My Experience of Temazepam

When I started taking medication for my ADHD, my sleep cycle went to hell and, after a couple of months, I was almost nocturnal, going to sleep between four and six am and struggling up in the afternoon. None of my usual strategies – listening to audiobooks or films, writing stories in my head, different bedding, and so on – were working; even the sleeping pills that I’ve taken on and off when my sleep has gotten bad in the past haven’t helped. After months of struggling, my GP prescribed Temazepam to hopefully help reorientate my sleep schedule.

As always with posts about medication, this is just my experience and I am not a doctor, nor do I have any medical training. Please don’t start, change, or stop taking any medications without the advice and support of a medical professional. 

Temazepam is a benzodiazepine most commonly used to treat sleep problems like insomnia. It usually starts to work within half an hour and the effects are supposed to last for approximately eight hours. It can become addictive so it’s not recommended that a person take Temazepam for longer than a month. As with many medications, it does have side effects, the most common being drowsiness during the day, lightheadedness, and dry mouth. Often the side effects will dissipate as a person’s body adjusts to the medication. (x)

I was prescribed two weeks worth of Temazepam and although I was initially hopeful, I was quickly disappointed. Of the fourteen times I took the pills, I think I managed to get to sleep within two hours less than five times. Apart from those few occasions, I was still struggling to sleep, awake for most of the night, and sleeping into the afternoon, as hard as I tried to force myself up at a more reasonable time. Alarms didn’t work, daylight was painful, and I slept through next door’s drilling; my Mum couldn’t even shake me awake.

I kept taking it, just in case it needed time, but it didn’t get any better. So I went back to my GP to make a new plan – the Temazepam had an expiration date anyway – and she prescribed Melatonin, which my psychiatrist is very supportive of. As it turns out, it’s not unusual for autistic individuals to take Melatonin for sleep issues.

At this point, I’ve been taking Melatonin for two weeks now, first at 2mg and then at 1mg, and it’s a definite improvement over the Temazepam. I’m finally getting some real sleep again, which is great, but I don’t like that I’m feeling drowsy in the day again. So I’m not sure what the long term plan is going to be but I am really grateful to be sleeping again and not being awake all night long.

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