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Can't sleep years after taking prednisone

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Can't sleep years after taking prednisone

Postby czcpt » Thu Jul 08, 2021 7:29 pm

Hello All, 36yo male here. From February to July 2019 I took prednisone 3.5 different times for 4 different run-ins with poison ivy. (stopped mid-way through the last one because at that time I knew for sure that it was not worth it to mess up my sleep like that). I have always went to sleep at 9PM and would sleep through the night good except if I drank too much water I would wake up once. Wake up time is 5AM. While on prednisone my sleep started to change. At about 9PM I would be able to fall asleep fine; but, then at about 1-2AM I would feel wide awake and many days I would not fall asleep until about 5AM.

In the last two years I have taken prednisone zero times and my sleep problems have still not went away. At 9PM, I still fall asleep fine; but, every single night I wake up for the first time between 1AM and 2AM. If I lifted weights, did intense exercise, did intense work outside earlier that same day, then that night the same thing happens where I can't go back to sleep until about 5AM. If I had a light day (no lifting, etc), then I will still wake up between 1AM and 2AM, and then for the rest of the night I go to sleep and fall back asleep about 10 times until my alarm goes off.

Since these problems started, I have tried many things to resolve this issue. I do not take caffeine ever, I do not eat anything that sugar was added to for flavor (done that for the last 12+ years, I do not lift in the afternoon, I try to get sunshine early to mid-day, I make sure my last two hours before bed are rather relaxing, I avoid light as much as possible the last hour before bed, I read a book with a very dim amber light the last hour before bed, go to sleep at the same time on weekends, sleep ing in a different bed than my wife, and now for the last two-three months I have started to try to solve this with vitamins/minerals (magnesium, zinc, ashwadandha, valerian root, etc). I have tried dozens of other things but this is already long enough of a read. (I took 12mg melatonin every night from late 2019 to May 2021. It only partially helped with being wide awake from ~1AM to ~5AM; but, not entirely. Also after a while it seemed to be less effective; but, for the most part I don't know if melatonin should be used long term so I stopped it)

Has anyone had experience with long lasting sleep side effects from prednisone? Or does anyone have ideas to try? (From what I read online my cortisol rhythm is out of whack and my cortisol is peaking at this ~1AM timeframe; but, I just don't know how to go about fixing that). I appreciate any and all feedback. Thank you!

(most importantly....sorry to all those people who have worse sleep problems than I do! I know getting solid sleep from 9PM to ~1AM might seem like a blessing to some people)
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Re: Can't sleep years after taking prednisone

Postby Snaga » Sat Jul 10, 2021 1:13 am

Hello, and welcome!

Have you tried over the counter sleep aids such as Benaryl (diphenhydramine)? Or gotten a prescription sleep aid? If I could go to bed on time I think I'd probably do all right, I've been given a prescription for trazodone to help with insomnia- it's an older antidepressant often prescribed for insomnia.
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Re: Can't sleep years after taking prednisone

Postby czcpt » Sat Jul 10, 2021 2:32 pm

Snaga, thanks for the reply. And yes your keen eye saw that I just joined! I have used Benadryl in the past with not much success. It more so helps me fall asleep at the beginning of the night which is not a problem for me. So that is the primary reason I don't take it. The secondary reason is that I am at risk of glaucoma. Benadryl is not recommended for those at risk with glaucoma.

After my issues with Prednisone, I have basically sworn off drugs. So I have not tried to seek out a prescription sleep aid. I am hoping for something on the natural side of things.
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