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Old 01-27-2010, 07:23 PM
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Default Baclofen and sleep...any answers??

Hi, I've already outlined my recent start on baclofen but wish to create this thread to ask a specific question about the relationship between baclofen and sleep/insomnia. Sorry if this has been covered elsewhere.

Being a night-only drinker who recently detoxed, I had hoped to be able to take a large portion of my baclofen dose at night to hit the cravings when they would be strongest. I had also hoped this would help me sleep, after having been an insomniac most of my life. An additional benefit would be minimising daytime sleepiness that many others have spoken about.

The problem is that a large dose of baclofen before bed seems to keep me awake instead of allowing me to get a peaceful night's sleep. I did take a stupidly high dose the first time, but am still noticing the problem with more sensible doses. Can anyone help with this and give me an answer? I thought baclofen is basically a sedating drug and a GABA-B agonist but its night effects seem different to GABA-A agonists like benzos and alcohol. Apart from insomnia it also seemed to cause tinnitus, high blood pressure, and racing/irregular heart problems.

Any answers that could allow me to get a decent night's rest while still taking most of my bac at night would be most appreciated!!
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Old 01-27-2010, 07:47 PM
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It helps most people sleep.

It turned me into a raging insomniac. I would wake up at 4 in the morning, do an hour of cardio at 5:30, work all day, go to the gym at 5:30 at night, come home and still wake up five times during the night. For weeks this happened.

Finally I started taking my last dose of baclofen at 2 pm and I only wake up once during the night now. But I still have to expend a hell of a lot of energy during the day to get good sleep.

The best part of this bad situation though was that even though insomnia was my biggest fear as an alcoholic and why I thought I needed to drink, I stayed awake like a zombie all those nights and never once thought about alcohol.

edit: and I was a nighttime drinker only. my 2pm dose works just fine for me.
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Old 01-27-2010, 11:30 PM
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I recommend taking your last dose of Bac at least 4 hours before bedtime.

I found that if I took it too close, I had issues, also.

While it does make me tired, it disrupts my sleep very badly. I was having horrible nightmares, nighttime sweats (not withdrawal or old lady related,) and breathing problems. All of these kept waking me up off and on through the night.

For me a minimum of 4 hours is required. I prefer to take it 6 hours before bedtime.

Occasionally, I will take a small dose of 10 - 20 mgs closer to bedtime, if I am craving very badly, but over time, the late evening cravings don't seem to happen to me. I am one of those who drank all day, every day. So, my experience and yours will be different.

Cindi
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Old 01-28-2010, 04:27 AM
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Baclofen has interesting effects on me - 5-6 hours sleep a night!
I have now a theory on Baclofen. I am sleeping almost right away (when I want to sleep!) when taking it and I am sleeping very deep.
So more REM - more relaxing sleep - less time needed for relaxing sleep.

Anyone having the same impression? I really enjoy sleeping 5-6 hours. I am not tired at all!
Maybe this is just a reaction to my constant increase in dose? - any will be gone once I am adjusted to the dose?
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Old 01-28-2010, 04:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by craving View Post
Baclofen has interesting effects on me - 5-6 hours sleep a night!
I have now a theory on Baclofen. I am sleeping almost right away (when I want to sleep!) when taking it and I am sleeping very deep.
So more REM - more relaxing sleep - less time needed for relaxing sleep.

Anyone having the same impression? I really enjoy sleeping 5-6 hours. I am not tired at all!
Maybe this is just a reaction to my constant increase in dose? - any will be gone once I am adjusted to the dose?
I've had both experiences: increased problems sleeping with higher doses of bac, but also a decreased need for sleep (it seems Lo0p is in this category).

Even though I often only get 5 hours of sleep these days, and wake often during the night, it doesn't seem to cause much tiredness during the day. I look like a raccoon, but my level of focus, concentration, and general alertness is surprisingly high.

And welcome here craving!
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Old 01-28-2010, 09:32 AM
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Thanks for the input folks. At least I know I'm not the only one who has this odd insomniac reaction to baclofen when it is taken close to bedtime.

I hate to sound like a whinger but I am really disappointed that it doesn't act as a direct sleep agent. I will try to titrate up in such a way that I'm not too sleepy during the day but also able to get a decent sleep at night. I'm afraid I don't think I'll ever be one of those people who can adapt to 5-6 hours or less of sleep every night and still be productive and not tired and grouchy all day!!

Has anyone had any experience with anything that can be taken at night to help sleep WHILE on a baclofen regime? I know some may say the answer is to still drink some alcohol while on baclofen but I don't want to give in and go back to drinking, and even if I did I'm not sure how safe it is to mix alcohol with a drug that also has central nervous system depressant properties!?
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Old 01-28-2010, 10:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg View Post
Has anyone had any experience with anything that can be taken at night to help sleep WHILE on a baclofen regime? I know some may say the answer is to still drink some alcohol while on baclofen but I don't want to give in and go back to drinking, and even if I did I'm not sure how safe it is to mix alcohol with a drug that also has central nervous system depressant properties!?
I am taking Doxylamin, which works well to get some immediate sleep. Also it does not work like most sleeping medication. Its an H1 Histamine antagonist - which makes sleepy - old and safe medicine.

Still I get up after 5-6 hours though
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since 08. Jan 2010 : Naltrexone + Baclofen combination therapy
reborn since 16. Jan 2010 : Alcohol Free (AF) - only taking Baclofen
since 22. May 2010 : Baclofen against anxiety/fear
since 14. Mar 2011 : off Baclofen - taking 25mg Topamax/day

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Old 01-28-2010, 11:46 AM
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Greg,

I pm'd you about Trazodone. I wouldn't take it too close to the Baclofen but I can't recommend it enough. You will sleep if you take it.

I found I did wake up a bit groggy in the mornings but it shook off quicker than say Benadryl.

None of these drugs should be mixed with alcohol. But that is your plan, right? No alcohol.

Start off with 50 mgs. That dose worked very well for me. Sleep comes within 30 minutes and is restful.

Cindi

Last edited by Cinders; 01-28-2010 at 11:55 AM.. Reason: Misspelled Trazodone.
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Old 01-28-2010, 01:00 PM
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I can't stop falling asleep on Bac!

I'd say I wish it were the opposite, but lack of sleep leaves me feeling so rotten...I feel for you guys.

eight
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Old 01-28-2010, 01:49 PM
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Greg, I too thought I was the type who could never get by on less than 8 hours sleep.

But I can only tell you this from direct experience. It has been going on for a long time now -- months. I was paranoid the first few weeks -- thinking it would catch up with me. But it never does (except the raccoon eyes). Even on really bad nights -- 3 hours, say-- I'm still functional during the day.

I'm just suggesting you let go of some of your stress about it a bit, and see how it goes.

As for sleeping aids, I could list quite a few, most of them natural. I have tried everything, and some of them really work wonders for me. Even when detoxing, I could sleep without using prescriptions.

Please look under the Holistic Healing Forum. I have listed them all there, including an evaluation of each.
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