1. Information in this forum is not monitored or provided by a medical professional. The information reflects member opinions only. Do not act on advice from these forums without first consulting a qualified medical professional. No professional addiction advisors are recognized by the owners, admins, or moderators, even if the member states such status. All content is copyrighted and protected. DO NOT use any information that can identify you in these forums. If you do, a google search can link your addiction post to your name causing harm to your future activities including employment.

New here, off methadone 4 weeks, will I ever sleep well again?

Discussion in 'Detoxing from Methadone' started by Andy1, May 2, 2012.

  1. Andy1

    Andy1 Well-Known Member

    I just found this forum and sure wish I'd found it months ago! Wow, what an amazing resource.

    Briefly: I was on methadone for 8 years. I used the tablet form 6 times a day - the last year or two I was waking up to take it. Turns out the long half-life did NOT mean long pain relief, at least for me. I was smoking weed also, off and on -- the past few years more on than off. I've had prescriptions for it, but that's beside the point. Between the two I was sleeping 10-12 hours a day and really not thinking straight most of the time. I tapered from 60 mg to 12.5 mg over 3 months, edit: I forgot to add I stalled out for a month at 12.5 mg. Then continued and went from 12.5 to 0 in 3 weeks. April 4 is my "clean date". I quit smoking pot the same day.

    I've found Narcotics Anonymous very helpful and started going to meetings when I dropped down from 12.5 mgs. I'm doing what they suggest and it really is making a huge difference.

    My major withdrawal symptom has been lack of sleep. Now its 4 weeks later, and I'm still getting 2 to 5 hours a night. I've never done that great on low sleep. Now I feel like a raving b*tch much of the time, though my husband says I was 'meaner' before I came off methadone. I cry at the drop of a hat. Back pain (the reason I was on methadone) bothers me a lot more when high/low pressure systems are on the move. To tell the truth though, I don't think I'm actually in more pain than I was when on methadone.

    Here's the question: Everyone's different .. but ... how long till I can get 8 hours sleep in a single night? How long until I can probably get back to a "normal" sleep schedule? I think so many things would seem better if I could get a full nights rest.

    editted for the benefit of anyone else going through this: At 3 weeks it DID get better. Still not sleeping well, but there was a difference before and after the 3 week point.
    Last edited: May 4, 2012
  2. pameather

    pameather Well-Known Member

    Hi Andy

    Welcome to ODR!! yes I was on mdone for 8 years too taking anywhere from 80 to 130 mgs a day going up and down. I don't remeber when I got off it how much sleep I didn't get,but I am 2 years off the mdone the 17th of this month,but when I left the detox I went into to get off the mdone,i used a 7.5 mg hydrocodone and took it about 3 pm everyday,and I to this day am NOT sleeping well,BUT just 3 months ago,I went from the 1/7.5 a day to crumbs of subutex. So I can't give you a true answer that will help you. I just wanted to welcome you,and I belive someone will also come in and post something for you. This is a GREAT site. I have been struggling for years on this site since 2006,and still fighting. I am SO glad you got off the mdone,its bad ****(it all is). Don't ever look back on getting on that stuff again.


  3. rugby

    rugby Well-Known Member

    Hi Andy, and welcome to the ODR!

    I never have detoxed from mdone, however, I did detox from a monster sub dose (36 mg per day), another long acting synthetic opiate. So I guess you can call them similar in that respect. I jumped cold turkey from that dose and it was hell. It took about a good 3 months for my sleeping patterns to BEGIN to get normal. The only thing that helped was vigorous exercise, like the kind that would completly soak my shirt with sweat. Others have had success with melatonan and velarian root for sleep during detox but remember it takes a couple of days to build up in your system to start working.

    Since you were on the mdone for quite a while it may be a few more weeks before you get back to where your sleeping is normal again. My advice would be start exercising. If you are able take up running it gets the endorphins flowing naturally again something the mdone has been doing for you. Good luck and keep posting!
  4. Andy1

    Andy1 Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the reply Pammy! Guess I was hoping for something like "next week" lol, I'm learning that wanting instant gratification is just not a mature thing.:eek:

    I haven't run or even walked fast since 1997. I can exercise though, and it sounds like a good idea .. for many reasons. Thank you for the suggestion!

