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Author Topic: Can Melatonin Replace Ambien?  (Read 980 times)
PrimeTimer
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« on: September 06, 2016, 11:03:35 PM »

Once again the government has come between my doctor and I. They have limited the strength (dose) and quantity that Ambien can be prescribed. I am thinking of trying Melatonin for a good nites sleep. And if that doesn't work, then perhaps a stiff drink. Does Melatonin work? I have Fibromyalgia and my brain doesn't turn off so Ambien has been a real lifesaver for me. But I am tired of playing the game and having to go thru red tape just for a nite's sleep. Melatonin bliss anybody? By the way, I've taken the same small dose of Ambien at bedtime for years with no problems. Have never needed a larger dose. It has never caused me to sleepwalk or get up in the nite to go drive a car, binge eat or anything else except... SLEEP! But apparently it has had some of these strange effects on some people that the FDA/DEA are having doctors reign it in as a Schedule IV Controlled Substance. Nice. 
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kickingandscreaming
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« Reply #1 on: September 07, 2016, 04:24:48 AM »

When I remember, I take 3mg Melatonin at night and I think it does help.  But it's not a reliable substitute for a good sleep drug (which can have all kinds of untoward consequences).  I don't know where you live, but in my state medical marijuana (MMJ) is legal and my sleep had gotten to be so bad (especially with all the interruptions from PD) that I decided to try MMJ.  I am now experimenting with it and I think it will provide the sleep help that I need.  I have another friend with Fibro who also uses MMJ for pain and sleep and it's helping her, too.
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PrimeTimer
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« Reply #2 on: September 07, 2016, 12:25:55 PM »

When I remember, I take 3mg Melatonin at night and I think it does help.  But it's not a reliable substitute for a good sleep drug (which can have all kinds of untoward consequences).  I don't know where you live, but in my state medical marijuana (MMJ) is legal and my sleep had gotten to be so bad (especially with all the interruptions from PD) that I decided to try MMJ.  I am now experimenting with it and I think it will provide the sleep help that I need.  I have another friend with Fibro who also uses MMJ for pain and sleep and it's helping her, too.

I am not in a state where marijuana is legal. But even if it was, Medical Marijuana is a Schedule I Controlled Substance and therefore, how much/how often it can be prescribed is regulated just like other prescription sleep medications are. Personally I am not interested in marijuana. I have a wonderful doctor and he is willing to still prescribe me Ambien but because it is heavily regulated now I want to try something else that doesn't require a prescription. Will be easier said than done I'm sure but I'm fed up with playing by the rules and following our laws and jumping thru hoops while lawbreakers (drug dealers and users) continue flooding our streets and committing crimes (robbing, thieving, pimping) to get their fix and creating more bureaucracy for the rest of us. Heck, my husband is a diabetic and has to have a prescription written for his insulin needles but heroin users? Nope...many cities now have programs for those using illegal drugs to get FREE clean needles. But my husband? Nope, works his arse off and pays thru the nose to have insurance coverage. Well, I've gone off on a rant...but even a good rant is good for the soul sometimes. 
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Husband has ESRD with Type I Diabetes -Insulin Dependent.
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He went back to doing in-center July 2016.
kickingandscreaming
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« Reply #3 on: September 07, 2016, 01:59:05 PM »

I was interested in trying MMJ for sleeping as I had been on Xanax for several years.  Now if you know anything about Xanax, and benzo's in general,  it is a devil drug--as are many of the sleeping potions that come from Big Pharma.  I was just glad to get free of Xanax without any major withdrawal.  I did.

The MMJ I am using has no psychotropic element.  It doesn't make me high. It is just the fraction of cannabis (cannabidiol) that is for deep relaxation, pain and inflammation relief and sleeping.  I, personally, would actually go to considerable lengths to avoid Big Pharma's opioids and similar.  But that's a personal decision.  Drugs like Ambien, Lunesta, and others in that class, often turn out to have lots of negative consequences in the long run.

