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Author Topic: Insomnia--Waking up at 3am....UGH!  (Read 6577 times)

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Offline mrtallguy

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Insomnia--Waking up at 3am....UGH!
« on: December 22, 2006, 09:42:14 PM »
I just read the posting from Johnny Guaylupo about not being able to fall asleep....I am just the opposite...I have no problem falling asleep...I usually wake up 3-4 hours later and feel like it is time to get up....sometimes I take some Ambien but that does not result in returning to true REM sleep...just puts me into a haze for a few hours.   On weekends I take Elavil which is actually an old-school antidepressant and that knocks me out for the night...but it takes a couple hours for the fog to clear in the morning.   So I can't take that on nights when I have to get up and function (which is rare)....I read the lesson on HIV and depression and, as a result, will take a new drug tonight...Sinequan....according to the lesson there are few negative side affects and it is in the same family of drugs as the Elavil....and it is often prescribed for insomnia.  My doctor wants me to enroll in a sleep study which sounds like no fun at all....or if we go the drug route he thinks Paxil which seems to be more psycho-tropic....not thrilled about that!  Anyone found a way to knock yourself out at 3am....short of using a baseball bat?  Feedback on these or other sleepy drugs?

--mr-tired-tallguy  :(

Offline MitchMiller

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Re: Insomnia--Waking up at 3am....UGH!
« Reply #1 on: December 22, 2006, 09:56:45 PM »
You have the same problem as I do.  I've had the problem since my mid 20's, but it's WAY WORSE... primarily due to Sustiva.  I am under a lot of pressure at work (working 7 days/week - 70 hrs/week) and I go to bed at 12... go right to sleep... then wake up at 5... and thinking about all the stuff I have to get done at work just kicks my brain into overdrive.  I've tried Ambien, Lunesta, Restoril, Rozerem, Xanax.  Xanax was the best because I could cut the tablets into small pieces.  But it is physically addictive.  I believe much of my problems stem from anxiety... and Sustiva heightens feelings of anxiety.  I just had a great 2 hour nap.  I sleep best at the end of the day... but before I take the Sustiva.  My PA told me I need to see another dr. to get treatment for this, especially if I want an anxiety medication.  I really want to try a barbituate (senecol)... but don't know where to get it.  GHB is also supposed to promote "deep" sleep (marketed under the name XYTREM -- oddly for narcolepsy) http://www.talkaboutsleep.com/message-boards/viewtopic.php?t=6366&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=30&sid=89468b9a4ebcaa879a3ee298be5c22a3

Thanks for the tip on Sinequan.
« Last Edit: December 22, 2006, 09:58:25 PM by MitchMiller »

Offline Oceanbeach

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Re: Insomnia--Waking up at 3am....UGH!
« Reply #2 on: December 22, 2006, 09:58:23 PM »
I had a particularily bad night last night and I had already posted in Johnny G's Insomnia thread.

I went to bed at midnight and was wide awake all night, still awake after 7:00 AM.  I finally get a few hours sleep (3) and the damn phone rings.

Ringing phone-

(Me) Uh hello?

(Friend) Did I wake you?

(Me) Yes

(Friend) I had a dtream I wanted to tell you about and will call back tonight

(Me) Call about Midnight, I will still be awake then

Thinking back over the past 10 years w/AIDS, the happiest I ever was, on Prozac, the drug of choice and the Breakfast of Champions.  Have the best day

Offline mrtallguy

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Re: Insomnia--Waking up at 3am....UGH!
« Reply #3 on: December 22, 2006, 10:32:32 PM »
Hey Mitch....
Thanks for the reply....I have always looked forward to taking the Elavil on Friday nights because I knew it would be a good & long nights rest.   I always thought it was just another sleeping pill.   When I read the "HIV and Depression" lesson on this site I realized that it actually is an anti-depressent and so I'm asking myself "Am I Depressed?"....I don't think it is that so much as what you talk about....ANXIETY....my "engine" dies when I hit the bed but then it starts up after I have had just enough rest to survive for half a day.   Only problem is that I never fall asleep when I try to nap...another UGH!!  So be greatful for your ability to nap!  As for the GHB....isn't that the party drug "G"??  That does knock people out... but I don't know that it is a good way to get rest....as for the SENECOL I have no information....anyone else??

THANKS for the link to TalkAboutSleep.com....I wanted to read something positive somewhere about the Sinequan I am taking tonight and there was exactly such a posting in their forum from a lady who had been using it for 10+ years.   I'll report back tomorrow!


