I have been on ambien for 7 months now and am trying to stop using it. I am seeing a sleep/addiction doctor and its just been hard. Ambien makes me feel sick to my stomach even when I think of it. It used to make me feel great, now I feel anxious all the time and sleep is constantly on my mind - or lack of sleep - I should say. This is night number 4 of trying to reduce my dosage and feel better. Obviously I am up right now but I have to say I feel better knowing I have only 2 mg of that in my system and I took it 3 hours ago when I first tried to go to bed. People say its hard to break this habit of using a pill to go to sleep but I am so game. Any advice of what people do during the middle of the night that helps them? Any advice on what other natural methods people use? I work out in the morning and work all day. I am not sure I will go to work tomorrow since I may be up all night. I hear its hard to stop taking this drug. I hear that all the side effects though will go away after it gets out of your system. I have not set a "cold turkey quitting" timeline, yet am doing it gradually. I found that I was stock piling up ambien - probably had about 400 pills - so I would always have them and (so I thought) never have sleep issues again. I flushed all but 20. I am ready to make a change. I think to myself - I used to sleep like a normal person, lay my head down on the pillow and be out. What happened to that? Ambien. You go a couple of days without sleep and you think the world is going to end. Ambien helps with that but I will say for me, I am addicted. I think its possible to gain that natural sleep cycle back without being on a substance and am more than willing to try. If anyone has gone through this and had advice, I would greatly appreicate that.
Hi sarajustine, I took Ambien for two weeks. The reason I took it was I cold-turkeyed off of prescribed Oxycontin... now that will give you major insomnia!! I started using melatonin for sleep, after the ambien. Melatonin is a natural product, not addictive. You can purchase these pills at any drug store or health food store. Also, you may want to try Sleepy Time Tea... tastes like crap, but perhaps if you add enough honey you can gag it down! I couldn't drink that tea, quite yucky, but I hear good things about it. Good luck to you!!! sweetlemon
Hi I know you posted this Ambien question a long time ago but I wonder if you succeeded in getting off it. I have been on it for 13 years and am trying to taper off it. At one stage I was using between 50 - 60mg a night. I did nothing bizarre on it just used it for sleep but obviously it stopped working - tolerance and I just had to use more. How was your sleep and how long did it take before your natural sleep cycle returned. I am deperate my last c/t off it resulted in 21nights of zero sleep and I caved. Thank you.
This isn't an answer. I have a question about getting off Ambien as well. The nights that I started not taking it, I woke during the night with chest/abdominal pain radiating down my arms. I panicked thinking I was having a heart attack. My legs were also "jumpy". I hadn't been on Ambien all that long--less than a month, and since I have been having "digestive" issues and am going through all that testing, I assumed it was that. When I wake up with the above symptoms and not being able to go back to sleep, I finally take an Ambien and am able to sleep the rest of the night. I'm not sure if these symptom are "digestive" or withdrawal. Anyone have any similar experiences?
Hello! I've never responded to one of these before so I'm not sure this will help. However, I've been in your position (very recently actually) so I feel almost obligated to TRY and lend some helpful advice... no guarantee tho. ☺️
At the age of 18 I was put on 5mg of ambien, I took that for about 9 months, after 9 months my dosage was upped to 10mg because I wasn't responding to 5mg.
Ambien used to help me A LOT but over time I developed a "need" for it. What I mean is I started taking it as close to the Acceptable bed time as possible... instead of taking it to help sleep I took it because I thought that otherwise I wouldn't sleep.
I wish that I could pin point when it was no longer helpful but I just realized that I was complaining about it more and feeling poopy all day.
But after a while I started to notice two things happening: I would either take the ambien and not be able to fall asleep for a long while, so by the time I did fall asleep it was into the early morning and I felt pretty awful all day. Or I'd try taking it and wake up around 2:00 or 3:00 am feeling like I needed another to fall asleep.
I am 24 years old and In the past I had tried to quit taking it multiple times. I tried weening off of it by lowering my dose, I tried not taking it but always wound up caving when I wouldn't fall asleep, and I tried taking natural supplements to sleep cuz they had worked for people I know.
About a month ago I didn't refill my script and had no refills on the bottle, it was a Saturday so my doctors office was closed. This particular weekend was an extremely busy one, the first night I crashed at a friends and was baffled that I was able to sleep! I went two days at home without the ambien, it wasn't easy but I survived and new I would get my script soon.
On Tuesday I picked up my script and took 1 to sleep that evening. I felt like crap the whole night after I took it and even worse in the morning. I had been on it so long that I didn't realize that feeling like that when you wake up IS NOT NORMAL!!! I did the same thing the Next night and felt just as awful. Finally I decided to get rid of my script and not have access to it. And so far so good.
I wish I could tell you that you feel like a million bucks and all your sleep issues will be solved!!! But that's not the case... it took me 6 years to get off ambien. But I am still a young person and I decided I was tiered of a silly pill running my life. I am so glad I stopped taking it. It's still early for me, but I honestly feel so much better... especially when I decide to go to bed, it's not about taking that pill it's about actual sleep and the sleep us so much better without it. You actually feel rejuvenated in the morning.
I really hope it this helps and I hope it doesn't take you as long as me to come to this realization... it can kind of take over. I wish you the best!
(Sorry this is so long and rambley)
- Ambien Information for Consumers
- Ambien Information for Healthcare Professionals (includes dosage details)
- Side Effects of Ambien (detailed)
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