ok, i have been using mostly z drugs like zopiclone and zolpidem for a long time(yrs), the dosage i have used are equal to 5mg of valium on a dosage conversion chart, so it is a low dose plus i have used other meds for sleep with them as well. They have served me well to shift my crappy sleep and sleep cycle into normal life. My reasons for reducing my sleep med use is a few nights ago i took my zolpidem and it did absolutely nothing for my sleep and i had a crappy night and again the next night. So why bother taking them?similar episodes have happened to me before and i have just changed to something else for awhile to reduce my tolerance to them and then i would use them again. I avoided pushing doses higher as i didnt see the sense in it and wanted to avoid as much as possible drug dependency and hoping that a time would come that i would come off these meds and lower doses would making it easier. My other reason is that i have improved greatly with antivirals and i think its time now to sort my sleep out and i think its something i can handle now my body isnt so broken from cfs/me. Most people that know me here know that sleep is one of my worst symptoms or lack of. This is mostly from cfs/me which is the onset of my sleep problems but also being a shift worker for over 20 years didnt help. So the last 2 nights i have had no benzo's, i have gotten by on antihistamines, melatonin and lyrica(which i take for restless legs). Sleep as been ratty but i have slept some, i seem to sleep ok the first 2 hours then i get up for awhile and then go back to bed and get that light dream type sleep which i wake from regularly. The first day my brain felt like it was in a frying pan, which is like any night when i havent slept but i did try something, dextromethorphan(DXM) which is a cough medicine that has NMDA antagonist properties. NMDA is basically a neurotransmitter that keeps us alert and can increase pain etc(good to google it). Now i have just used the dose it says on the bottle, 30mg and it seems to make it more bearable during the day with bugger all sleep. Its supposedly helps reduce benzo tolerance. At the moment im not real sure how helpful it is but thought it was worth a shot. After the second night with no benzo's which is now, that brain in the frying pan feeling wasnt there, which is strange, maybe its the DXM?? but i did have a strange type of feeling in my head. It reminded me off when one stopps caffeine and once over the withdrawals which is a couple of days, head sort of feels numb. I have felt abit low in energy today and this afternoon started to feel abit wired, so hard to tell if its just sleep deprivation or no benzo's. Tonight for sleep along with my lyrica and melatonin i am using doxepin 30mg and adding just 2.5mg of valium(hoping for abit better sleep). I wont use doxepin all the time but alternate it with other non benzo type sleep aids like antihistamines. The valium at this stage i may add every second or third day i will play it by ear. I really dont know how this will pan out. I dont think benzos are a cause of my sleep problems as i think it is cfs/me that causes this sleep dysfunction, i say this as many cfs/me people have horrible sleep problems and never used sleep meds but i do understand that for some, sleep meds may have worsened their situation and im really sorry it has. I dont want this to be an anti benzo thread as i have found them very useful and i think i have used them in an appropriate way for myself with this dam illness. They have allowed me to keep working in some capacity to support my family financially etc etc I think if i never medicated for sleep i would truly have ended up bedridden. I just dont know if i will come off them altogether, i think it just depends on how much damage cfs/me has done to my ability to sleep, so this will help me find out. If i can reduce my tolerance and only need to use sleep meds occassionally, then i will be happy. I have 1 more week off work, so the big challenge is when i have to go back to work, mmm. My biggest worry is that i have about 7 months left on valcyte and i hope i can maintain this improvement when i finsih. i will stay on famvir to try and keep cmv virus back. I have every finger crossed i dont crash. but sleep is this last thing i have to sort. cheers!!!