Offline Eldon

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Re: Insomnia--Waking up at 3am....UGH!
« Reply #4 on: December 23, 2006, 12:11:46 AM »
Yes, I AM Supporting You

Hey Mrtallguy ...

However it works out for you, I wish you the best to find a GOOD remedy.

Enjoy your Holiday Season and Thank you for sharing.

"Don't You Dare Give Up, Don't You Dare Give In... Cause it is ALL within you to WIN!"

Offline Bartro

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Re: Insomnia--Waking up at 3am....UGH!
« Reply #5 on: December 23, 2006, 12:57:12 AM »
I noticed with Sustiva that if I eat a little something fatty a while after taking the medication It  helps me sleep better.  I asked the pharmacist and she said this was a bad idea but my doc said it's okay.  Since my labs continue to improve and I'm sleeping well I'll go with what the doc says.

Offline poet

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  • Poet living and working in Central Maine
Re: Insomnia--Waking up at 3am....UGH!
« Reply #6 on: December 23, 2006, 05:48:41 AM »
I am pretty sure that my taking Sustiva has something to do with the problem as well.  I was out cold until 3 a.m. and then the rain starting my concerns about the roof and leaks and then the things I need to get cooked for work today... dosing from time to time until 5:30 and now late to wake up. :(  I did find that by not taking a nap during the afternoon, I am more likely to be exhausted and fall right to sleep as opposed to the opposite problem of being unable to sleep, falling into that deep, deep seeming Sustiva moment and then rewaking.  Win
Winthrop Smith has published three collections of poetry: Ghetto: From The First Five; The Weigh-In: Collected Poems; Skin Check: New York Poems.  The last was published in December 2006.  He has a work-in-progress underway titled Starting Positions.

Offline IzPoz

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  • God, grant me the serenity...
Re: Insomnia--Waking up at 3am....UGH!
« Reply #7 on: December 23, 2006, 08:48:14 AM »
Hi Mrtallguy,

My drug regime doesn't include Sustiva or anything of the like, but I have that same exact problem.  There are nights that I can go to bed at 11 and wake up at 2, be up until 4, then back to sleep for another hour or so and get up for work at 6.  Unfortunately, I don't have the luxury of taking naps during the day except weekends, and even then I have a hard time doing so.  I also find that if I nap during the day, it makes my problem at night worse.

I don't take any antidpressants nor sleep aids.  I would prefer not to become reliant on stuff like that.  Besides, I like to wake with a clear head, albeit tired.

What I don't do when I have my nights of wake ups, is to get up out of bed.  I don't want to make my body think that it's time to get up, so I stay in bed and try to relax as best as possible.  And believe me... I've wanted to get up at 2 am and start vacuuming!!!  The only thing that stopped me was the fact that my daughter was asleep!

Anxiety, stress, worries... all that can make your sleepless problem worse.  So do what you can to relax and clear your head before going to sleep.  Drink chammomile tea, try not to eat too close to bed time (give yourself at least 2 hours). 

Good luck!
The reason angels can fly is that they take themselves so lightly. ~ Chesterton G. K.

Offline mrtallguy

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  • Posts: 199
Re: Insomnia--Waking up at 3am....UGH!
« Reply #8 on: December 23, 2006, 10:31:40 AM »
Good Morning AM Forum!
Well I took the SINEQUAN last night with my Sustiva, went to bed at 10pm, woke up a few times during the night but went right back to sleep...and finally got up at 10am....oh my god...thats 12 hours of sleep! Wow!
So I am still groggy but a few cups of coffee and I'll be ready to conquer the world.   This process is similar to the Elavil that I spoke of in my original posting....great for weekends but not sure this will work during the week.   I read a posting at TalkAboutSleep.com where a member drank a glass of grapefruit juice with a teaspoon of lime and that enhanced the performance of 10mg of Ambien....so I'll try that tonite and see how that works.   It is interesting that some people find the Sustiva to help their sleep while others feel that it hinders sleep....as one member said to me...."good luck trying to hit a moving target"!

A big THANK YOU for all the replies and Happy Holidays to all!!


