Posted , 7 users are following.

Whilst this discussion is about insomnia, I feel it's a result of drinking too much for too many years, which is why I've posted it in the alcohol consumption group.

Like a lot of people here, I don't sleep well. I went to bed on Sunday night, woke up 2am and have not slept a wink since.

My medication is 20mg citralapam and 5mg NITRAZAPAM each night.

I'm after any advice on how other people manage, what do you do when you can't sleep. I've tried all the usual things, but am now getting desparate. I ironed for two hours 3.30 - 5.30 am this morning, went shopping at  9.30am today, and now just wondering whether it's worth going to bed at all.

I know perfectly well that I could go downstairs, warm some milk and add a huge amount of whisky and sugar and be asleep within ten minutes. However I don't want to go down that route again.

ive changed bedrooms as my constant tossing, turning and moaning was starting to annoy my oh. 

Any sensible suggestions would be appreciated.



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20 Replies

  • Posted

    Are you still drinking?  That's important and I''m sort of new here.
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    • Posted

      Oh, good for you on quitting for 2 weeks.  Congrats.   When I drink I can't sleep and when I have day off alcohol I have the best night of sleep.  We are complete opposites.  Have you tried a sleeping pill or turning off the computer and tv 2 hours before sleep?  
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  • Posted

    You're going to hate me, but I'm about to go to bed, I'm tired and I will sleep through like a baby until 6:00am, a good solid 8 hours.

    It's the alcohol, it has affected your neural pathways and your brain's ability to shut down and go to sleep. Alcohol will let you sleep, but it doesn't give you a good sleep. You need time off the alcohol and then only return to it in moderate amounts with days off. But you know all this.

    Taking tablets to help sleep isn't great either, they just do the same as alcohol. What did you sleep like when you gave alcohol up for a bit and were you taking sleeping medication then?

    I'll give you a better answer tomorrow, but I am honestly going to have a nice long sleep now. When I get up in the morning, I'm always amazed at how many of the UK people post at times like 3:00am.

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    • Posted

      I can never sleep on nights I drink unless I had two terrible nights beforehand.  Drinking gives me and a lot of people insomnia.  I think because I have anxiety it makes it worse.  We are all different.  

      I agree taking sleeping tablets isn't the best but neither is drinking and neither is taking anti-craving meds.  So maybe short term would help.

      I'm curious too as to how Vicky slept when she drank.  

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    • Posted

      Ever since I worked nights 20 years ago I've had sleep problems. I have bouts of acute anxiety which is when I go beyond social drinking.

      Even when I had four years sober, I never slept well. It takes me ages to get to sleep, then normally awake from 3.00am onwards.

      When I come back from my hols I'm going to see my GP and say I want to stop citralapam. I've been taking antidepressants for the last eight years. I've never had a medication review so am going to ask for one. The reviews are allocated a 25 minute slot, a normal appointment is ten minutes, a double appointment 20 mins. The surgery Policy only allows for one ailment. Last time I went with a chest infection and was done in five minutes. Knowing I had 5 mins left I started to ask about my medication, but was told I'd need to make another appointment as it was a separate issue.

      I wish I'd asked about the five remaining minutes, but was feeling so ill, I couldn't be bothered and wanted to get home ASAP.

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    • Posted

      I think the problem started when they changed the way GPs got paid. When I joined my current one 15 years ago, they used to get paid by the number of patients on their books. So they like to have patients that never came to see them, but once they did, it didn't make any financial difference.

      But they changed it, because GPs wouldn't take on anyone that they thought was going to be anyone that was in and out the surgery the whole time. So the government swapped it to paid for services. I believe they get paid for every 10 minute consultation - BTW they are currently looking to change it to 15 minutes.

      They get paid for treating you and issuing medications, so it suits them to hand them out and keep you on them, especially for certain medications where I believe there is a special bonus, like beta blockers and statins.

      I am eligible for a free flu vaccinations because I am in the at risk category (wey hey, I'm in the top 2% at risk) and have been since i came out of hospital. The surgery gets paid for each one they do, so they phone me up, write to me, text me every year and I say no. One year they asked me if I was refusing it, and I said, if that is the terminology that you want to use then yes.

      Best thing you can do is stop any medication you can, our bodies were never made for taking chemicals, especially long term.

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  • Posted

    I feel for you vickylou...

    I too have problems with Insomnia. I can pass out just fine (not that I feel any good the next morning) but when I'm not drinking by body and mind seem to have forgotten how to fall asleep without alcohol.

