Anxious/Can't Sleep. What Sleep Supplement Works for You?

Discussion in 'Support' started by fatz1126, Aug 13, 2014.

tinnitus forum
    1. fatz1126

      fatz1126 Member

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2014
      Hi! I'm new here. I woke up with ringing on my right ear one Sunday morning, June 8 of this year to be exact. I tried my best to cope but it was always on my mind, always searching for it, if it's still there or not. I thought I was coping quite well because I can still sleep although it was always on my mind. Then on the night of July 21, after taking a shower and blow drying my hair. As I put my head on the pillow, I heard a high pitch ringing on my left ear too. It really scared me, thinking that now both my ears are ringing, because of the loud blow dryer and it really freaked me out. Since then, I haven't been able to sleep. It's as if something switched on and now I have insomnia and anxiety. I went to the doctor, I was prescribed to take .5mg of Ativan in the morning and .5mg-1mg at night to help me sleep. Started taking it only at night on July 25. To count the days, I've been on it for 17 days because there were days when I tried my best to sleep even without it. After the blowdrying incident, I checked my left ear and I didn't hear any ringing, I guess I was just paranoid that night. But now, after 17 days on ativan, I hear ringing on my left ear too! Now, I don't want to take ativan anymore. Can I just abruptly stop taking ativan? Anyone taking supplements to help you sleep? I'm starting to feel anxious now just thinking how will I be able to sleep tonight. Melatonin doesn't work for me, valerian doesn't work either. I will really appreciate if anyone of you will reply. Thanks in advance.
       
    2. jimH
      No Mood

      jimH Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      30 years+
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic trauma
      You stated that Melatonin doesn't work for you. What dosage(s) have you tried? The first dosage I tried did nothing for me. I then increased it to 3mg taking it about an hour before I wanted to go to sleep. That dose works very well for me.

      There are some very knowledgeable people on the forum that will have some additional suggestions. You won't have to wait long....:)
       
      • Informative Informative x 1
    3. LadyDi
      Busy

      LadyDi Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Florida, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Barotrauma/airplane
      Hey @fatz1126: If you are extremely anxious (and I see you are new to tinnitus, so its understandable if you are), you may still need something for anxiety at night to help you sleep. There are other choices besides Ativan. But there is no way to know if Ativan is causing the ringing in your other ear or not. Probably not, is my guess.

      Sleep meds (even natural ones like melatonin) work just on the sleep part of the brain.
       
      • Hug Hug x 1
    4. fatz1126

      fatz1126 Member

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2014
      Melatonin doesn't work for me anymore, unfortunately. Do you think it's safe to use ativan?
       
    5. fatz1126

      fatz1126 Member

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2014
      I tried 3mg of melatonin, even 6mg. The 3mg used to work for me before, but now that I have anxiety, it doesnt work anymore
       
    6. Teri
      Artistic

      Teri Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      4/2014
      Have you tried downloading a sleep app meditation on your phone, or finding a guided sleep meditation on your computer? This may help with calming yourself and lessening anxiety.
       
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    7. Golly
      Bookworm

      Golly Member Benefactor Team Awareness Team Research

      Location:
      New York City
      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2011
      Many individuals (including myself and others at TT) benefit from low doses (15mg or less) of an antidepressant called Remeron (generically, Mirtizapine). It is an outstanding sleep aid. Perhaps discuss this option with your doctor.

      -Golly
       
      • Optimistic Optimistic x 1
    8. Telis

      Telis Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Calgary
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2013
      I wouldn't stop ativan abruptly, even if it has only been 17 days. I was put on it for about three weeks (due to extreem anxiety related to tinnitus) and just stopped taking. This resulted in a increase in my tinnitus that never seemed to go back to where it was. Taper down slowly if you decide to discontinue.
       
    9. fatz1126

      fatz1126 Member

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2014
      Thank you Telis. Are you still on ativan?
       
    10. fatz1126

      fatz1126 Member

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2014
      I'm scared to take it for a long time due to ototoxicity issues. I tried 2.5g L-tryptophan last night with 3g melatonin. They didn't help me. I'm looking for something more natural to help me sleep. I'm feeling anxious just thinking that I wouldn't be able to sleep again tonight. Although I still have a few tablets of ativan here.
       
    11. fatz1126

      fatz1126 Member

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2014
      Thanks Golly, i will look into that
       
    12. fatz1126

      fatz1126 Member

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2014
      Haven't tried that Teri, but I did try hypnosis on CD, didnt work for me. Maybe I didnt focus harder.
       
