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Monday, July 21, 2008 need2know, Community Member, asks

Q: Can someone tell me a medication for bipolar that helps with sleep?

I have been racking my brain to find a medication that helps with bipolar insomnia.  I think that I don't stay on the medications long enough for it to work due to I suffer sleep loss trying to do so.  I just wondered what can shut the brain off at night?  I am going to try to ask the pdoc for valium.  I know it is addicting but we are going to have to be on something the rest of our life with bipolar anyway.  I am currently on seroquel 400mgs. at bedtime.  I hate it due to weightgain and I wake up every other hour to eat.  It keeps me up eating all night and morning.   I am gaining lately really bad. 

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Answers (7)
John McManamy, Health Guide
7/22/08 7:20pm

Hey, Need2know. I'm not a doctor and everyone is unique. Having said that, one med that comes up all the time is Seroquel in low doses (25 mg to 100 mg). But you need to talk to your psychiatrist about this. He/she may have valid reasons for suggesting something else.


One natural treatment that keeps coming up all the time is melatonin. A lot of leading pdocs use this as their first choice. It's over the counter, but you need to be consulting your psychiatrist.


Also, it's vital to keep to a strict daily schedule. You don't want your brain racing at night, so devote evening activities to winding down, not to catching up. If something is upsetting you during the day, do your best to resolve it; otherwise - with our illness - you're guaranteed to lose sleep over it. Hope this helps -

cindy luntz, Community Member
7/22/08 4:40am

I give my daughter Clonidine 0.1mg when I need her to settle down and sleep. 1 tablet crushed in juice.  She is 7 years old.  It works very fast, in 15 min., she is out!  I do not give it to her every evening, only when she (and I) need it.   So check with your doctor, you would need at least two tablets (or higher)?


Also, I am not sure what other type of meds you are taking; however, Benadryl is a real "over the counter" sleeper for me!

ArtPusher, Community Member
7/22/08 1:53pm

I'm bipolar and take Trazodone and Temazapine.  About 30 minutes after I take them I'm out and sleep all night.

Sarah, Community Member
12/10/08 4:23pm

I have been prescribed ambien cr. It's been doing okay for the past few weeks I have been on it.

tinab1970, Community Member
4/18/09 4:17pm

for me i find that seroquel works GREAT for me. i been on it for about 6yrs

coryandkalla, Community Member
1/ 8/11 5:24pm

My fiance also was on Seroquel and many other bipolar drugs. He has insomnia as well. He can not find anything that will make him sleep that doesn't make him have horrible side effects! He has had to stop meds because they caused UTIs, rapid heartbeat, Restless so bad where he can't lay down all day long he is up and down trying to rest. It is horrible to watch. He is on Clozapine right now and he hates it. Monday he is trying to switch but I did find Clonidine and geodon on the internet. but I don't know if they are sleeping aids as well. :( I hope you both find something soon. It is a horrible cycle for anyone to be going through and for anyone to watch. We have 3 kids and he hates that he can't spend much time with them or I because he has so many problems trying to sleep and rest. Good luck!

T.J., Community Member
1/ 9/11 12:51pm

Hi, my name is tonya and i have bipolar pretty bad. The doctor just took me off 750 mg of seroquel a night. It did make me sleep after about 4 hours of taking it and then i culdnt get up in the morning. it made me gain 40 pounds and my blood work and blood pressure was at very dangerous levels. GET OFF SEROQUEL as soon as u can. i have now lost 31 pounds, all blood work and blood pressure is great and i feel much better. the doctor recently tried me on ambien, but it doesnt work because ive been on such a high dose med for so long. when i go back, im goin to ask for ativan, ive heard it works well. if u wuld like to talk my email is hope things work out and dont hesitate to let me know

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By need2know, Community Member— Last Modified: 04/10/14, First Published: 07/21/08