    Any other comments and/or suggestions are more than welcome. Thank you all.
  5. peacenik

    peacenik Administrator

    Hi Andy Welcome and congratulations on getting free of methadone. I know how you feel. First off let me say that you will get back to normal
    it will take some time after being on it for 8 years. Me, I was on maintenence fo 6 years, but addicted to opiates for 19 in total.

    I think I got back to 6 or 7 hours of sleep in a month or two but it still wasn't real restfull sleep. To be honest with you, it was quite a while before I
    felt I was over it. As a matter of fact, I worried that I had messed myself up so bad that I'd never get back to normal. Well I did get back to normal and I really like to let others know that you can make it too.

    I hope you'll read all around the forum Our "Success Stories" thread is a great place to start. I also hope you'll stick around and let us know how its going.
    best of luck Andy
  6. Andy1

    Andy1 Well-Known Member

    Thanks a lot Dave. I read the success stories this afternoon. It was an inspiring read. I thought about posting to the thread, but its only been 28 days so far for me. And I'm new here.

    While some of the symptoms of w/d are driving me a little crazy, it hasn't really been all that bad. Tapering probably made a huge difference. Getting serious about NA and going to meetings almost every day, listening to speaker tapes from NA and other programs, now finding this forum... it all helps and makes it easier. I am really glad I found you guys.
  7. Andy1

    Andy1 Well-Known Member

    This helps! Wooo Hoo!
    I've found I am pretty ticked off in the mornings, from being awake and trying to sleep much of the night. Its not just insomnia; its the racing heartbeat and how different parts of my body feel hot and feverish while other parts feel cold. Grrr. BUT ...
    I am getting the sleep I need, even if I'm not getting the rest I want.
    I am turning my will and my life -- and my lack of sleep and my irritability... over to God to the best of my ability.
    I am getting up and moving in the morning.
    I am eating yogurt or something in the morning.
    I am going to meetings and starting to know a few people there. Gee, Isolation .. you mean its NOT a good thing? :wink:
    etc. ...
    One of the weirdest things to me is how I can be thinking "This sucks, I can't stand it! " and at the same time I think "its really not that bad. Seriously."

    Hope its not a problem that I keep posting, it helps me get my thoughts straight.
  8. pameather

    pameather Well-Known Member

    NOT a problem at all when you post,and I feel the same way on my thread,but I post anyways,it does help a little to get it down on this site/forum. I'm having sleep issues too,I am getting some sleep,but like you said not the sleep I want or some mornings I feel like it wasn't a DEEP sleep,and my eyes stay red all day,and I go on thinking that my boss thinks I'm high,because I ALWAYS look like I'm high ,even went to a meeting a few days back,and the chairman said to me,YOU LOOK LIKE YOU BEEN DRINKING TODAY,and I told him NOPE I SURE HAVE NOT!!!!

    Are you taking any nite time meds like trazadones or any OTC PM asprins?(just curious),or any vitamins like the valarian root or the melatonin that a few mention on here? I tried the valarian root,and believe it or not I got immune to them quick. I do take prescribed trazadones but I do not take them every night,just because I don't want to get immune to those either,but they do get me sleep when I do take them,but still not a deep sleep.

    OH by the way I don't no about the melatonin but the valarian root STINKS TO HIGH HELL!!!! LOL..

    keep in touch and post,because you never know that someone who hasn't signed up on here reads your post,and it helps them. YOU are someone who made it off the mdone,and thats a HUGE thing to do. So you just give others hope by your postings.

  9. Andy1

    Andy1 Well-Known Member

    Thank you for writing Pammmyyyyyy. I'd rather not use valerian root as its the original natural form of valium. That makes it a bad idea for me.

    Melatonin is something our bodies make naturally, but .. well, if I take it for an extended period then my body will quit making as much. That means I'll be right back here AGAIN, not sleeping. I'm not saying these aren't fine for short term use, its just that I can see problems down the line for me. I checked with our local pharmacist - who says melatonin was the next big thing years ago. Then 3 years after it got popular, he started getting "advisories" every week about some new drug interaction with it. He also said a lot of people have vivid nightmares because of the way it affects REM sleepl. I'll tell you I was disappointed to hear his lack of enthusiasm.

