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AMBIEN tips & tricks

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Unread 04-22-2012, 08:21 PM   #1
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Default AMBIEN tips & tricks

Just been reading a few posts here, and most of them are about Ambien. I have used Ambien nightly for about 12 years, and have learned some tricks about how to use it. I just have insomnia, no apnea, but I am a respiratory therapist so I know plenty about it.
First off, Ambien is a drug you can develop tolerance to and need increasing doses over time. Gotta make it stretch! Start out initially with 2.5 mg and keep your tolerance down as long as possible. It took me several years before I had to start taking the 10 mg and now I really have to watch myself. In other words, you still gotta live with some level of insomnia but at least it's manageable and liveable.
Ambien is short acting, lasts about 6 hours. I find I'm often immediately *bonk* wide awake as soon as it wears off, but most of the time I can get back to sleep for a couple more hours.
Ambien absorbs in the intestine. That means, if your tummy is full, it won't absorb, because your GI tract is too busy digesting everything else. THAT is why it often doesn't work -- it's mostly getting pooped out!
Sooo... that means... Eat Dinner EARLY. And go to bed hungry. THAT SUUUCKS I know, I HATE IT! Really messes with the social life especially, better have some understanding friends. But I'm used to it. Ambien is the only med I've found that actually works for me. All the OTC stuff like Melatonin does not help me sleep and I get all the side effects. Same goes for Trazadone. OHH GAWWD the headaches, grogginess, and nightmares! YOWCH I'll keep my Ambien, TYVM.
Alcohol and sugar also will keep Ambien from working and aggravate the insomnia, so keep the desserts and drinks to a minimum. Again, have some understanding friends.
That's basically it, just don't take the Ambien until you feel a hunger pang / empty tummy, 4 to 6 hours after eating. Good news is you'll only feel hungry for 15 mins to an hour before you're dozing off. I'm often seeing those funny little hallucinations (textures just get wavy and a kind of hypnotic feeling) shortly after I'm done with the nighttime rituals of tooth brushing, etc, and read a few pages of something. Lights out, literally and figuratively. If I'm still laying awake after a couple hours, I'll take a half a dose and that does the trick. Be VERY careful about that though, too, because it IS a controlled drug and you don't wanna run out before you can get your next script or you may be SOL.
Now the hard part is... don't let the bed bugs bite!!
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