• I have terrible time sleeping. Getting to sleep and staying asleep. I've tried herbal supplements, over the counter sleep aids, etc.

    Asked by walshmeister on Friday, May 17, 2019

    I have terrible time sleeping. Getting to sleep and staying asleep. I've tried herbal supplements, over the counter sleep aids, etc.

    I have not tried a prescribed sleeping pill, I'm afraid to use them, who has tried them, and did they help you?

    16 Answers from the Community

    16 answers
    • po18guy's Avatar
      po18guy

      You might be in luck. There is a drug called Trazodone, which is aimed at anxiety and depression, but produces sleep as a main side effect. It is NOT habit-forming, is available generic and is affordable. You may take it as needed, but may have to adjust the dose, depending on how much sleep it produces.

      My hematologist recommended it and prescribed it when I could not sleep. I got the impression that he also used it at times. I know that one of the nurses in the hematology department uses it for a good night's sleep. It is not for everyone, but it is well worth asking doctor about, as there are very few negatives.

      about 1 month ago
    • cllinda's Avatar
      cllinda

      I agree! Trazodone has helped me sleep for a few years. To me it shuts off my brain of crazy thoughts and let's me sleep. It comes in 50 and 100 mgs and doesn't cause any side effects like sleeping pills can.
      I had gone to my counselor who told me about this drug. It works great. She had said that other people who have a lot on their mind had said it worked for them. So I went to my gp and got a prescription for it. And have slept pretty good for the last few years.

      about 1 month ago
    • carm's Avatar
      carm

      You might also try temazepam. It has been around since the 50's. Very inexpensive but is very effective. I have been on it for almost 20 years and it still puts me to sleep. I never wake drowsy. Most of my patients prefer it over trazadone. It is less harsh. Best of luck to you.

      about 1 month ago
    • LiveWithCancer's Avatar
      LiveWithCancer

      I hear melatonin works, but maybe you've tried that.

      Have you tried just training your brain to focus on counting your blessings when it starts going crazy and keeping you from sleep?

      I know they say not to do it, but I find that playing some games on my tablet right before bedtime will have me nodding off in no time. I play those games that have you match like pieces ... I cannot think of the name of them right now ... they don't require much thought.

      about 1 month ago
    • walshmeister's Avatar
      walshmeister

      Thanks for the suggestions, I will ask my doctor about those drugs. Livewithcancer, yes I've tried the melatonin but I can't tell that it helps any at all, but thanks for the suggestion.

      about 1 month ago
    • GregP_WN's Avatar
      GregP_WN

      I have had great results taking over the counter sleep aids like Advil PM.

      about 1 month ago
    • ironmikey's Avatar
      ironmikey

      trazadone didnt work at all for me.. gave me bad dreams and in woke up in an hour and then no sleep,, worse then sleeping bec ause of the hlorrible nightmares.

      about 1 month ago
    • Kp2018's Avatar
      Kp2018

      During active treatment, sleep loss was my biggest problem. I think it was related to all of the steroid medications used to control the side effects of the chemo. My oncologist prescribed Amitriptylene (Elavil). It helped on the night of treatment and the two nights afterwards.

      Post active treatment, I'm still not the greatest sleeper, but melatonin (10 mg) puts me to sleep quite nicely. Hard staying asleep some nights, though, but I try not to stress out about it.

      about 1 month ago
    • Kylerem's Avatar
      Kylerem

      I’ve had the same issues. Ativan works wonders for me and I do still take as needed. I did try Ambien without success. I have a meditation app as well as a relaxing sound app on my phone which honestly has worked better then the meds. Try the Calm app. There are a variety of meditations and sounds that really help. I was a big skeptic but am a believer now

      about 1 month ago
    • BarbarainBham's Avatar
      BarbarainBham

      In addition to the above medicines, I have Flexaril muscle relaxers for fibromyalgia, and they put me into a deep restful sleep if I take one at bedtime. A warm bath/shower also relaxes me for sleep.

      If you have problems with your mind getting hyper and thinking of everything at bedtime, watching a TV show can take your mind off of the other things. If you lie down with the TV on low, you'd be surprised how fast you close your eyes and fall asleep. (I do that with QVC shopping channel----nothing that you have to see the ending!)

      Also little neighborhood noises are blocked out by the TV like white noise.

      about 1 month ago
    • ironmikey's Avatar
      ironmikey

      I really wish i had luck with trazadone since it is so easily prescribed. I have a full sript for it but it just doesn't help me. Good luck for those of you who it works for, because like I said just about any Dr. will prescribe it since its definitely non narcotic. my sleep is a major issue and I've told my pallitive doctor but she just suggests trazadone or melatonin niether of witch work for me.

      about 1 month ago
    • BarbarainBham's Avatar
      BarbarainBham

      Ironmikey, have you told the palliative doctor they don't help you? If that's all she will prescribe, tell your primary care doctor about your problem. Quality sleep is important to being healthy, so give them a call.

      I looked up Trazodone, and I had to wonder if the doctor told you that it's an anti-depressant that's used for insomnia, which would mean that it doesn't act immediately like the other medicines for sleep. I don't know about Trazodone, but usually anti-depressants take a few weeks to work (which she should have told you). As the link below explains, they work by addressing the serotonin in your brain, which also impacts pain.

      https://www.drugs.com/trazodone.html

      about 1 month ago
    • BarbarainBham's Avatar
      BarbarainBham

      As a last resort, after trying medicines, you could go to a sleep specialist. Sometimes people who snore have sleep apnea.

      Ironmikey, I'm no expert, but it sounds to me like you are very anxious and possibly getting control of anxiety would help you sleep. (Ativan is good for anxiety and sleep.) Since you don't work now, make anxiety your "project" and learn about it. You may need to distract yourself with more activities and people to think about rather than cancer.

      about 1 month ago
    • ironmikey's Avatar
      ironmikey

      I know your right. Its easier said than done for me. Im going to try...

      about 1 month ago
    • ironmikey's Avatar
      ironmikey

      I keep calling the social worker at fox chase cancer center
      but I guess shes busy

      about 1 month ago
    • BarbarainBham's Avatar
      BarbarainBham

      Try calling the nurse if you want a prescription. Be sure and mention that the Social Worker doesn't return your calls! Then call somebody to go to lunch and ?

      about 1 month ago

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