Sleeping and Mirtazapine (and other sleep aids)

I am really interested to hear of other Sleepio users experiences with Mirtazapine good or bad?

I was put on this to help with sleep back in June and to honest it's hit and miss with it! I've tried to come off it twice but ended up with horrendous low mood, insomnia and nausea and anxiety so took it again. If anyone is on it currently how are you finding it whilst doing Sleepio or if anyone has graduated from Sleepio and then withdrawn from it I'd be very keen to hear from you too please.

Posted 18 Dec 2013 at 10:11 AM
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  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    Since you’re taking it for anxiety and not insomnia, I’m not sure my experience is relevant, but here goes. I was on Ativan for insomnia for over 10 years. After a couple months in sleepio, I talked to my doctor about tapering off. He suggested cutting the pills in half, but I wasn’t brave enough. I cut them in quarters. I started taking a quarter less, for a few weeks or longer until I was brave enough to make the next reduction. It took at least 6 months to get off of them. After each reduction, I’d have a few nights or more of disrupted sleep, and then I’d settle down.

    If you use this for anxiety and depression, and not insomnia, I don’t know if you will get any better sleep after reducing or eliminating your pills. And if it’s not working for anxiety and depression, then I would think your doctor would want you to try something else. Maybe you need to push the envelope.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Graduate

    I was treated for postnatL depression and issue with sleep, I could literally stay awake all the time, when the baby slept like a log! I think at the time it was the right decision for me to take it, it helped me relax and sleep. I believe if you take yourself off it, then make sure your you do so gradually I did suffer with rebound insomnia for another 2 weeks which was grim, but yes I felt I was using the tablets as a way to sleep as I had no other method to use which would work, But in hindsight right decision at the time, I don’t regret this, just glad I found Sleepio.

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Session 3

    My gp has advised I taper off them over the next 4 weeks, I have dropped to 30mg this week, next week will be 15mg. I have noticed I am more anxious, more worry, sleep reduced, but Im taking sleeping tablets so that helps me get some sleep. I am currently signed off work with Anxiety and Depression so I am trying to fix myself, whilst waiting for help from the NHS.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Graduate

    Remeron is the worst thing that ever happened to me. Yes, it can work for insomnia, but trying to get off of it is a complete nightmare, and the rebound insomnia can last months. I'd be very weary of what your GP prescribes or even tells you about insomnia. They tend to know nothing.With Mirt, give it a whole lot of time, eat healthy, try to maintain a positive mindframe when coming off. It was the hardest thing I've ever done. I do feel the Sleepio program is what I personally need, as my sleep schedule completely sucks and I'm all over the place with laying in bed for way too long. Good luck everyone, and again, be weary of prescription sleep aides.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Session 3

    Dropped down to 15mg this week and definitely feeling the effects, my mind doesn't know whats going on, feeling foggy head for most the day and very lethargic. Couldn't get out of bed, couldn't sleep last night..

  • Sleepio Member

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    Session 1

    I have been averaging 3 hours sleep a night for 2 months despite trying Amitriptyline and herbal remedies nothing has worked (lots of alcohol often helps but leaves me feeling awful the next day obviously

  • Sleepio Member

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    Graduate

    I just graduated from the sleepio program and have had a lot of success improving my sleep efficiency, however, I still have some improvement to make. I still utilize herbs, melatonin, L-tryptophan and magnesium to sleep. I’m going to begin decreasing these supports but I am wondering if everyone here is sleeping naturally without the aid of any over-the-counter aids.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Graduate

    Does anyone else take trazodone? It's an antidepressant that makes you sleepy and that my doctor prescribed as an alternative to a sleep medication because it's not addictive. His advice was to take it as/when I needed it so my rule of thumb is that if I'm awake and feeling that I won't get to sleep I'll take it (anywhere from half an hour to three hours). It works, sort of, but I don't feel rested and I can't take it on an empty stomach. Additionally it gives me dragon breath the next day. If I have dinner 3 hrs before bed as recommended I'd have to take the trazodone at the latest by 10 but I don't go to bed until at least 11:30. So I'm falling into the midnight or later snack pattern, which is also not recommended. Any thoughts? Thanks.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Session 5

    I used to take quetiapine (Seroquel) for depression/anxiety and sleep. I'm in the US and I don't know what this medication is called elsewhere in the world, but please, if it's offered to you as a sleep aid (or even depression/anxiety aid), say NO. It's an atypical antipsychotic generally prescribed for schizophrenia. It's NOT meant to be a sleep aid. Not only can it cause metabolic syndrome and horrendous weight gain, it will hook your brain and cause you to not be able to sleep without it, and it's a nightmare to come off of. I was near a breakdown coming off that trash because I couldn't sleep, and I wasn't even on the highest dose that some people take(100mg vs. upwards of 400mg!).

