be 60mg then 70mg and so on,i once took them and very quickly got addicted,i didnt know i was addicted as i was taking the normal dose,for a few years,every day
then when, i decided to stop taking them, the problems started,and it took me 18months to slowly cut down,which was sheer hell,
a paramedic warned me not to take any benzodiazpines,i.e. lorazepam, diazepam,in fact anything ending in 'pam,i often wish i had followed his advice,but i stupidly thought that sticking to the prescribed dose was ok, when i finally managed to stop them, my gp said ‘well done,they are harder to come off than Heroin’ so why wasnt i told that,before i started them ,i would have thought twice about taking them at all.
Amitriptyline is a good all rounder for us with MS -Take 35mg. it is a mild anti-depressant - helps with restless legs/pain - and is only taken at night - or though l have found it best to take a couple of hours before bedtime. l take magnesium as well at night. And because l have had insomnia for years - l do take one 3.75mg Zopiclone. This gives me about 4/5 hours of good sleep - which is ideal for me. And l never feel drowsy in the morning. So perhaps a word with your GP - would be a good idea. You have lost of worries/stress regarding your job - and not sleeping will add to the pile. lf you cannot get an appointment this side of Christmas - ask the receptionist for a ‘telephone appointment’ - tell them what it is about and hopefully your GP will be able to prescribe some Amitriptyline and Zopiclone.
Hope the New Year brings some positivity for you.
Don’t worry about the ANON - you are anon to us - but your name comes up only on your page.
I would also suggest zopiclone. I hope your chat with the Gp goes ok.
Thanks guys and gals you really are the best. Lots of good advice. Xx
Temazepan is highly addictive as others have said and as with all of this group your body develops a reliance on it without it being affective anymore. Amitriptyline is very effective in helping with sleep related problems and has added bonus of addressing mild neuropathic pain. It’s a good alternative in your case I woukd have thought. Sominex is an over the counter sleep remedy which is great to use intermittently. Night nurse is useless so not worth buying. I have found listening to a sleep cd by Lorraine Ireland is really useful. I have it and lots of gentle calming classical music on my iPhone, which I use instead of an iPod. I find it helps me, combined with breathing exercises to shut out (or reduce) the anxious self-chatter. When I wake in the night I invariably listen again using earphones and it helps me go back to sleep. What I am doing at the moment is listening to a cd of waves - strangely relaxing. But if all else fails, grab a smoke ( you know, the herbal variety!) Susi
I’ve got nothing to add about the temazepan. However, if stress is causing the problem I highly recommend you fnd help for that instead, rather than an addictive drug. Ask your doctor to be referred for CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy), which will help you to manage it. Deep breathing exercises will help relax you (this is a good one, if you can ignore the American-ness of it! http://www.ornishspectrum.com/video/guided-meditations-11/).
Also, mindfulness meditation is known to help with stress as well. I do it regularly & it really helps me with all sorts. If you google it you’ll find loads of resources - one I use regularly is the ‘Take Ten’ program on the getsomeheadspace.com website.
Another thing I find really helpful for sleep is to not toss & turn or clock watch. If you’re not asleep after quarter of an hour or so, get up & do something relaxing like read or a puzzle, making sure the lights are low. When you start to feel sleepy, go to bed then. But if you don’t drift off again after a bit, get up & repeat the process. That way you help your brain associate being in bed with sleep, not with lying awake.
The above self-help tips, and mindfulness / CBT are really useful. The ‘frontline’, first advice for insomnia (but I’d imagine you’ve probable tried all this before!) will usually be to improve sleep hygiene, for eg the sleep foundation will advise make sure room is dark & quiet, drink milky drink before bed, nice music, regular bedtime etc etc. Traditional advice has always been that if you cant sleep you should get up and do something, as lieing in bed unable to sleep can add to the stress and worsen insomnia. However, it is now increasingly being recognised / advised that putting lights on in the middle of he night further disrupts sleep-cycle (it cues the brain to think we should be awake, and so for hours afterwards the brain can struggle to get back to ‘sleep’ mode - ) and that doing activities that ‘stimulate’ the brain (such as puzzles) may also do this (google ‘light and sleep problems’ ). Non brain-stimulating activities, ideally things that can be done without use of electric lights, may be more beneficial (music, audiobooks, or getting up to do some meditation such as mindfulness, as suggested by above poster as a good way to reduce stress. However, not sure if you’ve already tried this sort of thing- i guess most people with insomnia try all this advice (alongside trying chamomile tea, homeopathy, otc remedies like calms etc -) way before they reach for sleeping pills. Less severe insomnia usually responds very well to this sort of strategy, whilst more severe insomnia (like you describe) usually does need a different approach.
Strategies such as CBT & Mindfulness are definitely very useful for reducing stress. The difficulty is that private therapy can be quite pricey, and the NHS waiting lists can quite long (depending on area, they can be anywhere from 6 weeks to 9 months). You can get around that because mindfulness stuff is available off internet or on cds (jon kabat zinn is the guy who the NHS reccommend, I think his stuff is fairly easily available online and at amazon). NHS can provide links to CBT courses that you can do online, withou seeing a counselor.
However, people with more severe levels of stress might find that they do actually need the input from a trained cbt therapist, rather than doing it online, and so may have to join waiting list
This is where anti-depressant (which are not addictive) can be useful; they can be got from gp on first visit, they are immediately available (although can sometimes take a few weeks to 'kick in properly). most mental-health professionals would advise that in many cases, therapy on its own is not always enough, and that medications and therapy be used alongside each other, at least until you have progressed to a point in therapy (which can take some time) when you are able to manage stress more easily. And whilst some medications can be addictive, most antidepressants are not, so once things start getting easier, you can reduce / stop medication, and continue to use self-help / psychological strategies learned.
PS - Dan,
I lovve the ‘taketen’ program too!
I downloaded Mindfulness for Health book to my iPad which means I can listen to the guided meditations. I use these to help me get to sleep every night, and I have almost stopped my use of sleeping tablets now. I do find it helps switch off my churning mind as it makes you concentrate on the now and your breathing.
Thanks for all of your concern and all the new advice. CBT, mindfullness - done all that and it is really good. But very difficult to overcome stress when you are fearful of loosing your job. But on a positive NO temazepan last night - yeah Xx