1. little shettie

    little shettie Registered User

    Nov 10, 2009
    219
    Mum lives with hubby and I and though she has pretty much always been awake most nights all nights, she would fall asleep as dawn broke and then sleep through until lunch time. Now however, she is going through a phase of not sleeping at night or day. I do not know how she copes and its like she will not give into sleep. As soon as its bed time, she comes to life and makes life so difficult, almost like having a teenager again! Of course I'm shattered and just want my bed as I've been at it all day but mum is wide awake. The GP gave me some sleeping tablets for mum Zopiclone but told me they are addictive and not to be given too regularly. I gave mum her first one and she went to sleep and slept pretty much all night which was great. Didn;t give her anymore for a few nights and she was back to square one, awake all night and day. Gave her another but that didn't work she was still awake pretty much all night. So next night I braved it and gave her 2 and zonk, she was out cold within an hour and slept for 12 hours! It worried me I kept checking on her but actually she was fine when she woke and looked really refreshed. Again left it 2-3 nights gave her 1 1/2 this time as I was worried 2 was too strong but this took 3 hours to get her to sleep, then she was awake again after a few hours. I really don't know what to do now as it says on the pack should not be taken for more than a month. So after this what next? Sounds awful but I am at my wits end with mum not sleeping. Shes so tired shes really unsteady on her feet and she may lay down and cat nap but the littlest noise disturbs her so shes not really sound asleep. Hubby jokes she needs an elephant tranquiliser! Her short term memory deteriorated about the time this bad phase of sleeplessness started so maybe theres a link. Mum is on Aricept, has been for 6 years since diagnosis and anti depressants which also appear not to be working. Frankly I don't know where to go from here.:(
     
  2. marionq

    marionq Registered User

    Apr 24, 2013
    5,851
    Female
    Scotland
    My husband has been on Zopiclone for a year without problems. The GP is talking through his hat. If he had to look after someone who was keeping him up every night believe me he would be giving them a sleeping tablet. Go ahead.
     
  3. little shettie

    little shettie Registered User

    Nov 10, 2009
    219
    Ha that sounds about right! I will be speaking to the GP again then and seeing if I can get them on regular prescription. She gave me a one off pack and told me to use sparingly, that was a month ago and only half way through the pack!! It is hard isn't it, trying to cope without sleep. Mum is grumpy as hell today through lack of sleep and angling for a fight every minute! Thank you for your input, really helpful.
     
  4. Beate

    Beate Registered User

    May 21, 2014
    11,713
    Female
    London
    Sorry to disagree, but the GP is not "talking through his hat". He is giving you a sound medical opinion. It is well-known that this medication causes addiction and can increase unsteadiness and falls, plus withdrawal symptoms can be brutal. Just because some people tolerate it well doesn't mean all do, and warnings should always be headed. Why not with the help of the GP try to find something that might come with less side effects while still being effective?

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zopiclone
     
  5. Shedrech

    Shedrech Volunteer Moderator

    Dec 15, 2012
    8,020
    Yorkshire
    Hi little shettie
    I don't have experience with these meds
    however, from reading your posts and the responses, I wonder if you need a bit of both
    what I mean is, do go back to the GP and talk this through as you have concerns
    in the meantime, give your mum a couple of tablets tonight to get her to have a good sleep - as she does seem to have slept well when you've done this - then follow up with one tablet every night to get her to sleep at an appropriate time, and hopefully for a sensible length of time - it may be that this will break the bad habit she's in and create a good routine for her
    just a suggestion, as you seem to write that you've not given the meds regularly - of course it may not be this simple, but worth a try?
     
  6. marionq

    marionq Registered User

    Apr 24, 2013
    5,851
    Female
    Scotland
    I don't know how reliable Wikipedia is but the descriptions given do not correspond to John's experience. His GP did say that after six months it probably wouldn't work anymore but that has not turned out to be the case. No falls, no related health issues. If he was not sleeping during the night then neither would I be sleeping and we would both be in a much worse place.
     
  7. Beate

    Beate Registered User

    May 21, 2014
    11,713
    Female
    London
    #7 Beate, Jan 9, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2016
    I understand that and all I am saying is that a doctor's warning to be cautious should not be outright dismissed as if he didn't know anything. It's great it worked for your husband but that alone doesn't made it safe medication for everyone.
     
  8. Spiro

    Spiro Registered User

    Mar 11, 2012
    522
    Zopiclone is normally prescribed as a short term treatment for insomnia
     
  9. Lawson58

    Lawson58 Registered User

    I have been on Zoplicone for years and years and I and GP are well aware that I am probably addicted. However, I only went on them because nothing else worked and GP and I have discussed this issue. I am careful to stay on only one tablet per night and I have to accept the fact that I will still have bad nights.

    I have tried everything over the last few decades to overcome my insomnia. Hypnotherapy was helpful in allowing me to develop strategies to get back to sleep but nothing else works for me.

