I had a long chat with one of my therapists today about my sleeping history, so I'm in quite a place to describe it all if anyone can be asked to read a wall of text describing one of my biggest issues over the past year.
Bear in mind, this has all taken place amidst a slow deterioration of my mental health, and I can't rule them out as contributing towards it all.
Before I took sleeping pills, it was about 2 hours sleep a night for a few months before I decided to sleep every other night, getting 6 hours of sleep every second night. Then, after finding it a bit impractical I started sleeping on Sunday for 8 hours, Tuesday for 6 and Thursday for 6. Then, I was prescribed Temazepam, yeah - **** knows why they started me on the strongest and most addictive - and I got 6 hours sleep each night for the first week, then 5 for the second, had the dosage doubled for the third week and got the same thing so I was at 30mg by the 5th week on them and 40 by the seventh. **** knows how I survived taking 280mg of it one night, although they were spread out over the course of a night taking 1 at first, another 2 an hour later and the final 4 after an hour of mutilation. After that I decided to stop taking them altogether, and couldn't sleep for a whole week afterwards.
A month later he prescribed me a weeks worth of 10mg Diazepam and they didn't really do much - I slept about 2 hours a night for three days and then took 4 with a similar outcome as last time: loads of blood and a night of good sleep. Since I stopped taking these my sleep was completely ****ed, sleeping randomly for 30 minutes at any point in the day, twice a day which lead to being prescribed melatonin for about 3 months which did absolutely **** all so I continued feeling shattered like I was on a permanent come-down until I was prescribed 7.5mg Zopiclone by a psychiatrist. After three months of 6 hours sleep without needing the dosage increased the fourth month my sleep got worse so I asked if the dosage could be increased. Being that my psychiatrist is smarter than my GP she refused and prescribed me 10mg Zolpidem instead.
Unfortunately, I soon found out you can trip on these and took 30mg every Tuesday and 40mg every Friday to account for the slight tolerance increase from the recent previous trip, not sleeping the days in between. After a month I was re-prescribed Zopiclone for a month and then started saving up my pills and rarely sleeping again, preparing for an overdose featuring 210mg of zopiclone, 40mg of zolpidem I had left over, 130mg of diazepam my mum had, a few months worth of citalopram, 8 boxes of paracetamol, 2 boxes of cocodomol and 2 boxes of diclofenac, all crushed up and dissolved in a litre and a half of jager which I downed.
After a stomach pump and a week in hospital on 13 life support machines I was transferred to a secure psychiatric ward on section where I was instantly prescribed 30mg of Zopiclone as part of there informal 'if they're asleep they're manageable' program and by the end of that month I was terrified to stop taking them because I'd feel like I had a cold by midnight, which would then escalate into a flu until I took some more, fortunately the hospital I moved to helped me taper myself off of them, which took two months and in the two weeks I've been without them I've had 6 hours of sleep, yet every five minute sleep feels more refreshing than 6 hours straight of sedative induced sleep.
I suppose part of my reason for posting this is just to say that no matter how bad your sleep is, never rely on pills for it. I'm hoping to never touch them again, but every night I wish I had some and I've asked my most recent psychiatrist three times to prescribe me anything to help me get to sleep in these last two weeks, so I don't know how well not using them is going to work.