You might look into L-Theanine and Valerian.  One is fraction derived from Green Tea,  and the other an herb. Both are quite relaxing.  And both are harmless.  Melatonin acts in a totally different way by adjusting the body's circadian rhythm.
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PrimeTimer
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« Reply #4 on: September 07, 2016, 05:36:05 PM »

Many many years ago when I had to go thru medical tests every couple of weeks I began to have anxiety attacks. Doctor gave me Xanax. It worked extremely well. Then I read how very addictive it is so immediately weaned myself off of it. A month later the doc tells me that I have to be weaned off of it...imagine his surprise when I told him I already had. He said most patients end up crying and begging not to be taken off of it. Told him that I simply did not want to trade one problem for another. I understand that Ambien can be addictive but I've been on the same low dose for many years, my body has not built up a tolerance nor do I experience unwanted side effects. Some people with Fibromyalgia have the problem where their nerve endings continually fire, even when no injury is present and their brainwave activity doesn't calm down enough to get a deep sleep. Certain cells in our bodies are replaced/repaired only while we are in deep R.E.M. sleep otherwise, you experience muscle aches and pains, such as people with Fibro do. Ambien helps those people but thanks to some whiners and people who want to take whopping doses of it after having a few glasses of wine and getting into their cars to drive to their corner store for more and wrecking or running over people, there is even a law now regulating the quality of my sleep.     
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Husband has ESRD with Type I Diabetes -Insulin Dependent.
I was his carepartner for home hemodialysis using Nxstage December 2013-July 2016.
He went back to doing in-center July 2016.
Charlie B53
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« Reply #5 on: September 07, 2016, 07:31:39 PM »


Do you snore at all?    I did. And I have sleep apnea.   My CPAP has made a world of difference in my quality of sleep.   Ask your Husband if he has noticed if you snore or gasp for air in your sleep.  If either then talk to your Doctor about a CPAP.  You may have to take home the recorder.  A small computer thing that has a chest band, a mic near your face, a finger clamp for O2 readings.  Wife had to wear them three nights, making the three recordings.  Results clearly shown she needed a CPAP.   Mine was done over-night in Clinic wired for stereo.  The full head set of a LOT of wires, plus the chestband, finger clamp, mic.  Oh, and a camera filming the whole thing.   Middle of the night Nurse woke me up and put a mask on my face.  Slept like a baby then.   When she showed me the differences in the brain waves before and after it made such an impression I've worn ouot two machines and working on my third.  I don't take an afternoon nap without it!

Definitely check it out!

You are absolutely right that major healing only occurs during regular deep sleep.  It IS that important for all of us.
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smartcookie
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« Reply #6 on: October 07, 2016, 12:26:40 PM »

I have been on Melatonin since back surgery in 2013.  I had been on pain medication for about a year, and when coming off of it, I had a hard time sleeping.  I take 3 mg and it does help.  However, this summer, I couldn't remember the mgs and accidentally bought a higher dose.  It ended up keeping me up all night for a week!   So start off at a low dose and work up to how much you need.  Ambien is definitely stronger, but it doesn't hurt to experiment with Melatonin.  Also, try some relaxation techniques before bed and try to keep from anything with backlighting (ie. TV, Kindle, computer, cell phone) right before bed. 
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« Reply #7 on: October 08, 2016, 12:59:17 PM »

Melatonin didn't help me. Valerian Root didn't help either. Changing pharmacies and paying out of pocket (from CVS to Sam's Club) helped me. Don't need a membership to use the pharmacy at Sam's and they don't kiss regulators butts. I have Fibromyalgia, not insomnia. Regulators don't know the needs of patients. My doctor does. Sam's filled my prescription as my doctor wrote it and not based on what regulators who are not doctors recommend. 
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Husband has ESRD with Type I Diabetes -Insulin Dependent.
I was his carepartner for home hemodialysis using Nxstage December 2013-July 2016.
He went back to doing in-center July 2016.
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« Reply #8 on: October 10, 2016, 05:48:23 PM »

The MMJ I am using has no psychotropic element.  It doesn't make me high. It is just the fraction of cannabis (cannabidiol) that is for deep relaxation, pain and inflammation relief and sleeping.  I, personally, would actually go to considerable lengths to avoid Big Pharma's opioids and similar.  But that's a personal decision.  Drugs like Ambien, Lunesta, and others in that class, often turn out to have lots of negative consequences in the long run.