    On balance, I came to the conclusion that sleep deprivation was having a hugely destructive impact on me, that it was better to have a mild addiction and frankly, at my age I just can't get fussed about it. Doctors have an obligation to inform you of addiction and side effect issues of the drugs they prescribe but many of the medications we take come into the category of being potentially harmful. I think you need to do what is in everybody's best interests and be guided by your GP.
     
  10. Suzanna1969

    Suzanna1969 Registered User

    Mar 28, 2015
    346
    Essex
    Mum is on Mirtazipine for her depression which she started a few months ago because she was crying her eyes out most mornings and couldn't explain why (the Citalopram alone wasn't cutting it, she takes both now).

    Not only did it make the crying a lot less, she sleeps a LOT now. Admittedly she has never had a problem with sleeping but it might be something to consider.

    Dad has always been an insomniac, he also started on Mirtazipine as he scored highly on the Depression Scale (although he doesn't have dementia) and even he is sleeping a lot more, better than he ever has done in his life. He also takes Citalopram in conjunction with the Mirtazipine.

    Might be worth asking the GP if Mirtazipine could help your Mum (and you!)
     
  11. lizzybean

    lizzybean Registered User

    Feb 3, 2014
    1,398
    Lancashire
    I have experience of Zopiclone & it is supposed to get you back into a routine if you have insomnia. I agree with Shedrech, try her on them for a week or two & see if you can't establish a routine.
     
  12. RedLou

    RedLou Registered User

    Jul 30, 2014
    1,162
    How old is your mother? IMO, the GP needs to be asked: will an addiction at that age be more harmful to your mother than her being moved to a Care Home because you have broken down?
     
  13. piglet70

    piglet70 Registered User

    Jan 5, 2014
    3
    not sleeping

    Hi have you tried a more natural sleeping tablet like the ones you can buy over the counter they may help.
     
  14. little shettie

    little shettie Registered User

    Nov 10, 2009
    219
    I appreciate all your comments and I take on board all the different points of view. But, having looked after mum (and Dad when he was alive) for many years and mum now being 95, I have come to the conclusion that my health is important. I have always put mum first to the detriment of myself at times. Mum is just in such a bad place now, her short term memory has become far worse and she has forgotten my Dad is dead and whenever she askes me where he is and I tell her, she breaks down. This is one of the reasons I believe she can 't switch off. She misses him so much and having been married for 70 years, and with AZ, she can't just move on. Shes on AD too, for just over 2 years and they really helped her at first but stopped having effect a few months ago. THe GP changed them to a different brand and I'm just increasing the dose on her advice so that along with mum not wanting to get into bed at all, is making life hell. Night times have been hellish for quite a few years with mum but at least she would go to bed at dawn and sleep for many hours. Now she won't sleep at all. I do not know how she does it. She looks awful except when shes had the sleeping pills. It seems 1 has no effect, like shes fighting it, but 2 definitely work well. I gave her 2 at midnight last night and its now 11.30am and shes still asleep. When I saw a MH psychiatrist with mum about 18 months ago, he actually offered sleeping pills for mum but then I refused as I felt it extreme. He said to me, my health was just as important and I should seriously consider them for mum. The only time I can recall any health care professional caring about me! I will speak to the GP who incidentally is very nice and understanding, but I do feel doesn't fully understand the implications of AZ. But I have decided that I want to keep mum on them if its the only way I can get her to sleep. If that's wrong, then I'm wrong. But I can't cope otherwise.
     
  15. Shedrech

    Shedrech Volunteer Moderator

    Dec 15, 2012
    8,020
    Yorkshire
    #15 Shedrech, Jan 10, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2016
    hi little shettie
    you're not wrong at all
    you've weighed everything up and come to an informed decision, and one which will hopefully help your mum AND help you to support her
    I whole heartedly agree that you are 50% of the situation - you can't look after your mum if your own health is compromised - and what's more you have a right to your own life - you are right to put yourself 'first', maybe you need to do so a bit more - do you get time to go out and do your own thing?
    I'm glad she's sleeping now so that you have had some time to relax yourself
    I hope you have a good day :)
     
  16. susy

    susy Registered User

    Jul 29, 2013
    806
    North East
    Worrying about addictive meds at 95 seems a little ridiculous. The only issue I would worry about is if they stop working because she gets used to them. However that may never happen. As for falls, sleep deprivation for all of you is much more likely to make a falls risk increase and so far she looks much better after a good sleep. The medication usually only works for a few hours so if she is sleeping 10 or more hours straight through my guess is that it is getting her off to sleep that is her problem.
    You carry on, and make sure the GP prescribes more. If they refuse then ask immediately for respite care and further assessment as really this lack of sleep for all is dangerous and can't go on.
     
  17. RedLou

    RedLou Registered User

    Jul 30, 2014
    1,162
    So glad you're thinking of your own health. Let us know how you get on.
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.