    I have been using otc asprin or ibuprophin or napracin - all three either don't do much for me or I find myself in tears and very emotional the next day. Over the Counter Tylenol helps sometimes during the day with back pain - same for Ultram. Norco I use as little as I can get away with, but I will admit I've tried it to see if a norco at bedtime would do the trick & let me sleep all night. .. I'd have been ok with that. Maybe its a good thing it didn't work for me for sleep.

    Last night I slept most of the night, probably close to 7 hours. I had taken Benadryl before going to bed - it didn't work the other two times I tried it, but I was a little desperate. Getting to sleep is less of a problem for me than staying asleep. Usually I wake up at 2am .. and if I'm lucky I'll get another 2 hours of sleep between then and morning. It hasn't been restful, for sure. I talked to my sponsor and she had suggested using the serenity prayer as a meditation. Last night every time I woke up I was repeating the serenity prayer over and over, or just found myself saying 'thank you God'. I'm not sure why. BUT I slept more last night than I have during any other night in more than 2 months. It was amazing.

    Today marks 30 days since I used my drug of choice (don't laugh, its pot) or methadone.

    If anyone here doesn't know the serenity prayer, its the one that goes:
    God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
    The courage to change the things I can,
    And the wisdom to know the difference.

    Thanks for being here.
  10. pameather

    pameather Well-Known Member

    Good evening Andy (CONGRATULATIONS ON DAY 30 off mdone,NASTY ****!!!!!!!) I took up hydrocodone right after I detoxed off the mdone,and took the pill at 2 or 3 ish in the afternoon thinking it would help me sleep,but I was also perscibed trazadones which help,and still do today,but I don't take em everynight cuz I don't want to get immune to them. HEY GLAD you got 7 hours last night,so benedryl works aye?

    WOW I remember when I got off mdone(2 years ago the 17th of this month,and on it like you 8 years) I too talked to my dr about valarian,and she too told me that any kind of root is not good for you for long term,I only used it a few nights only cuz I got immine to them within 3 days time,and they just stunk. I also didn't know that a body makes their own melatonin,so now I understand why you chose not to take them.... When I mention asprins,I ment the night time asprins,I was just wondering if they might help you...

    AHHHH YES the serenity prayer,I take it to work with me everyday,I have it on a chip that I got from meetings a long time ago (I forgot how many months but its the gold chip),and I put a chapstick in the same pocket,and when I hear them clicking together I always say the prayer,it on me EVERYDAY....... Sounds like a deal saying it over,and over before you try to GET TO SLEEP......

    Hey Andy NOTHING funny about what one takes for their drug of choice or how much NOTHING TO LAUGH AT,AT ALL!!!!!!!!!

    Thats GREAT about your sleep,and keep posting as it will help others here,and others who have not joined yet,and are reading,and me off course,SO GET SOME GOOD SLEEP 2NITE K!!!!!!!

    see you again I hope
    hugz Pammyyyyyyyyyyyy
  11. movazi

    movazi Well-Known Member

    I do not know what causes the sleep pattern getting so messed up. I mean opiates do not work on sleep center of the brain, or do they ? Or may be we were sleep most of our life and now is time to be awake :)

    I do get sleep, but it is at odd hours of the day or night. Sometimes falling sleep at 3 P.M. to 9 P.M. and then stay awake till 6 A.M. !! I wonder why the pattern is so random !! May be opiates mess up our biological clock (just throwing ideas here :- )

    And what about the sneezing ? It does actually feel good (specially if you shout as you sneeze :), but why the sneezing goes on and on ? In prior attempt to quit opiates the sneezing would stop after a month or so !!
  12. Andy1

    Andy1 Well-Known Member

    Hi, and thanks for the replies. It makes me feel less isolated. I am going to meetings and all, but .. well, everything helps. Or more accurately, everyONE helps. Do you all know how much of a difference you make?
  13. pameather

    pameather Well-Known Member

    Hi Andy
    Sorry I havent been here,but I lost 6 letters on my lappy 2 days ago so I could not log on here,but I WAS coming by to see how you was doing. I could google ODR,and read,but I couldnt log on,quess GOD didn't want me to have a PC for 2 days :eek:!! anyways as soon as my friend found out I lost my letters,she came RIGHT over,and gave me a desk top keyboard,and IT WORKS,so I'm back........and its good to be back,and share,and learn. I TOTALLY agree with this site helping,it really does. They told me to speak at the meeting last night,and they said for me to say ANYTHING,and that there is nothinng stupid you can say here,and I feel the same way here.