I've been looking at trying cannabidiol as I've literally run out of options for controlling hypertension:

- I have bradycardia so I can't take anything that will further lower my heart rate (I'm on bystolic)
- My nephrologist doesn't want me to take ACEi or ARB as he says those will fast-track me to dialysis (and my proteinuria is somewhat low so I wouldn't really see a renal-protective benefit.)
- Anything else that impacts kidney function at all is out of the question (i.e. diuretics.)
- Already on maximum dose of amlodipine, doxazosin, and hydralazine.
(Also for what it's worth, I have anxiety and sleep problems and take a small dose benzo (zalepon) for the later.)

Does cannabidiol help with your hypertension? I've read a whitepaper suggesting that it lowers serum ACE but I can't find any information on whether or not it impacts kidney function (I'm still pre-dialysis) like a traditional ACE inhibitor does.

I tend to prefer to stay away from alternative and herbal medications because unlike pharmaceuticals, they are unregulated which means that it's extremely difficult to determine if the lab grade printed on the label is accurate and almost no accountability if it isn't (some herbal medication vendors don't even include what's written on the label at all in the actual product -- I really wish the vitamin/supplement industry was regulated for this reason.) That said, what's the best way to ensure that you're getting what you pay for with CBD?
« Last Edit: October 10, 2016, 05:51:43 PM by deckerj » Logged
kickingandscreaming
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« Reply #9 on: October 10, 2016, 07:10:08 PM »

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That said, what's the best way to ensure that you're getting what you pay for with CBD?

The only way I can think of is to try it and see.  Using MMJ is a trial and error thing.  There is no fixed reaction. People vary.  So you need to experiment. 

I know nothing about CBD and hypertension.  Haven't read about as that wasn't what I was trying to deal with.  Just sleeping.
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Charlie B53
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« Reply #10 on: October 11, 2016, 06:27:25 AM »


I had a problem falling asleep during the first week of the first couple of steps down in my pain meds.  I gave in and tried a combination of two small tablets of melatonin and two small tablets of benadril.  It worked, too well, I was groggy in the mornings.   I only used them for a few of the worst days.  Haven't touched them since.
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Athena
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« Reply #11 on: November 06, 2016, 05:23:42 AM »

Primetimer - I have the same problem as what you have with Ambien. I have tried many different things over the years, such as Xanax (which is a highly addictive benzodiazepam drug, so I was glad to stop that one), Valerian and countless other herbals remedies that have a sedative effect. When I was quite young and naive, I was prescribed a benzodiazepam sleep drug without being told a thing about it being addictive. I took it for a period of 3 months before  starting to experience the very negative mood swings effects that is all too well known. I sure was glad to stop that one. I have tried melatonin several years ago and not only did it not work, it also seemed to make me feel quite strange in some subtle way. I have since discovered that melatonin is NOT quite as safe as what it is regarded to be. I wouldn't recommend it.

But my sleep problems have continued so I've had to eventually find something else, so I was prescribed Ambien. I now take it regularly as I now am dealing with not just CKD but menopause as well. I know what you mean about fighting for a good night's sleep. That's in reality how it's like.

I think Ambien is quite a mild and benign sleep aid so I am a bit surprised to hear that the medical authorities seem to be tightening access to it.

I would love to not have to depend on anything to be quite honest. However, to go without getting an adequate night's sleep is by far the worse condition to have - particularly when dealing with any chronic illness that threatens to sap you of energy. I think insomnia is one of the worst afflictions to have.

Like you, I am also not interested in MMJ and have not heard that it is effective in sleep disorders.



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kickingandscreaming
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« Reply #12 on: November 06, 2016, 06:08:18 AM »

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Like you, I am also not interested in MMJ and have not heard that it is effective in sleep disorders.

You may not be interested in MMJ, but that doesn't mean it is not an effective aid in sleep disorders.  I beg to differ.  As I have posted before, I take an Indica strain (minimal to no psychoactive effects & specifically used for relaxation and insomnia) every night and have been doing this for the last couple of months.  I now sleep through the night with no issues.  Before that I had trouble falling asleep AND staying asleep (even on Xanax).  Now I can count on a full night of rest, thanks to that "ineffecive" MMJ.  I understand the reluctance to get involved with it, but not the misinformation.  BTW, MMJ is legal in my state. Thank heavens!
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Athena
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« Reply #13 on: November 06, 2016, 07:56:05 AM »

Like you, I am also not interested in MMJ and have not heard that it is effective in sleep disorders.

