I am begging for help with this problem - it is literally ruining my life.
I took Ambien "as needed" which meant about 3 or 4 times a week. I decided I didn't want to take it any more in October. The first night, I experience loud hallucinations immediately BEFORE I enter the sleep. I will be dozing off and here a snap, bang, etc. and see a bright flash of light sometimes. It was terrifying. This happened 6 or 7 times that particular night. I finally fell asleep at dawn.
The next day is the same thing.
Dejected, I renewed my Ambien prescription until I finally saw my doctor about it in Jan. They referred me to a sleep specialist who took me off Ambien and put me on Klonopin. It is somewhat effective, but I do not see this as a permanent solution, since I believe Klonopin to be as dangerous, if not more so, than Ambien.
Nowadays, the "attacks" are comparatively mild and aren't accompanied by visual effects but they are equally disruptive. There's no enormously loud noise; it's a modest "buzz" or a startling but not loud bang, like a weight at a gym being dropped on the floor (this is an actual sound that I heard a few days ago). Sometimes it's extremely benign, like one of my parents whispering my name. Those don't bother me.
PLEASE HELP! Klonopin does work but I don't want to face escalating dosages ad infinitum for the rest of my life. I feel like this has been happening for 4 months and if it was going to go away on it's own, it would have by now.
Things I've tried:
Ambien (effective, undesirable)
Klonopin (effective, undesirable)
Excessive drinking (effective, undesirable)
Melatonin (effective for a short while; became ineffective)
Giving up caffeine completely (ineffective)
5-HTP (ineffective but did have other pleasant sleep side effects, so I continue to use it)
Magnesium supplement (ineffective)
OTC Sleep Aids (ineffective)
Regular intensive exercise regimen (ineffective)
Dietary supplement pills, i.e. daily vitamin (tried two types; ineffective)
I have no other mental health issues besides this. I do have some anxiety, and an occasional severe panic attack (maybe one or two per year), but nothing I couldn't manage or ignore before. I do not feel particularly stressed.
PLEASE...if you have ANY suggestions, please tell me. I am willing to try anything. I hate taking Klonopin but I can't stop ... if it weren't for the Rx drugs, I would have been fired from my job and likely destitute by now. I NEED TO BE ABLE TO SLEEP.
Thanks for reading.