    So what did you come up with to help you sleep or did you find any solutions?that work for you?

    K hope to see you soon
  14. Andy1

    Andy1 Well-Known Member

    Hey, Dave passed along a message that you were having computer problems. That was nice. Glad you're back on!
    I tried a few things, Benedryl worked 1x out of 4 tries (maybe). That night I did sleep more, but oddly enough the next day I was yawning all day and more sleepy than ever! Go figure.
    What is working is 1) time :tongue: and 2) prayer - specifically the Serenity Prayer. I wake up saying it, and repeat until I'm asleep again. The past two nights I've gotten 6-7 hours sleep and wow its nice!
    I do know my blood pressure is way up, and so is my heart rate. That's what (I think) has been keeping me awake. If I didn't know WHY my heart was racing (5 weeks post methadone) I'd probably end up having a panic attack. Here's how stupid I feel sometimes: I was telling someone from NA about how high my blood pressure & heart rate are. Kind of just saying "wow isn't that weird" ... and she just stares at me and says "so have you called your doctor yet?". Now that's a perfectly reasonable question. I guess there is something to this not-thinking-right thing, because it hadn't even occurred to me to make a doctor's appointment. I got a recommendation for a doctor and made an appointment, but won't be able to get in until the 24th.
    I'm feeling a lot better, far less stressed out. There is something to be said for working the first three steps of a 12 step program. I'm really wanting to move on to the 4th step, but my sponsor is telling me I need to quit trying to run things on my own terms. I trust her, so I'm listening. That's pretty much a miracle right there.

    How are you doing Pammy? Nice to hear you have friends to 'hook you up' with a keyboard! :biggrin:

    'bye for now
  15. pameather

    pameather Well-Known Member

    Thanks Andrea!!!

    O my lawdy!!! SAME thing happened to me about the heart rate,still does. O don't know what to say about that to you,but from what I have been reading here that clonidine helps with that. Now I got my clonidine online without a script from a dr., but I wouldn't suggest that to you cuz I had no idea AT ALL on how to take it,and I had a BP cuff,and STILL didn't know what I was doing. I still have the clonidines,but don't want to touch them because of not being monitored by a Dr.(they came in 2 mg pills). I'm sure thats SOME of the reasons why your not sleeping well, along with other reasons I don't know how to explain,but I know what your talking about. YES so mayby seeing a dr. about the BP is a GREAT idea,infact I think you should go see one on this problem. I bet the Dr. gives you clonidine for it,but when you do go,do tell the Dr. that you are in mdone WD's i would do that if I was you,I should myself,I just get to lazy to make appt.,and then go to the appt.

    I been switching my nightime meds from trazadone to night time goodys PM,somenights I take nothing,and BOOM I'm up at 1:30 ish in the morning after going to sleep by 11 pm. I am scribed 150 mgs of trazadone a night but NOWAY do I take that,I will go 3 night without the trazadone,and then take 50 mgs if that don't work I take 100 mgs,but not everynight. I even got immune to the valarian root after the 3rd or 4th night,like you do on the benadryl.Quess we just have to ride the storm out,but hey you are clean so GO GET IT GIRL!!!!!!

    How are you doing with depression or did I allready ask you that?

    hugz pammy

    THANK YOU DAVE!!!!!!!
  16. movazi

    movazi Well-Known Member

    Higher blood pressure is because opiates relax our smooth muscles (arteries are apparently smooth muscle), so absent opiates the arteries stiffen. Not sure though what causes the rapid heart rate, may be the overall anxiety and stress, but it is definitely a common symptom.

    Potassium chloride does reduce the heart rate (used in executions :- ) , small doses though are safe. Potassium can be found in bananas, dry apricots or peach. It also comes in liquid or pill format. Search for foods naturally high in potassium and it is rather effective to lower heart rate.

