How do you cope with insomnia?

Just how do you cope on such little and broken sleep? I’m having a bout of post-fin insomnia that was re-triggered by eating sizable amounts of polyphenol-rich cocoa beans over a few days.

I awake several times a night. Sometimes just after like an hour of sleep, I’d be wide awake. I’m unable to stay asleep for more than 3.5 hours at a time almost literally every night. It takes me hours to go back to sleep at the ‘half-way’ point every single night. I don’t even want to think about the health implications. It’s seriously taking a toll on me in every aspect.

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Hey, after a slow stabilisation from zero over the months following my crash, my insomnia has not improved and sits at about 2-3hrs a night. I have not found it makes a beneficial impact on my worst symptoms whether I get more or less so for the time being I just focus on coping with it. These are mainly what has helped me manage as best I can:

I have a lot of smart lighting that I can customise and often just have light from a tea light candle in the evenings. I try to make a relaxing environment even if I can’t feel relaxed. Additionally, I have a cheap dedicated tablet with a pair of headphones called sleepphones that are a fleece wrap with soft speakers in them that you can lay down with. This lets me watch/listen to relaxation type videos.


Ozeph has produced good protocols for sleep. Xp has written various posts on sleep. I’ve just set up a new post on sleep worth trying if you haven’t. When you wake up try doing something for 30-60mins it can make you feel tired again and ready to sleep. Have you tried reducing stress, anxiety, depression. All these can affect sleep. So up to 1 hour meditation can help here. Also try sensory deprivation / float tank this is great for sleep and reducing stress. Try booking a course for 3-5 sessions I’m pretty sure this will help you. Also look into adrenal fatigue. Let us know how you get on.


I just woke up not even after an hour of sleep as I’m typing this response. A first for me, ever.

I’ve actually started meditating almost an hour every single night since this round of severe post-finasteride insomnia started as caused by eating too much pure chocolate that’s apparently very rich in 5ARIs. That was almost three weeks ago.

I use a CPAP machine for sleep apnea as well. The insomnia was likely exacerbated in the last few days from breaking into a new CPAP tube that’s off-gassing plastic smells/volatile organic compounds like crazy. The meditation only helped with falling asleep and reducing any anxiety about sleep to an insignificant amount.

I can’t afford sensory-deprivation tank/float sessions. I’ll update as I make any progress or find other solutions.

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Have you tried infrared sauna for sleep and Niacin detox. You can rent a sauna or buy a sauna blanket/dome.

I try to maintain strict sleep hygiene by prohibiting any kind of screen use on or near the bed. I have the luxury of having my computer in a room separate from my bedroom. It helps with ordinary insomnia, but when it comes to finasteride-induced insomnia, that’s a different story.

When I wake up, I’d put on blue-light blocking glasses and try to find something relaxing to do on the computer with fl.ux turned on. Maybe I should try reading a book instead to see if it makes a difference.

How long has this been happening for? How long can you sleep for at a time before awakening?

Can ordinary saunas work? I haven’t tried either. Is it for triggering hGH? I’ll look into infrared sauna blankets. Any suggestions? Seems quite expensive though.

What is niacin detox? I have some Vitamin B3 at home.

There’s a Niacin detox group in Facebook. Infrared sauna only.

Here’s a few things that works for me:

I changed all the curtains for thick ones and covered every light sources (like LED on electronics) so that the room is pitch black. I put the air conditioning quite cold. (If I was in Canada, I would open a crack in the window)

I take 4 gr. of Inusitol (vitamin 8) before sleep, and keep 2-4 gr in a dry glass in which I add water and drink it if I wake up during the night. Normal people can take up to 12 gr. I don’t know for pfs people. Every case is different.

My best trick: I eat 3-4 slices of cheddar or Gouda cheese before sleep. It’s the best effect is to prevent a drop of energy during the night. When this happens, your body produces Cortisol to release energy and if your adrenal gland can’t respond and produce Cortisol, then instead your body produces Adrenalin. That’s when you don’t just wake up, feeling groggy, it’s when one second your asleep, the next, your fully, totally awake. Anyway, the cheese makes it less likely to happen for me.

