I have just been prescribed Clomazepam as a sleep aid to be taken daily to replace Lunesta (which I became tolerant to). Do you think this is a good substitute? Right now, when I go to bed with Clomazepam and Lunesta (at a lower dose), it's lights out. I wake up once in the night but I'm right back to sleep within an hour.
30 Jul 2011
I have personally been taking Clonazepam (Klonopin) for about two (2) years. As I (now know that I) have suffered from severe anxiety for the vast majority of my life (I am now 48 years old, but--through counseling--I realize that I've had anxiety issues since I was a kid), my general practitioner prescribed it for me (initially) to help me sleep. As a matter of fact, I came to my doctor about insomnia, which I had suffered through for at least 10 years. I had tried every OTC medication I could find, and they either didn't work; would allow me to fall asleep, but I couldn't stay asleep for more than a couple of hours; or they would make me very, very tired, but still the sweet relief of sleep would never come... I'd just be more exhausted than I already was.
When I began feeling the very pronounced effects of near-daily exhaustion and I began worrying about my physical health, I finally broke down and saw my doctor. She tried three prescription meds (not all at once, of course :-), and I went through Rozerem first (fell asleep, but couldn't stay asleep... in MY experience, only slightly better than any OTC stuff; after that I tried Lunesta, and it helped me fall asleep and stay asleep for about 4 hours, but that was OBVIOUSLY not enough sleep; and the last prescription I tried was Ambien CR (Controlled Release). Ambien CR was probably the BEST of the three, because it allowed me to fall asleep rather easily, and the "controlled release" part allowed me to sleep for about 6 or 7 hours, which was HEAVEN for me. I have ALWAYS been a very light sleeper, even as a child, but in initially taking Ambien CR, my significant other told me that I was talking (in gibberish :-) in my sleep... which was a big deal for me, since I never had been able to sleep deeply enough to talk in my sleep before. Of course, there was the warning that you may sleep walk, sleep eat, sleep drive, etc. while taking Ambien CR, but for me, it was only blabbering in the night. But, eventually even the Ambien CR began to become less and less effective.
That's when I spoke to my doctor and told her that my issue was that--though I got temporary and/or partial relief from all the meds I tried--I realized that a HUGE reason I couldn't sleep was that I could not get my brain to "shut down" at night. The rest of my body would be ready for sweet dreams, and most nights I felt sleepy, but my racing thoughts at night (thinking about the day I had and what I was coming up the next day, and worrying about this thing or that) wouldn't allow my body to "close the deal" where sleep was concerned. I told her that I just needed to make my brain "shut up" and sleep... thus, Clonazepam entered into my life, and it has been a GODSEND to me where sleep is concerned!
Since 2009, I've taken 1 mg nearly every night (once my body is ready for sleep), and it's as if the Clonazepam just nudges me over the edge into the Land of Nod. It really as been such a help to me, and--though it's a long story, and this post is already long enough--when I began seeing a psychologist for depression, I told her this story and said to her that my waking life was nothing to write home about, but it was better than the nights when I just couldn't sleep. I explained that (when I first went to see my psychologist) everything was reversed, and that the BEST part of my day was at night because, thanks to the Clonazepam, I easily sleep my 8 hours--and while I am SOMEWHAT of a light sleeper, even that has improved--and most times I sleep all through the night.
Long story, I know, but the bottom line (for me) is that I take 1 mg of Clonazepam around mid-morning to help with my anxiety, and then 1 mg at night to help me sleep, and in these 2 years, I haven't found that I've developed a tolerance to Clonazepam (YET), and I've been on the same dosage (1 mg) the whole time. I realize that my situation is mostly likely not the same situation for most people with insomnia or other sleeping problems, but Clonazepam has been a true "miracle drug" for me.
My General Practitioner, my Psychologist, and NOW my Psychiatrist are all aware that I've been taking Clonazepam all this time, and they have never suggested I stop using it, because they can see (especially my General Practitioner--who has been my doctor for over a decade) the difference in me now.
As my GP told me once, "If the Clonazepam is helping you, I feel no need to rock the boat!".
Again, this is MY experience, and while I have learned a lot about the meds I take for anxiety, depression, and adult ADD (I want to know as much about the meds I take as I can... being and educated patient helps ensure that you are taking an active role in your own mental AND physical wellness), I cannot speak to how Clonazepam would affect or help others, and/or the potential for mental and/or physical dependency.
I just wanted to share--for the first time in writing--how much it has helped me--whether asleep OR awake! :-)
10 Apr 2011
I have been taking clonazepam for a while now for anxiety. I am suppose to take it 3 times daily, but only use it for sleep.It can be increased if it stops being effective. What dose are you on?
It has worked great for sleep, but Klonopin makes me a bit depressed. No other benzo has caused this with me.
Even with one .05mg at night, I have begun to show some dependency. When I tried to not take any, I had severe insomnia. Be careful on the stuff, as clonazepam is very long acting and strong.
27 Feb 2013
My GP added Klonopin 0.5 after he first put me on my first SSRI (tying to control my migraine headaches) because the SSRI made me very nervous. This was 1998. I've been on it ever since. I am suppose to take 1 in morning and 2 at night for sleeping. I only take it now if I feel I need it. But yes it is very good for night time resting. I'm glad I read your post, maybe I have a tolerance to it now because I've been on so long. I would like to somehow stop this medication as I am on a lot of others now due to my Bipolar. So yes I think it's good.
9 Apr 2011
Yes, clonazepam is a good medication to help you sleep at night. While you may become dependent on it as with any benzodiazepine, taken as directed it is a good alternative to Lunesta. Unfortunately over much time, you can become tolerant to the clonazepam too. I wouldn't worry about that at this time though.
Good luck and sweet dreams,
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