Offline Tar Heel

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Re: Insomnia--Waking up at 3am....UGH!
« Reply #9 on: December 23, 2006, 10:46:45 AM »
I'm a psych nurse and we use a lot of Trazodone (Desryl.)
"So much has been given to me that I have no time to ponder on that which has been denied." ~ Helen Keller

Offline vegaslocal39

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Re: Insomnia--Waking up at 3am....UGH!
« Reply #10 on: December 23, 2006, 10:56:00 AM »
I have had the same problem for a long time.  I fall asleep quickly, but often don't sleep through the night.  I wake up, my brain starts yacking, and it's all over.  For a very long time I was up by 4am every day.

I tried Ambien Cr, but it didn't work for me.  I think it's a good drug for people who have trouble falling asleep, but for me, its claims to help me stay asleep fell short.

In the past few months, my life is much less stressful than it was when my insomnia was at its worst.  I'm now not waking up as early.

The whole concept of "sleeping in" is totally foreign to me.  It makes no difference how late I go to bed, I will be up early in the morning.  The later I go to bed, the less sleep I will get.  The only remedy I have found is to go to be earlier.  Most nights, I'm asleep before 9:00.

I wish I had better advice.  Just know that you are not alone in this. 

Offline Christine

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Re: Insomnia--Waking up at 3am....UGH!
« Reply #11 on: December 23, 2006, 01:04:51 PM »
Hi mrtallguy,
I have the exact same problem. I can fall asleep without any problems, then 3am I am wide awake. When that starts to happen, it is my indicator that my depression is not being controlled. My currents psyche meds either need to be adjusted or changed.

Are you under the care of a psychiatrist for the meds you listed or your GP or ID? I would recommend seeing a psychiatrist if you are not already seeing one. They seem to be better able to work with those meds.

Do you take the Ambien before going to sleep? Or when you wake up at 3am? My understand of Ambien is that it should be taken before going to bed.

I have tried Ambien in the past, but started having the weird side effects. The doctor switched to Lunesta, which worked well, but it caused a horrible taste in my mouth. Right now, I am using a very low dose of Trazadone, and it is working well.

My experiences with dealing with psyche meds has been really trial and error. Trying different meds and different doses to find what works best. It seems to be a very individual thing as to which meds will work for you.

I would keep in contact with your doctor, keep a log of what drugs you used, how they worked, how your sleeping...

I think the sleep lab is a good idea. It will give the doctor more information in order to help you the best they can.

Poz since '93. Currently on Procrit, Azithromax, Pentamidine, Valcyte, Levothyroxine, Zoloft, Epzicom, Prezista, Viread, Norvir, and GS-9137 study drug. As needed: Trazodone, Atavan, Diflucan, Zofran, Hydrocodone, Octreotide

5/30/07 t-cells 9; vl 275,000

Offline MitchMiller

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Re: Insomnia--Waking up at 3am....UGH!
« Reply #12 on: December 26, 2006, 10:31:45 PM »
The more I read about Sustiva and sleep problems, the more I'm beginning to be convinced that the sleep problems are a side effect of the root cause:  Sustiva can cause increased anxiety... it's the anxiety that then disturbs the sleep.... so anti-anxiety meds would seem to make most sense for treating sleep related disorders that get worse after taking Sustiva... just my take (and I'm by no means a doctor or have any medical training... just my disclaimer).  I also think anti-anxiety meds don't leave you in as much of a fog as sleeping pills.  I can sleep pretty well on Xanax and function ok the next day. 
One thing that helps is getting daily exercise... but not at night, if possible... again because I believe exercise relieves anxiety.

Offline David_CA

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  • Joined: March 2006
Re: Insomnia--Waking up at 3am....UGH!
« Reply #13 on: December 26, 2006, 11:49:06 PM »
I had the same problems with Sustiva initially - wake up at 3:00 am and lay there for hours.  I started having a little snack and dtaking the Atripla immediately before I go to sleep, which has helped a lot.

I now take a Klonopin in the morning which keeps my anxiety down all day.  I also exercise for 30+ minutes in the morning.  That releases endorphins which, along with Adderall, keep me perky all day.  Now, when I go to sleep, I may wake up to use the bathroom, but I go right back to sleep.  Good luck with it.

