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Old 05-24-2017, 11:56 PM   #1
meshanti
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Trying to quit Ambien

Hello 2+2,

I have a lot of free time right now, so I decided to write this. The reason for this free time, is because of rebound insomnia due to quitting Ambien cold turkey, after taking 90+ mg/night. I am on night 6 of being Ambien-free.

The first 5 days I have gotten 1 hr/day of sleep. I am not experiencing any withdrawal symptoms (other than rebound insomnia) and I have not felt tired for the most part.

Here is a history of my insomnia/Ambien issues:

I have had this sleep disorder at least since I was at least 15. I didn't think my sleep issues were abnormal at the time (young people everything they experience is normal). When I would go to bed at 9 pm or so- like a normal person- I could not get to sleep until 2-3 am. Waking up was torture (every kid hates waking up in the am for school, right?). Kids at school thought I was a druggie.

During the summer, when I could, I would sleep well from about 2 to 11 am. But, during the school year, my body was used to waking up at school times, so I could not sleep late.

In college, I used to stay up late because I had to. It was never hard to find people to party with into the wee hours at a public University. I remember hanging out once into the wee hours, and a cop told us to call it a night and go home. He looks at me and says: “Go home, get some rest”. I thought to myself : “Is getting rest really an option?”

I had many contract jobs in my life. At the age of 23, I got a 3rd shift engineering job. I had no problems sleeping. I had that job for about one year.

Fast forward to 2003 (32 yrs old), I finally figured out my insomnia was unusual, and I talked to my
PCP about it. He prescribed a month of Ambien for me. It was the greatest month of my life (other than summers in high school and college)! 8 hours of sleep a night!

I begged him for more, but he told me to consult a sleep specialist first. The sleep specialist said I had a condition that is conducive to being a artist, musician, etc. He said drugs would not work (ime, they definitely worked in the short term). My plan was make some $$ in the real world and then do something where i could avoid working the 1st shift. I have no talent, so being an artist or musician was a no go. Poker was a thought. I also dabbled in investment properties for a bit. By far, the best opportunities for me were still to work a 9-5 job.

So i started getting Ambien prescribed to me at about this time. It worked great for a long time. After a while I built up a tolerance to it. There were many days I needed to take a double dosage, so I had to skip a day or two. Those skipped days often turned into all-nighters.

At age 40, I decided it was time to quit. I quit cold turkey, without any withdrawal symtoms. I did not sleep for the next 4 straight days. Then, when I was able to sleep, I would wake up with terrible nightmares. A month and a half or so later I relented and got back on the juice.

A few years ago, I started to build a tolerance to Ambien. It got to a point that I started to order meds from online from India. They worked great, but it got to the point where I needed 90 - 120 mg/day to get 8 hours of sleep.

Last Friday my doctor had me check into the emergency room for critically low platelet levels. I was hospitalized for three days. After many blood tests, the doctors concluded that they had no clue what caused the low levels. To make a long story short, it seems to me that the 10x dosage of Ambien (from India) was causing my immune system go hay wire.

So i decided this would be a good time to quit.
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Old 05-25-2017, 10:01 AM   #2
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Re: Trying to quit Ambien

Day/night 6: 2 hours of sleep.
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Old 05-25-2017, 11:09 AM   #3
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Re: Trying to quit Ambien

I find I get a better night's sleep after a good workout. Have you tried that? It might help! gl gl gl
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Old 05-25-2017, 01:06 PM   #4
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Re: Trying to quit Ambien

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Originally Posted by Very Josie View Post
I find I get a better night's sleep after a good workout. Have you tried that? It might help! gl gl gl
I tried that. I joined an after-work indoor soccer league once. I would come home exhausted, but still no sleep.
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Old 05-25-2017, 04:41 PM   #5
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Re: Trying to quit Ambien

Aside from the rebound insomnia are you having any withdrawal symptoms? Seems pretty risky quitting that high a dose cold turkey without medical supervision, but if you've made it 6 days it sounds like you're okay.

What was your daytime functioning like when you'd take 90-120mg the night before?
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Old 05-25-2017, 05:08 PM   #6
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Re: Trying to quit Ambien

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Originally Posted by gregorio View Post
Aside from the rebound insomnia are you having any withdrawal symptoms? Seems pretty risky quitting that high a dose cold turkey without medical supervision, but if you've made it 6 days it sounds like you're okay.
None. I'm not even that tired.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gregorio View Post
What was your daytime functioning like when you'd take 90-120mg the night before?
Normal. (10mg used to work).

Last edited by meshanti; 05-25-2017 at 05:22 PM.
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Old 05-26-2017, 09:35 AM   #7
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Re: Trying to quit Ambien

Day/night 7: 1 hour of sleep.
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Old 05-27-2017, 11:10 AM   #8
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Re: Trying to quit Ambien

Day/night 8: no sleep.
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Old 05-28-2017, 09:34 AM   #9
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Re: Trying to quit Ambien

Day/night 9: 2 hours of sleep.
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Old 05-28-2017, 04:54 PM   #10
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Re: Trying to quit Ambien

Quitting cold turkey is just a bad idea.

I took Ambien pretty regularly for a couple of years and tried quitting cold turkey but ended up with the rebound insomnia you're having. I went back to it for a bit before deciding to go off of it slowly. I kept cutting my dosage in half until I no longer needed it. Even though it didn't work at the dosage I was taking it at, taking the small dosage minimized the insomnia I dealt with when I quit cold turkey.
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Old 05-28-2017, 11:40 PM   #11
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Re: Trying to quit Ambien

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Originally Posted by SuperUberBob View Post
Quitting cold turkey is just a bad idea.