    I'm begging you, if confronted with this medication, stay far away. It's just not worth it, to your waistline or your sanity.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Graduate

    don't take that pill it is killer after taking mirtazapine I started haven severe anxiety and depression and effected my sleep I can't sleep even 2 hours and after stopping it, it already did its jobs making me severe anxiety disorder and panic attack and depression I am 63 and mirtazapine made me crazy
    never ever touch that horrible pill

  • Sleepio Member

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    Session 2

    From what I hear, everyone responds to medication differently. I had a terrible flare-up if insomnia a few months ago. I got a second opinion from a different doctor. This doctor switched me from ambien to mirtazapine (15 mg) and treated a vitamin D deficiency at the same time. My sleep improved tremendously. I went from < 5 hours per night to around 6-7 hours/night most nights. I'll still have a bad night now and then, but not nearly the issue I had before. I haven't slept this well in about 20 years.

    Because the medication change and vitamin D deficiency treatment happened at the same time, I can't be sure which made the most difference. I've heard a vitamin D deficiency can lead to insomnia (sleeping < 5 hours/night), so that may have contributed.

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Session 1

    Mirtazapine, at low doses especially e.g. 7.5mg or 15mg, is very sedating – it has strong antihistamine effects, hence the sedation.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Graduate

    Hi all – mirtazapine is actually one of the best anti depressants out there ( BMJ – Cipriani report) as it works very differently from SSRI antidepressants. But of course everyone reacts differently. The key is finding the lowest dose that works for you and then the slow ( over 5/6 months) plan to come off it and then withdrawals will be minimal. It’s not addictive, addiction means ever increasing doses to get the same effect, and for some people who react badly to SSRI it’s a godsend. I speak from personal experience and so long as you take it as prescribed and come off very slowly then it’s fine. GPs never allow enough time to come off and that is when your brain cannot adjust fast enough. There is a very good plan available on line. Mirtazapine is great for anxiety and sleep in low dosage (7.5mg or less) Just remember , we are all individual, so what works for one might not for another, but I’ve found that keeping to one low dose medication and using sleepio plus a multi vitamin with vit D3 in winter along with light therapy ( lumie light 30mins at 7.15am) seems to work.btw I should say my issues seem to be on winter onset ie SAD. Good luck all.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Graduate

    Got prescribed this to help me sleep, which in truth has worked. Looking to come off them. Just wondering if anyone else has had a similar journey and how you got on?

  • Sleepio Member

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    Graduate

    Hi, I'm getting quite desperate here. Have been having horrible sleeping problems for 3 months now. I have completed the sleepio course which gave good advice and it did help. I've also been taking 15mg of mirtazapine for about 1 month and a half and they really helped my sleep at first, but it's like all of a sudden they have stopped working. I'm wondering if I need to up the dose? Is anyone else on this med? I'm not sure what the cause of my sleepless nights is, as I have always been a good sleeper, and this is just killing me. I keep worrying that I won't be able to work full time soon and that I will lose my house etc. I think the poor sleep is due to anxiety about not sleeping, what it's doing to my body/life etc, and I guess it's become a vicious cycle. I don't know who to turn to, I have supportive friends but it's difficult for them to understand.

  • Sleepio Member

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    Session 1

    Hi all,
    As the title suggests, has anyone ever developed sleeping issues after stopping melatonin? I'm currently suffering awfully, as after stopping 10mg melatonin daily for 8 weeks, I can't now drift off to sleep. I just lay there with my eyes closed, but my mind won't fall into REM/deep sleep. I'm not even having racing thoughts, I just can't drift off.

    Sleep has never normally been an issue for me. I only bought melatonin to get through a stressful week at work, but I got in to the routine of taking it. It now does nothing if I take it so I've stopped. I've gotten so miserable, I went to the dr and they gave me 14 days worth of zopiclone 7.5mg, but it takes about 10mg to knock me out. I don't want to take anymore as I'm worried I will end up with rebound insomnia and hooked on them. But the issue is, if I don't take it, I don't sleep well.