    13. Telis

      Telis Member Hall of Fame

      Location:
      Calgary
      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2013
      No I quit taking all, I manage to sleep ok these days. Taking a drug like Ativan is a loosing battle unless it is taken on temporary basis, a day here and there under extreme circumstances (it is not meant to be taken every day). It will loose it's affect eventually. Also, when you discontinue, your original symptoms of anxiety will be amplified beyond their original state (especially if the underlying issue contributing to your anxiety is still present).

      I yanked the plug on this drug before things got out of control for me, I was not willing to be stuck on this for a lifetime.

      I would have thought this drug to be effective for me if I was trying to deal with a passing issue, something that would be non existent in the near future. My tinnitus definitely did not meet this criteria, I knew eventually I would have to stare it down. I understood I could not mask the anxiety forever with a drug like Ativan. It was a temporary fix but eventually I would have to pay the piper.

      I wish someone would have told me to taper, dumb move on my part to just quit cold turkey.

      Anyway, these are just my opinions.

      Hope this helps
       
      • Like Like x 2
    14. Golly
      Bookworm

      Golly Member Benefactor Team Awareness Team Research

      Location:
      New York City
      Tinnitus Since:
      01/2011
      If you want an all natural sleep aid, try passionflower tea. -G
       
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    15. fatz1126

      fatz1126 Member

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2014
      I am so confused and scared! I'm here now at the docs ofc and I intend to ask him about remeron. I'm losing a lot of weight because of anxiety. I have accepted my reality because I know I have no control over it. I have decided to just move on and adjust or adapt whenever it bothers me but the anxiety is still here. I can't sleep without taking anything, my mind is constantly racing. I've a 2 year old girl who needs a lot of attention and a son who has special needs. I need to get this all in control asap. I just think that with God's help, this will be over soon.
       
    16. fatz1126

      fatz1126 Member

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2014
      In my attempt to go medication free. I tried 2.5g of L-tryptophan + 3mg melatonin last night. I didnt want to take ativan again but it didnt work. I was up all night while seeing my family all asleep. I felt awful! And the hard part is that it's harder to cope when you're not sleeping.
       
    17. LadyDi
      Busy

      LadyDi Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Florida, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Barotrauma/airplane
      @fatz1126, it sounds like you are dealing with extreme anxiety on top of not being able to sleep (actually, the sleepness probably is coming in conjunction with the anxiety). Having anxiety is like having a house on fire -- you can't do anything until you get that fire under control.

      I have written a lot on this board about anxiety and panic attacks. I had both when I first came down with tinnitus. I was so miserable; couldn't eat, lost tons of weight, had blurry vision, and crazy feelings in my chest and legs. Have you had problems with anxiety before? Sometimes, tinnitus can kick start anxiety in people with no real prior history. The problem is the tinnitus signal your brain is making has activated the "fight and flight" reaction in your automatic nervous system, which perceives the sounds as threatening (even though your own body is making it). The panic response is an throwback to our caveman and cave woman days, when our brains were prepping our body for survival and to fight saber tooth tigers. That's why its a challenge to work on reducing anxiety and panic; its hardwired into our system.

      A very quick anxiety primer, all which are just my opinions based on my experiences.

      * Serious anxiety is best treated by a medical mental health professional, i.e. a psychiatrist.

      * Don't be afraid to use medications to get you over the anxiety hump, if you need to. I know some here at TT disagree, and each person has had different experiences. But a benzodiazapene like alprazolam can get you back on track. However, these are serious medications and need to be used under careful supervision of a psychiatrist (see above). Tell him/her you want the lowest effective dose possible.

      * Talk therapy (like cognitive behavioral therapy) in conjunction with medication can be tremendously helpful. This would involve a therapist, different from a psychiatrist.

      * Coming to TT also is extremely helpful! But really, we are no substitute for doctors. Each person's case is unique. My very best piece of advice is: Call in the professionals right away if you are struggling with anxiety.
       
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    18. Grace
      No Mood

      Grace Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/14/2013
      Dont be afraid of the ativan. You clearly dont sound like your in a good place right now which is totally understandable. Anxiety is the worse and the road to accepting this will start but in my opinion the first step to take is get the anxiety/sleep under control and if that includes benzos to take the edge off then the hell with it.. Take them ( under the care of a doctor ofcorse) ativan sucks though.. He should have gave you either xanex or klonopin( preferred cause it lasts throughout the day). Yes they can become addicting, and honestly the only way i feel these can worsen your T is if you withdraw Coldturkey... Ironically i dropped cold turkey and didnt develop T but then a year and half later got T from noise! But now i know never to do that again. Take One day at a time!
       
