My pdoc has greatly impressed upon me the need to keep to a regular sleep schedule--go to bed at the same time each night and get up at the same time each morning (every day of the year). By keeping to a regular schedule you are resetting your own body clock. Of course, for the time being I cannot do it without the help of a sleep aid (Ambien CR). The pdoc also bumped up my lamictal on my last visit in hopes it would make me more drowsy in the evening (some, but not enough to sleep). As he explained, better sleep also helps keep the mood swings away.
My therapist is worried about my taking Ambien for too long a time because it can be addictive (which may be why many pdocs do not prescribe it for too long). He was so concerned that he explained what symptoms point to addiction.
Most important is that you discuss with your pdoc your symptoms, concerns and any supplements you are considering or are currently taking--some herbal remedies should not be taken with mood stablizers, antidepressants, etc. Don't experiment. Two of my sisters think I should take neurontin (like they do), my son takes trazadone and my mom uses benedryl. I've considered the others but I will stick wih the ambien and sleep schedule for now--so far it is much better than it was before.
Read all you can about insomnia and treatments--yes, a sleep mask can help, I even convinced my husband to try one and he sleeps much better as a result of wearing one.
My sleep is not perfect--Take. Long time to fall asleep, I have a short period of sound sleep then I wake too early. Before treatment I didn't get more than a two-hour period of straight sleep. I couldn't fall asleep easily and would wake every hour for most of the night.
It is not easy to stick to a sleep schedule but it may be exactly what you need even more than the sleep meds. Notice my chart below--since I have been trying to keep to a regular sleep schedule (believe me, it isn't easy) my sleep has improved (my pdoc thinks it should still be better.) I'll keep working at it because the results are worth it.
Keep working with your pdoc and I'm sure you will see some improvement. I wish you pleasant dreams.
Peace and stability be with you.
Medications for January 2010
|05-26-2008 - Present:||Cymbalta, 30 mg. 2|
|09-20-2009 - Present:||Ambien CR, 12.5. 1|
|12-09-2009 - Present:||Lamictal, 100 mg. 1|
|12-09-2009 - Present:||Lamictal, 150 mg. 1|