I took Ambien pretty regularly for a couple of years and tried quitting cold turkey but ended up with the rebound insomnia you're having. I went back to it for a bit before deciding to go off of it slowly. I kept cutting my dosage in half until I no longer needed it. Even though it didn't work at the dosage I was taking it at, taking the small dosage minimized the insomnia I dealt with when I quit cold turkey.
I'm in my 10th Ambien-free day already, so I think I have to stick with my current plan.

When you had the rebound insomnia the first time, how long were you Ambien-free? (Before you went back to it.)
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Old 05-29-2017, 08:40 AM   #12
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Re: Trying to quit Ambien

Day/night 10: 2 hours of sleep.
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Old 05-29-2017, 04:16 PM   #13
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Re: Trying to quit Ambien

I took Ambien for a while - slept great, but was not clear-headed the next morning and not comfortable with my ability to make positive business decisions, so I quit and took something else. Been taking sleeping pills for 25+ years and will probably until the end. Good luck...
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Old 05-30-2017, 01:14 AM   #14
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Re: Trying to quit Ambien

Quote:
Originally Posted by meshanti View Post
I'm in my 10th Ambien-free day already, so I think I have to stick with my current plan.

When you had the rebound insomnia the first time, how long were you Ambien-free? (Before you went back to it.)
I wanted to go a week without it and if I was sleeping well at the end, I'd stop using it entirely. Of course I didn't and went back.

Stayed on it for a few months longer but I experienced a couple of hallucinations that made me plan out my attempt to quit in a more deliberate way.

If you want to stick with it cold turkey, then that's okay but this may happen for a while given how much you took per night and how long you've been taking it for. 90 mg is a ridiculous amount of Ambien to take before sleep, especially since the largest pill they have is 10 mg. I never took any more than 10 mg per night myself and was only on it for a couple of years.

If you do go back and then try to quit, take a normal 10 mg dose instead of how much you used to take.

Last edited by SuperUberBob; 05-30-2017 at 01:23 AM.
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Old 05-30-2017, 02:10 AM   #15
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Re: Trying to quit Ambien

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Originally Posted by SuperUberBob View Post
If you do go back and then try to quit, take a normal 10 mg dose instead of how much you used to take.
Definitely.

My life plan (after I fully recover) is to take 10mg ~3x/week, never 2 days in a row.
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Old 05-30-2017, 10:25 AM   #16
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Re: Trying to quit Ambien

Day/night 11: 4 hours of sleep.

I'm making a strategic change: I will not allow myself to nap during the day. During the first 11 days I would sleep whenever possible, and that meant naps.
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Old 05-30-2017, 03:08 PM   #17
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Re: Trying to quit Ambien

Have you ever tried smoking weed?
Do you have access to medical marijuana where you live? If so, some CBD oil may work for you.
If not just try hitting a bowl once or twice before you want to go to bed, you may surprise yourself.
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Old 05-30-2017, 06:26 PM   #18
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Re: Trying to quit Ambien

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Originally Posted by Gustafson26 View Post
Have you ever tried smoking weed?
Do you have access to medical marijuana where you live? If so, some CBD oil may work for you.
If not just try hitting a bowl once or twice before you want to go to bed, you may surprise yourself.
Yes, I've smoked weed. It does little for me except get me depressed/anxious. I was given cannabis oil a couple months ago and it got me super anxious. It did help me sleep a little better, I only needed 40 mg of Ambien to sleep that night.
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Old 05-30-2017, 06:49 PM   #19
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Re: Trying to quit Ambien

So, I sit down on my recliner and get comfortable. Next thing I know, I start to fall asleep (despite my new no-napping policy). I actually had to fight it! This is the first time in a very long time.
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Old 05-30-2017, 11:00 PM   #20
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Re: Trying to quit Ambien

from what i understand severe ambien addiction has worst detox for some reason and can be more dangerous than even a severe alcholics, be careful
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Old 05-31-2017, 12:54 AM   #21
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Re: Trying to quit Ambien

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Originally Posted by doczensoosed View Post
from what i understand severe ambien addiction has worst detox for some reason and can be more dangerous than even a severe alcholics, be careful
I'm 11 days into this, I think I'm good with the withdrawal aspect.
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Old 05-31-2017, 10:31 AM   #22
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Re: Trying to quit Ambien

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Originally Posted by meshanti View Post
.
My life plan (after I fully recover) is to take 10mg ~3x/week, never 2 days in a row.
If you fully recover and no longer need Ambien, I'd just never go back.

Your rhetoric sounds like a heroin user who wants to take one more dose for old time's sake. They take one and eventually get back on the wagon.
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Old 05-31-2017, 11:53 AM   #23
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Re: Trying to quit Ambien

Quote:
Originally Posted by SuperUberBob View Post
If you fully recover and no longer need Ambien, I'd just never go back.

Your rhetoric sounds like a heroin user who wants to take one more dose for old time's sake. They take one and eventually get back on the wagon.
Maybe.
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Old 05-31-2017, 11:55 AM   #24
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Re: Trying to quit Ambien

Day/night 12: 1 hour of sleep.

Took a step backwards
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Old 06-01-2017, 11:09 AM   #25
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Re: Trying to quit Ambien

Day/night 13: 2 hours of sleep.
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