Well that is VERY interesting, then! I have only tried the recreational weed in the past, specifically to aid sleep but did not find it very effective (it induces relaxation but because of the high, it didn't allow for good restful sleep - I still had to take a sleeping tablet to fall asleep). Sounds like I should investigate this MMJ after all. Is it kidney-friendly?

It is slowly becoming legalised in my state here but I don't think it has been approved for conditions other than chronic pain, cancer & childhood epilepsy...

You may not be interested in MMJ, but that doesn't mean it is not an effective aid in sleep disorders.  I beg to differ.  As I have posted before, I take an Indica strain (minimal to no psychoactive effects & specifically used for relaxation and insomnia) every night and have been doing this for the last couple of months.  I now sleep through the night with no issues.  Before that I had trouble falling asleep AND staying asleep (even on Xanax).  Now I can count on a full night of rest, thanks to that "ineffecive" MMJ.  I understand the reluctance to get involved with it, but not the misinformation.  BTW, MMJ is legal in my state. Thank heavens!






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kickingandscreaming
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« Reply #14 on: November 06, 2016, 08:48:21 AM »

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Well that is VERY interesting, then! I have only tried the recreational weed in the past, specifically to aid sleep but did not find it very effective (it induces relaxation but because of the high, it didn't allow for good restful sleep - I still had to take a sleeping tablet to fall asleep). Sounds like I should investigate this MMJ after all. Is it kidney-friendly?

What you tried, recreationally, was a street drug.  And most people using rec. MJ are looking for a high so the street drugs are mostly "Sativa" rather than heavily " Indica".   The sativa strains are psychoactive and can keep you awake because what's going on in your mind is interesting.  Not so much with Indica strains. There's a little buzz with some, but mostly they are soporific or simply relaxing--and many offer pain relief.

In my state, insomnia is not listed as an official condition.  But sleeplessness is a symptom of many of the conditions that ARE listed.  When I met with the doctor, I said that I had kidney failure and that insomnia was a side effect of the disease and of the treatment (alarms all night and feeling overfull, etc.).  He had no problem considering me appropriately disabled.
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« Reply #15 on: November 06, 2016, 02:56:18 PM »

If all goes well next Tuesday, MMJ will be legal in K&S's state (MA).   

What is interesting is that the price for MJ is above just about any other herb except maybe saffron.  The concept of "sticky prices", and distribution that will make a MMJ dispensory license worth at least must as a liquor store license, will keep prices well above what a simple to grow crop (they don't call it weed for nuthin) would go for in a truly free market.

And, I'd bet the state legislature will waste no time in screwing with the 10% tax rate.
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PrimeTimer
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« Reply #16 on: November 06, 2016, 06:26:29 PM »

The DEA recently announced that they are keeping marijuana as a Schedule 1 drug and that it has no medical benefits whatsoever. Ambien however, offers great benefits. So long as you don't drink alcohol with it and drive.

http://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/marijuana/dea-says-marijuana-has-no-medical-use-pot-remains-listed-as-dangerous/
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amanda100wilson
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« Reply #17 on: February 01, 2017, 08:55:34 PM »

Melatonin keeps me awake andgives me severe RLS
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« Reply #18 on: February 24, 2017, 06:05:43 AM »


Wife had a Dr appt, I went in with her and had a nice chat with the Dr.  She had Ambien but rarely used it claiming it didn't really work very well.  Dr explained that Ambien is a short -term fast acting sleep aid.  Acts quickly to help the patient fall asleep but wears off in about 2 hours.  If the Patient wakens for any reason, like a bathroom visit, they often have problems returning to sleep again.  So he wrote he a new script for something that take a little long to have an effect but lasts more like 7 hours.  The patient can still wake for a bathroom visit but can easily return to sleep.  I will have to look at her meds for the name, a generic that begins with a T.

I don't think it is Xanex, she does take that also as an anti-depressant IIRC.

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« Reply #19 on: February 24, 2017, 10:50:17 AM »

Is it temazepam?  Brand name is Restoril.
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« Reply #20 on: February 24, 2017, 03:36:32 PM »



     tURMERIC???????
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