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This topic contains 4 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by Martin Reed 4 months ago.

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  • #30848

    ✘ Not a client

    Hi everyone! My name is Lana and I have insomnia for most of my life. I am at the point  that I desperately need to find something to help me sleep better.  I quit my highly demanding job last year to focus on the health and sanity. Here I am, a year later, still taking ambien (15+ years)  to fall asleep and struggling to stay asleep for longer than 5 hours.  I have group CBT-i  scheduled in October(!)  and the follow-up appointment in January. Trying to take one day at a time. I am  happy to find this forum and meet you.


    ✘ Not a client


    Have you tried to taper off the Ambien?  CBT won’t be worth doing if you’re still taking sleep medication.

    If your doctor doesn’t know how to taper you, there are websites that can help.  It’s not rocket science, but it does take patience.  I was on 1 mg Lorazepam for 15+ years and my doctor thought a couple of weeks of tapering would be okay.  He was dead wrong.  It took me three months, but during that time I never felt ill.


    ✘ Not a client

    LSF, thanks for responding.

    I was taking 0.5 Lorazepam and 5 Ambien for 8 years and many years  Ambien 10mg. Did not have much sleep problems while being on them.  I tried to quit a year ago and was able to stop Lorazepam.

    After 3 months I resumed Ambien at lower dose of 2.5mg (half of a pill) but it never gave me enough sleep so I went to the sleep clinic.

    Sleep doctor  did not tell me anything about going off Ambien,   I was told I could benefit from CBT-i . They sent  me a spreadsheet (sleep diary) asking to fill it every morning, which I do. So far I have 90% sleep efficiency but the total sleep average is 5.5. Ambien knocks me out but not long enough to feel recovered.

    LSF, how do you sleep now? Do you use any supplements for sleep? Did you do CBT-i ?


    ✘ Not a client

    The information brochure I received from my sleep clinic also said I shouldn’t discontinue sleep medications prior to the sleep test, which made no sense at all because then they can’t really tell what’s going on, apart from breathing  issues.

    Anyway, during my five weeks CBT course the therapist was really upset that I used my sleep aids (mirtazapine) a couple of times at the end of the first week.  She said it completely negates the effects of the therapy. After that I didn’t use it at all, which was brutal.


    Martin Reed
    ★ Admin

    Welcome to the forum, Lana! I’m glad to hear that you have discovered CBT-I but I’m sorry to hear that it doesn’t begin officially until October — that’s a long time to wait!

    CBT-I techniques are helpful whether you are taking sleeping pills or not — so you shouldn’t feel pressured to stop taking sleeping pills when you start a course of CBT-I. The only time sleeping pill use can be a problem is if you take sleeping pills contingently.

    You might find this short YouTube video helpful: Does cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-I) work if you are taking sleeping pills?

    Have you tried my free sleep training course? I think you might find it helpful, at least while waiting for your group therapy in October.

Viewing 5 posts - 1 through 5 (of 5 total)

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