An American Addiction Centers Resource

New to the Forums?Join or

Oh, the insomnia!

Discussion in 'Withdrawal Symptoms' started by GettingBetter, Nov 19, 2015.

  1. GettingBetter

    GettingBetter Senior Contributor

    Withdrawal commonly causes insomnia and that can be a long lasting symptom dragging on for months. I personally have struggled with insomnia over the years and I am trying to use natural cures. Here are some of the things I have tried that have helped:
    • Melatonin - Some friend recommended this supplement. This is relatively mild but I have found it works pretty well for me if my anxiety isn't too bad. If I take it regularly though it stops working after a couple of weeks.
    • Nyquil - OK this is not very natural but it does knock me out cold. I also have a terrible time getting up the next day, I only resort to this if I'm really desperate!
    • Chamomile tea - I find this very soothing and I do think it helps to make me a little more tired.
    • Warm milk - I have tried this a few times but I don't think it does anything for me?

    General stuff - regular exercise and trying to reduce stress in the evenings always help me sleep. I'm hit or miss on these habits though!

    What do you guys think? Do you use anything or have any tips for beating insomnia?
    Lostboy8731 and Mara like this.
  2. Dwayneu

    Dwayneu Community Champion

    I've been using melatonin, sometimes I go on for days without being able to fall asleep, laying restless on my bed. I can also suggest valerian root for anxiety, and potentially l-theanine for sleep rhythms and calmness.

    I haven't been able to sleep properly for as long as I can remember, but it's always way better when I am exercising, getting enough sunlight, socializing and so on. All areas of your life and health are connected like that.
  3. kassie1234

    kassie1234 Community Champion

    I also had been recommended melatonin but I didn't notice all that much difference for me - I guess it might be dependent from person to person.

    For me the biggest things that help are lavender oil (the scent makes me relaxed, which helps me sleep!) and a warm bath before bed, and just keeping a notebook on my bedside table. I find myself to be the kind of person that has a brain that doesn't switch off, and if I am stressed about things I need to do the next day I'll find myself unable to sleep. Writing things down helps me mentally "let go" of them until the morning and helps a lot!
  4. L_B

    L_B Community Champion

    I have a terrible time sleeping and my anxiety levels are so high. I hate just laying there staring at the ceiling knowing I have to work in the morning. Last night was a terrible night and now I am at work barely able to function. I can't wait to get home. I usually take an over the counter sleep aid pill after a few days of no sleep. I need the rest for the type of job I do. If I take one of those I am out in 10 minutes and never wake up until the morning. I feel sluggish when I first wake up but that quickly passes and then I feel refreshed for the rest of the day. Insomnia is a terrible thing.
  5. movingforward1

    movingforward1 Active Contributor

    Melatonin helped me for a while, but then I formed a really bad tolerance to it. It got to the point, after a few months of nightly use, that it didn't work at all. The best sleeping prescription that I received from my doctor was temazepam, but doctors are sometimes hesitant to give this medication to addicts because it is a benzodiazepine.
  6. djolem

    djolem Senior Contributor

    I had this problem and still have it. I need some alcohol to fall asleep. But as i have mentioned here before i drink with purpose so now i am trying to cut my intake. However, maybe i will start again because it really makes better in my writing and i fall asleep not thinking about things that keep me awake all night. I do not like pills and i wouldn't like to have those to help me fall asleep. last night i fell asleep in the morning :). it was 6 am and i was just awake. And yet i got up around 10 am. When i drink some wine or something stronger i keep myself busy with brainstorming and rearranging my ideas. I get tired and fall asleep earlier.
  7. Sparkster

    Sparkster Community Champion

    I used to suffer with insomnia quite badly and would end up sleeping at all sorts of awkward and inappropriate times which made life quite difficult to cope with. I don't think Melatonin is a very good idea, it's not as harmless as some people seem to believe. In the end, I personally had success with certain psychological and physiological relaxation techniques and self-hypnosis and that kind of thing. It did take some time before I started to feel the effects admittedly but these kinds of techniques can really work wonders if you give them a chance.
  8. Tremmie