Insomnia is my main problem and started manifesting itself 4 years before I stopped fin. After I crashed, I completely lost the ability to sleep. Now I can sleep again, but I take medication 2 hours before sleep: Clonazepam 4mg and Hydroxyzine 10 mg (an anti-histamine) (Those two are long lasting. I take them 2 hours before sleep so they don’t keep me groggy when I wake up). I take slow release melatonin before sleep with the vitamin B8.

If I don’t sleep, I don’t work and can’t take care of my children.


Just curious. What do you do, sleep and then get up and do stuff or just lie in bed?

I have to go to sleep when I feel tired (pretty early) as if I miss that boat I tend to not be able to go to sleep at all. That’s when the benefit of the sleepphones/tablet I mentioned is for me. I have tried to get up and pace less since this and try to at least stay in bed.

Oh okay, I was just curious because when I had severe sleep problems I was in bed for the whole night resting/thinking with my eyes clothes whether I slept or not. I couldn’t/can’t imagine being up and about for 21-22 hours a day. It’s shown that resting with your eyes closed is pretty beneficial even if you don’t sleep. You might wanna consider resting instead of being active for health reasons, just a thought.

Curious if you do or have taken any sleep meds at all? I cant remember if I read that you refuse to take anything prescribed for sleep.

So… like @Ozeph , I have a job as the head of IT for a company, a house, a mortgage, a wife and 2 kids. Not sleeping is not an option. I have taken the route of sleep medications. Maybe this will bite me eventually but I cant risk losing all of the above. So my current sleep routine is this…

I take 15mg Remeron every day. It originally worked great for sleep but after 4 months the effects wore off. So now I take the following…

Monday - .5 mg of Klonopin 1 hour before bed
Tuesday - 500mg Phenibut 2 hours before bed
Wed - .5mg of Klonopin 1 hour before bed
Thursday - 500mg Phenibut 2 hours before bed
Friday - Sunday - 7.5mg Zolpidem

I’m hoping there isnt too much cross tolerance here. The strategy is that both the Klonopin and Phenibut get a 5 day rest to prevent tolerance. I wish I could incorporate weed as its a different set of receptors but my wife is a detective so thats not an option for me until she retires in 4 years. :frowning:

If this starts to fail on me, I have promised myself that I will absolutely not increase any of these dosages. I will then stop taking things little by little and maybe only take stuff for sleep 4 days a week and go without in between. This is scary and pretty miserable. I have a psychiatrist helping me cope with the mental side of it. But as she said, lack of sleep wont kill you and your body will eventually shut down and sleep even it its for an hour. I dont imagine I will be able to keep my job or my family if this happens. Best of luck to everyone out there.

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Hi how long have you beem taking this riutine on?

I did it for about 6 months… I just take Lunesta now at the direction of a very good sleep doc.

Hi Shell,

Thanks. Does it work for you? Whats your average hour of sleep now? Im thinking of suggesting this as a replacement for my Klonopin and Remeron. Does Lunesta have any side effect on you?


@Shellnyce looking forward to your reply =)

I use Lunesta - have been on it continuously for the past 3-4 months but I am slowly tapering down my usage.
I first used it when I got this bizarre ‘finasteride induced insomnia’ so many people on here suffer with.
I had 2 - 3 nights of near zero sleep and I was in a desperate state and the 3mg of Lunesta helped me knock in around 6 hours the first night and then about the same the second night.
It’s minimal on side effects for me to be honest - just had to be careful with booze like you would if you were taking a benzodiazepine which can be annoying when you are out and everyone goes ‘ohhh why are you not drinking ‘ (then they start trying to pour you a drink lol)
I am trying to quit as these drugs generally are not supposed to be used long term like this (although I have come across insomniacs on forums who have used it for around the 5 year mark no issues)
I have tapered down to 2mg so far and had no sides doing this .
One doctor wanted me to switch from lunesta to the Remeron, but he still continued giving me the script for the lunesta when I refused the remeron .
I would say it’s helpful in the short term or if possible to use as and when (2 -3 times a week max IF you can manage that! )

Why infrared only, I have a hot tent sauna