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Dealing with NON-pregnancy related Insomnia.

Forum: Pregnancy Questions


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  • 1 Post By belgravia

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July 7th, 2014, 07:13 PM
Super Mommy
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 938
Looking for gentle advice, as I'm really torn what to do.

I've been a horrible sleeper my whole life. After a car accident when I was 17, it got majorly worse. I ended up having head trauma and later on down the road auto-immune issues dealing with the hypothalamus and pituitary glands. Some of you might know that also controls sleep hormones in your body. I wrestled insomnia for years. I would take benadryl and lay in bed hoping for a few hours of sleep that night.

After having my first child, my previous insomnia issues plus no sleep with the baby and having to get up regardless during the night and the next day did me in. I almost had a psychotic break because I had NO sleep. Pairing insomnia with anxiety of a new baby made it so bad. My doctor finally gave me ambien. I slept.

I was allowed to stay on it during my second pregnancy and kept on going. Fast forward, I've been on ambien for 10 years. Which has been a blessing in so many ways, however, I know it's not for long term use. This year I sought help with a sleep specialist and it hasn't been a great experience. I've taken an at home test to rule out apnea, it came back negative. In May I had an in-lab test done and I've still not gotten the results out of my doctor. (which is why the not so great experience) However, I got a call today and it was a nurse asking me to stop the ambien. I asked her about tests results and she had no idea. Just that the dr said to stop since I am now pregnant with #3. I was of course a little taken back. Just stop? I asked her what do I do to sleep? She really didn't know what to say so she made me an appt for tomorrow.

This doctor has previously put me on another med she was more comfortable with but it made me sicker than a dog. Full on migraine, throwing up, dizzy...etc. So it was back to ambien.

Now I realize Ambien is a class C drug. I know it's best not to take anything during your pregnancy. I am already on a class D drug for a heart condition and was on that one during my prior pregnancies as well. So I don't want to put this little one in jeopardy, as of course they are my main concern. But a girl has got to sleep!

I just don't know what to do? How can a person not sleep? I work watching 3 kids plus my own 2. I have to get up at 5am 4 days a week. I'm not a lazy bum who just stays up late and sleeps in all day. I've taken the ambien as prescribed this whole time and actually went down in dosage in the last year. I'm so afraid of not sleeping! There is NO WAY I can work and be functional during the day without sleep. I'm really upset thinking about what lack of sleep would do for the baby.

To give you an idea of my sleeping without ambien. I would lay down at 10pm, read. Hours and hours will go by of me reading until I'm so tired so I try to sleep and nothing but tossing and turning happens. If by chance I get lucky I might fall asleep between 5-7am after being physically beyond exhausted only to wake up within a half hour. I might fall back asleep for another 15-30 minutes then wake up. It is miserable. I get tired, I just can't sleep.

So I guess my question to you all is.... If she takes me off of it, are there any safer options? Do I have ANY options?! Oh, I also already take melatonin along with the ambien. Benadryl, tylenol pm, zzquil all those otc ones do not do anything except make me more miserably tired with no sleep. I've done acupuncture. I think the one that made me sick as a dog was Trazodone.

I see the dr tomorrow and could use any information to look up to take with me. Thank you!!!

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August 12th, 2014, 03:02 AM
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 8
Hi GreenGeek,I hope you don't mind if I ask if you have even been to a psychiatrist? Because some insomnias are a mental issue, in that even if the body is tired and ready to sleep, the mind just won't shut off. Tackling it with a psych (and via therapy w/o meds) might be an avenue that you might want to explore.
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August 12th, 2014, 08:17 AM
Super Mommy
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 938
Yes, I have. Sometimes I think anxiety can play a role. I'm actually being referred to an actual sleep specialst that deals with neuro stuff. The lady before was sleep/pulmonologist. I have an appt this week.

On my own I'm weaning down the ambien. I've gotten down to 1/4 - 1/2 a dose. It works to fall asleep, however I am having issues with waking too early now. I wake about 3:45am and can't fall back asleep. It leaves me zombie during the day. Then at night I wake up and don't have the need to sleep until I take the meds.

I'm hoiping this new DR can help me.

I feel better about the baby as I'm on much lower dose so that has to help.

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