    Tremmie Community Champion

    I've been suffering from Insomnia for a while, but been taking Valerian root pills, along with some aromatherapy :) It has worked great so far, but some days if the tension or stress is too high isn't possible to sleep so well. I had one of those nights last night, but sometimes simple relaxation or breathing exercises can help loads.
  9. eveliner

    eveliner Senior Contributor

    I used to have insomnia as well, but not because of the withdrawal phase per se, but because I was continuously thinking something among the lines of: "What will I do once I quit smoking cigarettes; will my friends ever accept me?". Yeah, I know it was somehow silly of me to think like that, but I did. Now I'm all good, but I remember the ever-lasting nights... and it's so, so dreadful!
  10. danjon

    danjon Senior Contributor

    I've also used OTC sleep aids- promethazine and diphenhydramine - to combat insomnia. I can't apologize for using them either because they really were life-savers to me. I have sleep difficulties at the best of times, so these things really helped when I was coming off certain other drugs too.
  11. MyDigitalpoint

    MyDigitalpoint Community Champion

    Melatonin and warm milk with honey did the trick with me when I had insomnia problems during withdrawal time.

    Usually any natural or herbal remedy contributes better to fight insomnia issues at this stage, that getting replacement drugs that help us sleep.
  12. Apollo545

    Apollo545 Active Contributor

    Chamomile tea works wonders. It's quite a mellow effect, but I find that it calms my anxiety quickly. You should definitely give it a shot.
  13. bleblanc10

    bleblanc10 Senior Contributor

    There is nothing that gives me more frustration than insomnia.
  14. Nergaahl

    Nergaahl Community Champion

    Reading helps a lot when you have to deal with insomnia. It calms you down and is like a workout for your mind. A good book does more for me than a jogging session, for example. Now I know that there are people who dislike reading, but try to get some books about something that interests you. It will keep your brain busy and you will fall asleep easier.
  15. oportosanto

    oportosanto Community Champion

    Insomnia is terrible because we start thinking about things we should not and that is dangerous. More, the next day we are tired and cannot think straight and that is prone to bad actions.
  16. Sarasmiles

    Sarasmiles Member

    Bless your heart! I'm sorry to hear about the insomnia. I know I feel awful when I can't get any sleep, it's almost like I'm getting sick. For me, working out each day really helps. I do cardio and lift weights, and when I can, I play tennis and golf. I'm always open to going for a walk or bike ride, because I know it's healthy and I'll sleep better that night. I try eat clean, mostly vegetables, very lean protein, complex carbs, and stay away from too much sugar or unhealthy fat. Foods like that, or just overindulging, gives me indigestion and interferes with my rest. Making sure all the lights are off and it's not too hot helps with sound sleep, from my experience. I like to read before bed, though I read on a tablet or smart phone, which is not good because the light interferes with restfulness. Reading a book or magazine would be better. I think keeping a journal and letting out thoughts before going to bed can be helpful. Sometimes I dwell on things that are bothering me, but once I write them down, it lets them out and I feel better. Good luck and good blessings, I hope you have a good night's rest!
    oportosanto likes this.
  17. oportosanto

    oportosanto Community Champion

    Very much true Sara, we all need our sleep and not being able to is a real punishment. I prefer not to think much about it because when I do it becomes a problem.
  18. Mara

    Mara Community Champion

    It's a good thing that books help you fall asleep easier. To me, it has the reverse effect. If the book is really good, I won't be able to put it down until I finish it. Before I know it, it's morning already.
  19. rz3300@

    rz3300@ Senior Contributor

    These were the times when I really discovered how well the night time teas work. They were no magic cure, of course, and the insomnia was still there and it was tough to deal with, but it was nice having that one little thing to wrap up the night and signify that it was time to sleep, even if some of it is a placebo. I will take whatever help I can get to get some much needed sleep.
  20. Vinaya

    Vinaya Community Champion

    Yes, withdrawal causes insomnia and it not addressed in time it can become a big problem.Instead of trying clinical drugs to treat insomnia, alternative therapy such as acupressure, acupuncture and meditation are more beneficial.