Black Friday 03-03-2006
03-23-06 CD4 359 @27.4% VL 75,938
06-01-06 CD4 462 @24.3% VL > 100,000
08-15-06 CD4 388 @22.8% VL >  "
10-21-06 CD4 285 @21.9% VL >  "
  Atripla started 12-01-2006
01-08-07 CD4 429 @26.8% VL 1872!
05-08-07 CD4 478 @28.1% VL 740
08-03-07 CD4 509 @31.8% VL 370
11-06-07 CD4 570 @30.0% VL 140
02-21-08 CD4 648 @32.4% VL 600
05-19-08 CD4 695 @33.1% VL < 48 undetectable!
08-21-08 CD4 725 @34.5%
11-11-08 CD4 672 @39.5%
02-11-09 CD4 773 @36.8%
05-11-09 CD4 615 @36.2%
08-19-09 CD4 770 @38.5%
11-19-09 CD4 944 @33.7%
02-17-10 CD4 678 @39.9%  
06-03-10 CD4 768 @34.9%
09-21-10 CD4 685 @40.3%
01-10-11 CD4 908 @36.3%
05-23-11 CD4 846 @36.8% VL 80
02-13-12 CD4 911 @41.4% VL<20
You must be the change you want to see in the world.  Mahatma Gandhi

Offline Eldon

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Re: Insomnia--Waking up at 3am....UGH!
« Reply #14 on: December 27, 2006, 03:20:25 AM »
Yes, I AM Supporting You!

Hey Mrtallguy...

I am HAPPY to hear that you were able to find some sort of solution to your situation. Also, you may want to address any stress or anxiety issues that may exist as well. This will HELP you conquer the situation just as well.

Thanks for chiming in and sharing with the group.

Don't You Dare Give Up... Don't You Dare Give In...
Because It Is ALL Within YOU to WIN!!!

Offline coltsteele

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Re: Insomnia--Waking up at 3am....UGH!
« Reply #15 on: December 27, 2006, 05:52:39 PM »
New to forum ... have been experiencing the "wake up at 3AM" thing since diagnosed in May '06.

CD4 was 42 at that time and viral load was >100,000. Started on Truvada and Kaletra. Thought the middle of the night inability to return to sleep after a trip to the bathroom was drug related. However, mid-Summer, my mind had a train wreck (aka nervous break down). Initial diagnosis was post traumatic stress (made sense to me with two tragic deaths in family, HIV diagnosis and recovering from a 5 yr abusive relationship). 

At my suggestion, Doc gave me Trazadone (helped 'knock me out') and AmbienCR (should have kept me asleep....it didn't).

Long story short here...in December I checked myself into a different mental health center and was diagnosed as "obsessive compulsive personality disorder" and prescribed Zyprexa.  Doc suggested I stop the Trazadone and AmbienCR.  Results. I'm on the Zyprexa now for 2 weeks and have slept VERY, VERY well. I'm even having dreams ... some of them great naughty <g> ones!  Sleeping 7 to 10 hours a night.

Only problem at the moment is that come 9:00 PM, I'm starting to eye the bed, fall asleep by 9:30 and sleep til anywhere from 7AM to 8:30AM.  Did all that lack of sleep the past 6-7 months build up and now I gotta pay for it? 

I'm thinking my inability to sleep earlier this year was mental health/illness related and not medicine related.  Just a thought.

Sorry this is so long for my first post.

Offline mrtallguy

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Re: Insomnia--Waking up at 3am....UGH!
« Reply #16 on: December 28, 2006, 05:41:21 AM »
Good Morning Forum!
Again a BIG THANK YOU for the feedback on this thread.....up until last night I have been able to sleep thru the initial sustiva high....but ate dinner just before going to bed which was turkey and a side of corn....a great fat-free choice.....but I forgot about the interaction of sustiva and fat....and finished dinner with a wonderful peanut butter/chocolate brownie....took the sustiva a half hour later and within an hour I was "flying" around my bedroom until midnight when I popped a Lunesta which gave me a few hours of twisted rest until I got up at 4am.  So early dinners from now on.  And no yummy treats before bed!

I am reading multiiple posts here about the anxiety connection so I will check out some of your ideas....

MITCH and DAVID:  More exercise is always a good thing!
COLTSTEELE:  No apology needed!  The good news is that you found this site and chose to participate!
ELDON:  YOU are a pillar of this site....it is noticed and APPRECIATED!! :)
CHRISTINE AND TAR HEEL:  You both mention low dose Trazodone...Thank You!
POET & BARTRO:  You seem to be "friends" with Sustiva...good for you and good luck!

I am thinking about dumping the SUSTIVA and switching to VIRAMUNE with my TRUVADA...
Seems like I am chasing one drug with multiple others...anyone on that combo??

Be Well!


Offline mrtallguy

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  • Posts: 199
Re: Insomnia--Waking up at 3am....UGH!
« Reply #17 on: January 06, 2007, 07:03:08 PM »





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