Nightmares when off Clonezpam or Sleeping in Foreign Bed

It’s been a while since I wrote, but on the positive side, I’ve been keeping myself busy with work, preparing my websites for seasonal events.

As you’ll read in my Bio, I take Clonezpam. This is considered a controlled substance, and therefore can be a bit habit forming. I find it almost impossible to sleep or calm down without it. I’ve been taking a low dosage for years now, and I believe it has been generally successful helping ease anxiety and quieting my mind at night.

There’s just one problem: when I don’t have the Clonezpam, and/or am sleeping in a foreign bed, I have insomnia and get horrible, vivid nightmares. By “foreign” I mean sleeping at a hotel, vacation condo, etc. For some reason, this disrupts my sleep cycle until I get into some sort of routine with the particular environment I’m in. This feat, however, is hard to do because a vacation, by virtue of its definition, is a short break, and doesn’t allow me time to adjust to a new environment. Even if I get close to falling into a normal sleep pattern, the vacation is nearly over, and I’m traveling back to my apartment.

I went on vacation to Florida with my family in April for a week, and just finished a short 3 day stay in Panama City, Panama, last week. The kicker for Florida was that I had not refilled my Rxs in time, so I had no Clonezpam to help me get to rest. I was relegated to doing it without medication, which was difficult. While I was in these places, and in particular my hotel room in Florida, I had a few sleep issues:

  • Mild to Mode insomnia – Maybe it was the air conditioning system, or dust, or something: but the first couple of nights in each location, I couldn’t get to sleep at all in part because I wasn’t able to take Clonezpam, and in part because I just couldn’t get myself relaxed enough to sleep.
  • Extremely Vivid Nightmares – During the first two nights in Florida, without Clonezpam, I had very vivid nightmares, as if the events in my dream were actually happening to me. The nightmares were mostly visions of evil, or thoughts that someone was going to attack me.
  • Woke up Screaming – As a result of my nightmares, I remember waking up screaming twice in Florida, so loud, in fact, that my brother in the other room heard me and reported it to our parents the next morning. It was a little embarrassing, but it just happened and was beyond my control.
  • Mild to Moderate Night Sweats – I’m not sure if this one happened because I wasn’t used to the air conditioning, but in general, when I woke up screaming, I was in a cold sweat. In Florida I had to leave a towel on the bed because one morning my sheets were noticeably damp.

The lesson in all of this: Always have your meds with you, and make every effort to relax before going off to sleep in foreign environments. It was my fault that I didn’t have the Clonezpam renewed in time, so I paid the piper as a result.

On the other hand, I was troubled by these events. The combination of sweating, insomnia, life like nightmares, and waking up screaming concerned me: do I have to take Clonezpam for the rest of my life just to get a normal night’s sleep? Or, more importantly, is there something going on in my sub-conscious that needs addressing, but is being shielded by my regular use of Clonezpam? The latter of these two dilemmas concerns me. I’d like to think that after years of being on psychiatric medication, things in my brain would improve.

The only reason I was able to write this entry is because a smaller incidence of nightmares occurred while I was in Panama for three days. The first night I had to take 1/2 my normal Clonezpam dosage, again due to a shortage, and I had nightmares again. The following nights were more normal.

So, based on these events, it would appear that the nightmare/sweating/screaming phenomena was not an isolated event, because it happened while I was on vacation in two entirely different places. While I am concerned about this irregularity, it has made me resolve to do one thing, for sure: keep my Clonezpam supply in order.

If the day ever arrives that my Doctor decides to take me off, Clonezpam, I will definitely let her know about these incidents, and suggest some sort of “withdrawal” program.

In the meantime, back in my apartment, I’ve been able to sleep without too many issues.