Posted by bipolarized on November 1, 2008, at 12:45:29
In reply to Re: Sleep problems--anxiety-HELP!, posted by KimberlyS on October 31, 2008, at 13:23:27
Clonzepam (Klonapin) as a sleep med is working for now. It's not ideal, and I don't intend to continue using it forever. I'm actually waiting for the next 2 week holiday off-work, so I can re-try the chronotherapy.
The chrono therapy was beginning to work for me, but you really have to stick to the rules. Which are to use the lights (special green lights that are like the sun) for 1 hour upon waking and no longer. Also, each night/day you have to force yourself to stay awake 3 hours beyond the natural time you'd fall asleep (for me naturally I'll fall asleep around sunrise). This is the hardest part, because if you're sleep deprived it's very hard to resist an urge to sleep for 3 hours without using caffiene or stimulants.
Basically Chronotherapy I think CAN work but only if you have a Sleep Medicine Doctor supervising and advising you. Also, only if you are eating healthy and getting a little excersize.
The goal of Chronotherapy is to re-set your inner circadian rhythm (or natural sleep clock). To set it at a more work freiendly pattern.
Just know that you have to be careful to strictly have 2-3 hours of down time each night before you are to fall asleep, where you are doing nothing much other than relaxing. Occaisionally you may have certain days when you have to be awake late for a party or something else, and that can throw your clock back out of wack. So, you have to committ to the re-set pattern once you're re-set.
Anyway, I'm a fan of ChronoTherapy when used under sleep medicine doctor care, not regular doctors. Regular doctors in my experience tend not to really understand sleep disorders.
My reality is that I am aspiring towards a natural solution to my sleep disorder (chronotherapy over X-mas break again), but will most likely have some sleep meds in my medicince cabinet as back up "just in case" on those nights when I can't natually sleep within my pattern.
As for Klonapin, I take 3mg per night along with one Diphenhydromine (Longs drugstore sleep aide like Sominex). And to be honest once in awhile I'll have a glass of wine with it, which I'm sure is unhealthy, but sure feels good.
I have noticed the Klonapin is working less and less, building a tolerance---so I'm hopeing to stop after my new Chronotherapy in Dec.
In the past I've tried every sleep med under the sun:
Ambian: didn't like it, it works but tolerance builds fast and you walk around your house at night while asleep.
Temezepam: LOVED it! but it's addictive and a narcotic. It has the side effect of euphoria which for me ended up causing me to pop it like tic-tacs during my undergrad years in Chicago (I took subways luckily and never drove). Tolerance builds fast but it works for sleep beutifully. Just major danger of addiction. Plus you slur your words and look like a junkie.
Depakene: Allergic reaction w/ paradoxical effect---caused suicidal depression in 1 week
Gabapentin: Allergic reaction w/ paradoxical effect---caused suicidal depression in 2 days
Xanex--didn't really help for sleep, but fun to be on!
Trazadone: Allergic reaction w/ paradoxical effect of causing me to be super hyper.
Hope all this helps a little.
Also, check out the following links which I found helpful.
You can pay $300 for a genetic test that will tell you if you are bipolar, or if you would respond well to certain anti-depressants. I took the bipolar gentic test and I didn't have the markers indicating that 99.9% I'm not bipolar
National Sleep Foundation
Where you can do a search for a local Sleep Medicine Doctor.