Most facing how to come off Ativan are concerned about whether they will ever sleep naturally and deep again. Most question whether there is a safe, comfortable way to both escape Ativan Dependence but recover natural, healthy sleep patterns. And yes, both are possible. The erosion of sleep is a common byproduct of benzodiazepine dependence and Ativan, being a short-acting benzodiazepine, tends to have a higher side effect profile, including sleep disturbances. But the body has a miraculous ability to heal and returning to normal sleep patters is one of the benefits of healing as you taper slowly.
Benzodiazepines alter the entire nervous system and body in many adverse ways. One of the main concerns of course is sleep. Benzodiazepines interfere with natural REM and NonREM sleep patterns and many interpret an unconscious state from the drug as rejuvenating sleep, which of course it isn't. So literally all benzodiazepine patients have been sleep deprived while taking the drug and they are desperate for sleep when they start our program. We know this in large part because the majority of our team has been on benzodiazepines and had the same fear. I can assure you that sleep does return, but this is also the reason we promote healthy sleep throughout the tapering process.
The Hidden Effects of Benzodiazepine
The dark circles under the eyes are common with benzodiazepines and another indicator that the sleep you are receiving is not quality sleep. Again, being unconscious is not the same as true sleep. Sleep deprivation causes the skin to become dull and pale, allowing for dark tissues and blood vessels beneath your eyets to be visible. In fact, the sleep received on benzodiazepines is light but the drug blocks your memory of waking. Its a deceptive pattern that leaves many craving sleep, and as dependence to benzodiazepines deepens many either increase the dose or add another drug. This provides relief short term then once again, the drug/s stop working, and the GABA receptors are further downregulated and sleep declines again.
Most do not even realize this is happening. The amnesia effect of the drug continues to trick patients into believing they are truly sleeping. This light sleep pattern is why, with drugs like sleeping pills, there's a warning regarding eating, night driving and odd behavior without memory.
Another effect is that benzodiazepines raise cortisol, the stress hormone in the body. The increased levels of cortisol makes it impossible for you to sleep naturally since high Cortisol should only occur early in the day to wake you, but at night the levels should be low so Melatonin is excreted and used to sleep. The constant battle with high Cortisol is another reason sleep patterns decline on benzodiazepines and why we use an active peptide proven to lower Cortisol during our tapering program.
The primary areas we address with our benzodiazepine withdrawal treatment at Point of Return:
- Lowering cortisol
- Promoting melatonin
- Calming the Nervous System
- Promoting Sleep
Lower Cortisol. Cortisol has an inverse relationship to Melatonin, with Cortisol high in the morning to wake you and lowering at night so Melatonin is excreted and used for sleep. But benzodiazepines drive Cortisol high, particularly at night. This prevents your body from using its natural ability to produce and use melatonin.
The second step is increasing melatonin. At Point of Return, we dont use synthetic melatonin because not only does it interact with all benzodiazepines, but most on the market are way too high a dose. Even 2-3 milligram tablets or more that some people are taking, can be 1000x more than what the body naturally produces. This can actually worsen sleep, causing the Melatonin receptors to become less responsive, again, interfering with natural sleep patterns. We prefer using natural melatonin that comes from montmorency tart cherries since the Melatonin content is nearly identical to human blood.
Point of Return works to get a natural balance back.
Natural sleep does come back and it can for you. It can for everyone.
- We lower cortisol with an active peptide,
- then we help replenish the natural melatonin.
- We use a third item to produce glutathione-- which the master antioxidant in the sleep center. The sleep center requires high glutathione levels.
Then people can calm their body down and start sleeping naturally.
If you are experiencing sleeping issues because of benzodiazepines, there is hope. Through Point of Return our benzodiazepine withdrawal treatment can help you return to normal sleep patterns, not only in a safe way, but a comfortable and effective way. With the assistance and supervision of experienced professionals at Point of Return, you have a higher chance of success.