    Better not let blood pressure stay high for too long, it can damaged body organs. There are ample medications that work on various systems, some are alpha or beta blockers, some are diuretics (opiates are also diuretics) , etc. Clonidine is an alpha blocker and rather effective, and I think it also comes in slow release tablets or skin patch (they do make you feel tired though). Garlic is an excellent natural remedy for blood pressure, must eat a lot of fresh garlic though to get the desired effect :)

    I do not know if it is the rapid heart rate and high blood pressure that causes this restless feeling (like being on verge of panic attack) or visa versa. It is a lousy feeling though and for me it is still there to some extent.
  17. Andy1

    Andy1 Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the ideas Movazi. I checked Mayo clinic's website and Prevention's as well - they had some other suggestions along with yours. I have checked my blood pressure every week or so since coming off methadone (being a former nurse and all ...) its higher now than it was when I was 2 weeks off methadone. 166/109 - which is WAY higher than I've ever seen mine before. I tend to flush at the same time, and my heart rate spikes as well. If I didn't know why this was happening I'd really be freaking out. It is also quite possible that its part of menopause as well - -pththth. I thought I was done with that, but it seems reasonable that coming off opioids could kick menopause back in. I did take an herbal 'estrogen' supplement about 6 months ago, and quit almost immediately because I was having hot flashes and other menopausal symptoms. Dang it, I just can't believe I went and got that old! :eek: Hmmm well, it beats not making it to this age. And who says mid-50s is old anyway? eh?

    Here's the link to Prevention's blood pressure lowering info: 13 Ways to Lower Blood Pressure Naturally - Prevention.com. I would suggest avoiding the soy (suggestion #13) since almost all soy products available in the USA are now genetically modified (GMO). I have enough problems already ... :wink:
  18. pameather

    pameather Well-Known Member

    LOL I liked the tenth idea,but its not allowed at my job AT ALL... There ya go Andrea,some more answers on your BP for you, GREAT!!! also might help others too. How come you don't suggest the soy? I also liked the tea part,I think I will switch from cofee to tea if I can,that caffeine has got me too. So at what age does menapause kick in for most women? I'm 47. My ole mans 57,so NO WAYYYYYYYYYYYYYY mid 50's is old ;)
  19. Andy1

    Andy1 Well-Known Member

    All I can say is there are young 70 year olds and elderly 20 year olds. ... Age isn't the deciding factor. That's my story and I'm sticking to it!

    Caffeine is the enemy of sleep. Studies have shown that if you drink 3 cups of coffee (which is the same as 1 BIG cup), there's still enough caffeine in your system to keep you up at night - whether you feel it or not. Coming off opiates or opioids, our bodies do the opposite of what they did on drugs. So. .. if we used to be sedated, now we're wired and vice versa. It takes awhile for our bodies to adjust. I have slept more in the past 3 nights than I have since my methadone dose got under 10mg a day - and I'm sleeping 6 or 7 hours a night. I'm also finding out that how rested I feel isn't always just based on how many hours of sleep I had. Surrender, surrender, surrender - when I fight it, I'm miserable. When I can actually surrender, there's a peace I didn't have before even if I do have circles under my eyes the next day. So what? As long as I can see/feel that its getting better, I can deal.

    There was a big difference at 3 weeks. It got better. There has been another sleep adjustment over the past 3 nights. Yay! How much is time and how much is "working my program", I can't say.

    Menopause seems to vary a lot. For me, in retrospect, I started getting mild night sweats as early as age 40 at least occasionally. From 48 or 49 until about 53 I had hot flashes. They never got more frequent than a few times a day. Out of nowhere I'd be flushed and sweating, and thinking "its suddenly 150 degrees in here". Officially, you've hit menopause when you haven't had a period in 6 months. I thought I was there repeatedly, but I just recently "qualified". Most of the symptoms cleared up once I was actually done. Yay. So, with apologies to anyone who freaks out at body functions, that's how it was for me.
  20. movazi

    movazi Well-Known Member

    166/109 is rather high, just call a doctor for Clonidine or better yet have him give you Carvedilol (it is both alpha and beta blocker) . That will lower your blood pressure down right away (the lower number, in your case 109, is of more importance). Then you can take potassium, reduce salt intake, drink tea, and do #10 , etc. The lowering of the heart rate along with blood pressure does help with taking the edge off. I am on Carvedilol for about a month now and the pounding heart (I think you best described it as being on verge of mini panic attack) is substantially less. I still feel like taking deep breath and that does help to some extent. BTW, Coffee and cigarettes mess up both the bp and the heart rate.

    I am meeting my doctor friend for another medical evaluation. He thinks it is still opiate related and that the body, specially when you are reaching 50, takes longer to re-adjust. I just want to make sure there are no other medical issues going on.

Share This Page