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This topic contains 3 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by LCF 2 days, 10 hours ago.

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  • #35533

    ✘ Not a client

    I’ve had severe insomnia for 1.5 years. I’ve tried CBTI and ACT but haven’t been successful. I think I’m part because I’m still taking sleeping medications. I’d like to hear how others used CBTI and ACT to get off sleeping meds and get their life and sleep back.


    ✘ Not a client

    I’ve been working on it for about the same amount of time and have had ups and downs. Sleep medication will help aid to a degree and if it helps, continue. If you’d like to stop, consult your doctor for an exit strategy. Usually the best way is to set a date to start and then start with half the dose. Chances are things will be the same or better. Regardless, stay at that dose for a week or two or whatever then either stop or go to quarter and repeat. Hope this helps.

    I was off medication for 7 months and I know I can sleep without them!


    ✓ Client

    You may want to get some help with implementing the therapies. CBT-I is hard to do alone without support. It can take weeks and sometimes it’s hard to keep going without encouragement and a helping hand. Martin here on this website is a terrific coach for CBT-I.

    ACT is tricky. They may think you’re doing it correctly when in fact, you aren’t. It won’t work if you’re not doing it right. I got help with this. Once I got past my mental roadblocks and understood how to implement ACT correctly, it took less than two weeks to recover.


    ✘ Not a client

    Deb, I can’t help you with using ACT to get off your sleep meds, but I do know how to get off sleep meds without CBT/ACT. I took 1 mg Ativan every night for over 16 years and came off it without too much trouble over three months. That might seem an excessive time, but I had virtually no withdrawal symptoms even after being so habituated to the medication.

    You didn’t state what you’re taking, but the strategy is to go slowly and make cuts of 10% of your current dose every week or two, depending on how you feel. This strategy was first suggested by Dr. Ashton a while back, and a lot of people get off medications successfully this way.

    I would not suggest a 50% cut of any medication you’ve been on for any length of time, particularly the benzodiazepines and z-drugs but also antidepressants, though to a lesser extent. That’s how you can end up with serious withdrawal symptoms. And I will add that most doctors, in my experience, do not know how to get their patients off medications properly. It’s not something they’re taught and they don’t understand because they’ve usually not had to go through it.

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