I've been paleo since the beginning of this year. So far, so good! I've been keeping carbs below 100g, no dairy except a bit of butter & cream now and then, no grains at all. Lots of issues getting resolved (although I wouldn't mind seeing some more weight loss ;-) I love that I'm not hungry all the time any more!
However, I haven't been able to sleep without ambien for many years -- probably close to a decade. I'd really like to kick it -- it was one of the primary reasons I was attracted to paleo. Tried melatonin, Calm (magnesium supplement), but no success. No ambien, no sleep. I've cut down the dosage but can't seem to get below a half tab (5mg). Has anyone had any luck with kicking this gremlin -- or any tips for me?
My experience with Ambien was a nightmare! I had no idea it was so addictive, until I spilled my prescription bottle in my purse and on top of that, spilled a soda on it. Then I could not get another prescription too easily, until I went doctor hopping and found one to prescribe me some. Talk about feeling and being treated like a junkie! I knew I had to get off the Ambien, so once Christmas was over and all my company was gone, I treated myself like I was in a drug rehab program. I went from 10 mg to 5 mg all at once, then I lowered my dose slightly by biting off some of a 5 mg pill and went down to none in 3 weeks. I made myself not sleep during the day, stayed up until 11 p.m. at least, took 20 mg Melatonin (please do your own research, but I found sites that said 20 mg is safe), Sleep Right brand because time released, drank lot's of water through out day, no caffeine, salads for lunch, fruit as snack, healthy dinner, walked 1 mile in evening, listened to Sleep Tracks, Insomnia Buster 3, use my bed for sleeping only, completely darkened my bedroom with light blocking curtains (I used sleep mask before I bought the curtains, but didn't like it too much) and took a bath every night. And I am proudly Ambien free and can sleep again! I remember going from 10 mg to 5 mg of Ambien was tough, so good for you! Since you've been on Ambien a while, take longer shaving or biting off of the 5 mgs. I think I read take off a little sliver for 3 weeks, then a little more for 2 weeks, then a little more for 1 week. Then a little more for 1 week. Then a little more for 1 week. Then none and Amen! Great success to you! I know you can do it!
I took it for 6 weeks straight. One night I tried sleeping without it and it was impossible. The next day I was reading a forum filled with people's horror stories about their long term Ambien addictions. I immediately flushed my Ambien and toughed it out. I barely slept for a week. It was painful, but I knew I had to let my brain chemistry get back to normal. It did, and your will too. Best of luck - I hope you kick it.
I was an insimniac for 10 years and a week after going paleo I fell asleep and woke up in the same position without my Ambien. That stuff is terrible. Keep trying. Icons a morning workout (Crossfit) gets me thru the day and then I fall into bed and pass out.
I was on Ambien (and a cocktail of other meds and supplements) for many years, and still wasn't sleeping. I tried the light therapy and forcing myself to get up and go to bed at certain times, getting rid of the TV, etc. One day I quit cold turkey and replaced the Ambien with 2 Endurolytes about 20 minutes before bed. You will see that it is a magnesium supplement for athletes (different magnesium than CALM) and I am not sure exactly how or why it works, but it was a miracle for me and has worked for others. Worth a try if you are up for it. Good luck!
Sleep hacking seems to be a passion of mine. I've tried a dozen different things (and am still experimenting). You didn't say if you were a male or a female, I've personally found that ZMA (zinc, magnesium, b6) doesn't seem to work as well for women (my mom and wife, especially) and this might have something to do with zinc's beneficial effects to male hormones.
First: Just past dusk, I don the blue blockers.
Second: I don't eat (or sparsly eat) dinner - an empty stomach means a better sleep for me, personally.
Third: About an hour before bed, I pop 30mg of zinc, 400mg of Magnesium Citrate, and 100mg of B6. I'm soon adding GABA to this cocktail to see if I get any further improvement.
Fourth: Cool shower before bed.
Fifth: Cup of Yogi Bedtime tea.
Finally: I installed the Pzizz app on my android tablet, it's basically a hokey sleep coach program that I got on the recommendation of Tim Ferris (Bulletproof Exec). As much as I thought "I'll never go to sleep with music or someone talking at me", it works very well, in fact my wife won't go to sleep now unless it's playing.
I get about 6-7 hours of very, very deep sleep a night... and wake up very refreshed. The only days that I actually wake due to my alarm are after workout days.
I have had to use Lunesta or Ambien about 4-5 nights a week for about 2 years now. Paleo itself didn't really change sleep much, but I did start CT per Jack Kruse and also eat asap after awakening in am. This has helped tremendously. No drugs in about 6 weeks. Yay
I kicked insomnia, but it was a symptom of a liver disease. The CW doc wanted me on ambien, but it did't work. I was on tamezapam (sp?) but it didn't dent it. So my situation was different, but paleo helped me develop real sleep patterns. I hope that adds to your hope.
Ambien (and all of the others in that class of medication) aren't really sleeping medication. They are anti-anxiety drugs that also work with short term memory loss. Basically, you don't sleep any better when you take these drugs, you just forget that you didn't sleep. That is, you're still not getting the restorative qualities of sleep that you need. I think it's best to just kick the habit and experiment with other natural ways of getting more/better sleep (magnesium, dark room, etc) and track what works for you. Don't mask the issue with a memory loss drug.
I had (still have) the most dreadful relationship with zolpidem (Ambien/Stilnoct) or should I say sleeping tablets in general. It started with my doctor prescribing Zoplidem 10mg on a long-term basis (when in fact the guidelines state that you should only take them for a maximum of 2 - 4 weeks). I was prescribed them for about 3 years but was bingeing on them after only a couple of months. When I realised that taking 30mg or so a night would only last me a couple of weeks maximum, I started to indulge in typical 'addict' like behaviour ....e.g. Manipulating the doctor into giving me more, making up stories that I lost the prescription, altering prescriptions etc. When I was caught forging my prescriptions, my dependency was found out but this just meant that my addiction went 'under ground'. I had a massive appetite for Zoplidem in particular (but did 'flit' around into trying Zoplicone) and bought from the Internet instead of hassling the doctor. I spent thousands in purchasing from overseas and became fixated in taking pill after pill after pill, day or night - sometimes taking tens and tens of tablets in one go in order to achieve the same 'high' that I had originally experienced. I was told that my behaviour on the tablets was bizarre, upsetting etc and I nearly lost my life on a number of occasions as a direct result of the acts that I indulged in whilst on Zolpidem (driving!!!). I ruined many relationships by taking the tablets. BEWARE of these and similar tablets, particularly if you have an addictive personality. My experience was extreme, I'll admit but I didn't see it coming as I gradually became engulfed by the artificial feelings of peace & happiness that I felt whilst Zoplidem kicked in. I still have a problem with these tablets but I am now aware of the dangers and what I need to do to lessen the side effects and horrible withdrawal symptoms that come with this medication. Take care x