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    19. MikeA
      Curious

      MikeA Member

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      1992
      The posts by @LadyDi and @Telis contain excellent information and suggestions. More good suggestions are in the sleep thread:
      https://www.tinnitustalk.com/thread...e-supplements-medication-etc.4509/#post-44541

      Gotta love a good sleep stack. However lately a single scotch on the rocks is all I need <knock on wood>.

      - learn the tenants of good sleep hygiene and live them
      - limit blue/artificial light at night
      - psychotherapy is very good
      - masking in the bedroom
      - exercise!
      - chamomile tea and other natural remedies
      - etc etc

      Good luck!
       
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    20. fatz1126

      fatz1126 Member

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2014
      Thank you LadyDi for your constant reply. I just keep praying to God to give me courage and strength. I was actually coming to terms, accepting my T yesterday as it is. Learning not to react negatively whenever I hear it. Fully decided that I will not focus on it, not search for it anymore. Like what I have been doing for the past couple of weeks. Feeling determined and positive that I can and I will habituate faster but then I did something wrong. Knowing fully that I still have anxiety issues because of T (the main reason why I now suffer from insomnia too) and although I consider it mild because I can manage not to take Ativan in the morning and only take it at night to help me sleep. I decided not to take Ativan last night and instead took L-tryptophan and melatonin hoping to help me sleep. They didn't work! So this morning after every one in my family woke up feeling fresh and invigorated. There I was feeling miserable, negative, feeling all the more anxious than ever before. I read and read posts from different forums, making myself so scared that if I take Ativan again, it will make my tinnitus worst. I got myself so confused and overwhelmed by all the things that I read. Some saying positive things about Ativan, some negative. So I decided to go to our family doctor not my psychiatrist because I was so scared that of course he will tell me to continue taking Ativan. So there I went, not thinking logically or clearly, my brain I guess got so fuzzy with all the information. Our doctor told me to use ambien to help me sleep and Ativan in the morning only if I feel anxious. He told me that we need to address my insomnia so I will not be so anxious otherwise it's going to be like a cycle, no sleep equals anxiety over and over again. And now, after coming out from the docs office, I realized that I should address my anxiety first and Ativan helps me with both anxiety and insomnia. Just making myself all the more confused.
       
      • Hug Hug x 1
    21. fatz1126

      fatz1126 Member

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2014
      Thanks MikeA and Grace for your advices. I think I'll continue taking Ativan for the meantime, I've taken it only for 17 days to be exact. Then I got scared.:(
       
      • Hug Hug x 1
    22. fatz1126

      fatz1126 Member

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2014
      And by the way, my T started on my right ear. Now I have T on my left ear too and my doctor told me something about symphatetic mechanism and its all about the brain making it.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    23. LadyDi
      Busy

      LadyDi Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Florida, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Barotrauma/airplane
      Hang in there, @fatz1126. It is going to be OK. You are right, it can all seem so overwhelming in the beginning. And while the Internet can be a wonderful thing, it also can make you crazy, all the stuff you read and conflicting opinions. Just remember: One person's experience will not necessarily be your experience. And I think when it comes to benzos, the worst case scenarios often are the ones you see posted. Many many people, including me, have used these drugs for anxiety safely and have gotten great relief.

      Also, when it comes to ototoxic drugs (which I think was your concern about Ativan): You often need to take these medications for a long time for them to cause damage. It's not like chemo meds, which are highly ototoxic. Again, if you believe everything you read on the Internet, you'll come to think that every pill you put in your mouth will damage your ears. That's just not true (although I am not denying that people can, and do, get tinnitus from their medications. It's just a smaller list of medications than you might think).

      Anxiety and insomnia do create a vicious cycle, but it can be hard to tell which one comes first. Going to your GP is fine, but I still would see your psychiatrist, too.

      I am going to be off board for awhile, very busy at work. But you will be in good hands here.
       
      • Hug Hug x 1
    24. george69

      george69 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      1979
      I take Ambien 10mg to help sleep and it works great.
       
    25. george69

      george69 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      1979
      And for the Anxiety trust your GP he or she knows what best for you to take . And most anxiety med take a month or so to start working
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    26. Cher69
      Fine

      Cher69 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      York, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      20/5/2013
      Hi hun - just want to echo @LadyDi advice - we both started on the road together just 3000 miles apart.

      Please try and I know how hard it is to relax - you defo need help with the anxiety - i did I was on citalopram and in time it really helped the anxiety and then the sleep improved - I was in exactly your shoes recked with no sleep for weeks - but gradually it returned - try sleeping in another room I often found if I was in bed not sleeping if I moved to the sofa somehow that made me relax ' OK Im not in bed and I can just fall asleep on the sofa ' I would tell myself.