    It's so frustrating trying to stay focused and on track with quitting when you're so exhausted and know alcohol would solve that problem right away.

    Insomnia really does lower your defenses in this fight.

    I'm 11 days sober today...way early days but I'm feeling really good up to this point.

    What I took on my multiple trips to inpatient detox and I'm taking right now on my home detox is Seroquel. It's an anti-psychotic used to treat bi-polar and schizophrenia but it works as a charm for Insomnia.

    You'd have to ask your doctor of course, and it's not specifically indicated for sleep problems, but it's safe and non-addictive which is why I like it so much, my doctor has no concerns prescribing it.

    I take 100mg a 1/2 hr before bed and get a good 8 hrs of solid sleep. I feel totally refreshed.

    My only other suggestion is can take a year or so to get your mind and body to get accustomed to functioning without alcohol.

    Eat well, get fresh air and exercise...all the good stuff... wink

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    • Posted

      Thanks Laura. You're right it will take time. However, I went to bed at 9.30pm last night and woke at 3.30am this morning. So a big improvement. Just got to be patient, not my strongest point!
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  • Posted

    " I went to bed on Sunday night, woke up 2am and have not slept a wink since."


    You mention Citralapam, but I can't find anything on that. Did you mean Citalopram (Celexa)? 

    How long have you been taking the Nitrazapam? How about the Citalopram? 

    For sure, the alch is going to cause sleeping problems and generally keeps you in the lighter stages of sleep. As RHGB says, it takes time for your brain to normalize once you've started getting alcohol out of your life. 

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    • Posted

      sorry ADEfree, yes its citalopram, my spelling is dreadful ! Started taking it eight months ago, after six years on trazadone. The NITRAZAPAM about six years. I was taking 10mg, but have weaned down to 5mg. GP now says to try half a tablet, particularly as I'm away on hol for a week. I know they don't work anymore as I'm sure after so many years, my body's addicted to them. That's why now only half a tablet.

      I went to bed at 9.30pm last night and woke at 3.30, so a great improvement. I've just got to be patient, not my strongest point lol! Just pleased I didn't give in to warm milk with whisky😄😄

      thanks again


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    • Posted

      Very good, Vickylou. Glad to hear you're backing off the Nitrazepam, I read as of late that though physicians have long been prescribing benzodiazepines for sleep, they are really only meant for short term use. If you google:

      Benzodiazepines treat anxiety, cause long-term problems.

      you may find an article in the "Bend Bulletin" that might be worth a read.

      Did the Citalopram seem to affect your drinking, more, less, no change at all? 

      Yes! Excellent job leaving the whiskey in the bottle! Very proud of you for that! Keep it up!

      There's a website called Calm (dot) com, nice calming natural scenery and sounds, they even offer some free guided meditations. I found the scenes relaxing by themselves. 

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  • Posted

    HI Vicylou. Got up at 0410am...other days 0530am but not 2am or before drinking for 3 1/2 yrs so the booze is out of my body but more related to my father was also a poor sleeper and so was his father but I do manage to fall asleep often at 5am or 0530 for 30 mins or more so not too bad. I suppose some medication will hlep but it all depends on the strength. Well done for your 2 weeks for not drinking and perhaps your body simply needs a bit longer to settle down?? best of luck for certain! Robin
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    • Posted

      Thanks Robin at least I'm not alone, I'm not totally bonkers!

      I noticed that a lot of your posts were written very early in the morning. I assumed, obviously wrongly, that you worked nights!! Now I know why.

      Last night I was watching football and nodded off for ten minutes, only to be woken up with a jump to the fire alarm screeching away. My son (30!) had burnt his sausages😒😒 I went straight to bed and woke up at 03.30. So that's a vast improvement. So pleased I didn't have warm milk with whisky.

      Thanks again, there are some lovely and very helpful people on this forum and am so glad I found it.

      Am going to Spain on Saturday, this time without the grandkids, so hope to come back tanned and relaxed and not start on a binge when I'm back.

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  • Posted

    I'm so sorry you have trouble sleeping.  I hope you get a lot of good suggestions from this forum.  They're terrific on here.  

    I guess I should feel blessed that the one thing I do benefit from when I quit drinking is that I lose the insomnia.  

    Wishing you nothing but the best in your journey!  

    P.S.  I'm sure you've trtied everything you know.  Have you tried journaling before bed?  Somtimes writing how you feel before bed helps release anxiety.  Just a thought.

    Good luck!

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