    I feel thoroughly miserable and worried. Thoughts?

  • Sleepio Member

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    Graduate

    Hi,
    I too am suffering with zopiclone addiction and I originally started just for short term for a week in October 2020, as with the menopause I was only getting about 4 hrs sleep a night for a good 2-3 years and having an averse affect on overall health. I wish they had never put me on these tablets! I was ill for 9 weeks because it was 3 days on and 3 days off after a week and I slept when took; but literally no sleep at night, when didn't take which made me very ill. Then I had 48 hrs of 0 sleep at all and then started the cycle of off and on zopiclone for 0 sleep in between being put on different antidepressants which made me feel worse. I am on sleepio, cbt and now 30mg a night of amitryptiline and managed to get to 1/4 tablet of zopiclone a night but I want to come off zopiclone… I tried without and usual dose of amitriptyline and 0 sleep. I managed 45 mins from 6.30-7am roughly. I was sobbing my heart out in the bathroom at 5.30am as just want to be able to get to sleep without this poison! I lost my job as I was off sick for 9 weeks and with the pandemic as an excuse, they made me redundant 2 days before Christmas 2020. I am deemed unfit for work – zopiclone is ruining my life… I want to taper off and desperately need help but GP doesn't seem to know what to do with me.

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    I don't know if you are having a similar difficulty with communicating what you are going through with GP as it is all phone appointments and not face to face – they can't really see what a toll it is taking on you…try to talk to your GP again and say exactly how you are in yourself. It does make you feel desperate and I really do understand what you are going through. I wish I could go back to just the natural 4 hours a night of me going to sleep naturally; rather than taking all these horrible pills and being in a medicated haze. I can't function and with both myself and my daughter not working; I am getting more and more concerned about me being employable. I am 57 years old and have savings so cannot claim universal credit. I really do understand your worry about losing your house but try to seek help where you can, would be my advise.

  • Sleepio Member

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    in reply to Sleepio Member
    Graduate

    Hi there Jnb192
    I’m sorry I didn’t see your question until this evening – there have been many Sleepios here who have managed to sort out their poor sleeping habits and then have been able to reduce their medication until they’ve kicked it. Please take heart from this.
    I do think it’s a shame that many more doctors who prescribe these medicines don’t tell patients what the problems might be if these things are taken for too long.
    If I were you, I would discuss it with your GP but in the meantime, you need to address the underlying problems that caused the poor sleep in the beginning. Has the stress at work been solved or is it manageable? Is there anything else stopping you from sleeping?

    Something else you need to try is to go to bed later than you normally do, to make yourself really sleepy-tired so you can barely keep your head up or your eyes are itchy and scratchy. This might make you nod off like you used to do instead of just lying there.

    To get more natural melatonin into your body you also need to follow the body’s circadian rhythm; so when you wake up at your usual time or with the alarm, get up straight away and if you have time get out into the earliest natural daylight. This resets your body’s clocks. All our major organs have their own ‘clocks’ but are centred around the brain – the major one. To get the daylight resetting the clock, you need to get outside and allow the earliest light to enter via the eyes. Give it a fifteen minute walk, run cycle or longer if you have the time. Go out again at midday – it tells the brain it’s midday! If you are able to go back out again late afternoon when your shadow is at it’s longest – once more it’s telling the brain what time it is and then finally during the evening – make sure you are not using blue light emitting devices or if you have to, turn the screens to the night time setting – with an amber screen. I use blue light blocking glasses to watch our led tv, use my iPad and iPhone..try the programme and get our sleep sorted and then reduce your meds with your GP’s help.

    Best sleepio wishes
    Kurly ;)

  • Sleepio Member

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    Graduate

    I have been taking mirtazipine for about a year for insomnia- a low dose of 7.5 mg/night. I found that my sleep improved (from around 4-5 hours/night to 5-6 hours/night but I was very groggy in the morning. I stopped taking it about two months ago and intially my sleep remained OK. In the last couple of weeks, however, my sleep has gone – under 4 hours/night. In desperation on a couple of nights i have taken a small amount of mirtazipine (less than 7.5 mg). I sleep for a couple of nights but feel so groggy all day that i can barely function. I've just started sleepio and will try to keep off the mirtazipine for now. But basically I didn't have any issues coming off mirtazipine – at least for the first couple of months.

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