      Also I really got into relaxation apps on my phone and I would totally tune into them and breathe and often relax enough to drift into some sleep - but never for long - it takes time to build back your sleep as you adjust and give whatever treatments you decide to try start to help.

      But it does take time - but everyday is a step closer to feeling a bit more like your old self !

      Now I also must admit to having dips, but on here I got the support to help me through and its normal to take an odd step back when you feel your on the right road - again I got help from my doc and he put me on another type of Anti Depressant - I am happy to take these and its up to you if you decide to go down that road we are all individual. But I do believe you have to do what you need for now - what the current situation is and tomorrow, next week next month will be as a result of the steps you take.

      I so feel for you and I KNOW EXACTLY how you feel - but I got through and you will too !

      Im currently having a blip with my sleep and Ive gone back to the docs for advice and help - Im remembering the positives things that helped me and taking comfort that it wont last - but you do need help, time and support so dont be afraid to ask for it.

      Good luck keep us posted - Cher x
       
      • Hug Hug x 3
    27. LadyDi
      Busy

      LadyDi Member Benefactor

      Location:
      Florida, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2013
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Barotrauma/airplane
      Hey, there is my dear T sister @Cher69. How are you, hun? Isn't amazing... more than a year later and we still are hanging in there.

      I, too, am still trying to sort out the sleep issue with my docs. But my anxiety is sooo much better. I pretty much take meds only for sleep, don't need any daytime medications at all any more.

      Hugs and love, and hope you are having a great summer. You so inspired me when I was struggling and kept me going. I'll be grateful forever.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    28. fatz1126

      fatz1126 Member

      Location:
      USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      06/2014
      Hi there LadyDi and Cher69! I appreciate your advices. I am currently taking 1mg ativan for sleep+25 mg diphenhydramine. I try my best not to take it in the morning. I have a question, does your T vary in tone? My experience is that there were times when I can barely hear it and times when it's just there that I don't have to search for it. And have you guys habituated to it? If so, how did you do it?
       
    29. Cher69
      Fine

      Cher69 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      York, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      20/5/2013
      Can you believe it @LadyDi - Im exactly still in the same boat - only meds to help sleep - totally off daytime - anxiety all but gone just abit wobbly at moment cos my sleep aint great - but keeping positive as alwasy in it togethr hun - marching on this path together ;) xx
       
      • Like Like x 1
    30. Cher69
      Fine

      Cher69 Member Benefactor

      Location:
      York, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      20/5/2013
      Hi Fatz1126 - Yes mine alters I have my 'original T' sound a high pitch tone in my left ear - this consumed my life when it arrived and I thought like you I would never adjust - but you do ! You say sometimes you dont hear it so you search for it - we all DID this - and that's one of the things you have to break the habit of doing. Its becasue you are consumed thinking about this new thing in your life your tuning into finding it - but its actually probably there its just your brain is not allowing for a few moments to hear it - thats habituation! You are starting in small stages to ignore it - now you have to let your brain do that more. How? Well keep busy is that your little girl in the picture I bet she keeps you on your toes - remember to have something to distract you in the background - so when you having playtime with her - have some music or nursery songs playing sing along etc

      I also get buzzy static noise lots of people do - when I am tired and stressed up usually at night if I'm not sleeping it sounds really loud - because my brain and me are tuned into it. My high pitch tone goes sometimes - Im convinced it does - just goes - and now if Im having one of those moments I dont look for it - testing if it has rally gone - becasue I know it hasnt its just not important at that moment.

      I started with this May 2013 I would say it took 4-6 weeks to start to feel better in myself and sleep improve slowly 4-6 months to really feel nearly back to normal and accepted T - 1 year to get off the first anti depressant I was given and now my T really isn't my issue its sleep that I still sometimes battle with - having a blip at the moment - T doesn't help that but I actually do 100% believe that T isn't the cause of my restless nights as it once was - its just Im a rubbish sleeper and I dread the build of minimal sleep and how it makes you feel - so I get anxious about it.

      Im a Mum with 2 teenage girls so that and a full time job I value sleep but I think to be honest I haven't slept all through the night without medication for 3 years or so - becasue of other stress issues in my life over that time.

      So -ep busy and distracted - please try to stop the habit of trying to 'find the noise' if your not hearing it just carry on with your day. Go to bed when really really really tired - stay up longer to make yourself want to go to bed , use a background phone app to play noises to distract you in the quietness of nighttime - remember only positive things about your sleep - think things like 'I got 2 or 3 hours really good sleep I woke up thats a shame but I did sleep a bit' be positive - 'tomorrow night I bet I get 3 or 4 hours - its improving slowly - etc etc I do this and it focus the mind on the positive and not the negative.

      I'm sending you lots of positive hugs n love xx Cher xx
       
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