Sleep, Insomnia, and Recovery


Could we have a general thread for all things related to finasteride, sleep, and insomnia? Research, experiences, treatment, recovery, etc.

I’m really terrified right now. I have a history of major chronic insomnia that was only starting to get much better after many years then I took only 1mg Fin on August 7, 2018 and all of a sudden a week later I can’t sleep for more than 2-3 hours at a time without sleep aids. I’ve been relying on zolpidem and I’m only able to sleep for 3 hours at a time with it. I’ve never awoke so early and for so long before. Before fin, I could go back to sleep easily upon awakening, but after that one pill, not anymore. I could only sleep for 1-3 hours at a time and then wake up like my sleep drive has been demolished. I use a CPAP for sleep apnea which I keep close monitor of so the awakenings aren’t related to respiratory reasons.

How long does it take for the effects of fin to reverse in my body?

Is this a crash or something? How long should this last for? Please tell me that 100% recovery is possible from this insomnia from only one pill? How long does it take to get back to normal? What could I do in the meantime besides not panicking?


Hey Mercked

You’re not alone, don’t panic. No you are not experiencing a crash. You remind me a lot of my story. I took 9 (1 mg) pills and it’s been 24 days now. I experienced very subtle side effects that ended up subsiding, however insomnia was by far the worst side that I had.

It’s very important to be able to distinguish between the chemical anxiety you are experiencing, and the anxiety you are creating within your psychi. It is possible to get sleep through guided meditation, controlling your breathing etc.

I can tell you how my sleep got better - first of all I will never resort or depend on another narcotic drug to go to sleep unless I am desperate and have gone 5 days without sleep. Be careful building dependencies on these drugs, the withdrawl will make things worse in the end when you try to kick.

For me, marijuana vape oil (high thc indica strain) along with 3-4mg of melatonin has worked the best. There is also a supplement on amazon called “Lights out” that is high in 5HTP, gaba, melatonin and valerian root which are all good and non harmful supplements to help with sleep.

Can you tell me a little more about your situation? What other side effects coincided with insomnia? I read that you have a history of insomnia, how long ago? Did it ever get better prior to consuming fin? What made you quit after using just 1? Did you experience immediate sides? Or, were you doing research and decided to stop on your own?


I also want to mention that residual side effects from the medication itself can last for up three months. So I want to urge you not to worry yourself, it’s too early


Do you have a link for that 3 month figure?



I don’t, however I was able to get a free consultation from two very well known doctors who specialize in Finasteride withdrawl here in my home town of San Diego via phone call (I don’t want to mention names but you can probably connect the dots), and both seemed to agree tht lingering effects from the medication itself (not PFS symptoms) can take up to three months to subside completely.


It takes months for 5ar to regenerate fully from 1 to 3 months, however in pfs people this does not happen and 5ar becomes dysfunctional


I agree, its important to note the difference, I’m not talking about cases predisposed to PFS symptoms. Im referring to cases of successful recovery


Thanks @kon93, @Pete1989


Hey, copy and pasted my reply to noprop and Greek from another thread.

Thanks for the quick replies and morale.

Yeah, I really fucked up massively, lmao

I have a history of severe ADHD, major depression, severe social isolation, and moderate sleep apnea and probably Upper Airway Resistance Syndrome that wasn’t being adequately treated with CPAP. It’s the perfect storm for severe unstoppable insomnia that I’ve suffered for over 4 years and now I’ve just cranked things up to 11. The insomnia started when I developed sleep apnea 4 years ago. Like a flipped switch I suddenly can’t sleep through the night anymore. I was starting to make major progress too and now it’s even worse than before. This is just absolute nightmare fuel.

Things I’ve done for sleep hygiene:

  • Getting a $3k mattress
  • Keeping my phone far away from my bed
  • Reading The Sleep Solution by W Chris Winter
  • Only going to bed when actually sleepy, limiting time awake in bed to 30min
  • Blocking out blue light at night
  • Keeping the room cold and dark with custom shades
  • Be a passive sleeper rather than an active one (know that sleep will come to me and I don’t have to chase it)

Things I need to do that’s a challenge for me:

  • Complete lights out hours before bed
  • No computer screen in my room
  • Meditation
  • CBT-I

I need to get a nice, fluffy thick comforter, true. I got an expensive one that’s too hot.

I was starting to improve my sleep before taking the fin feeling not too much anxiety or racing thoughts going to bed and from awakenings. But all of a sudden the awakenings became much earlier than usual into my sleep and when I woke up I just couldn’t feel sleepy at all.

I guess the only thing I can do is ride it out like you said. Do what I can to eliminate stress and worry regarding my lack of sleep, follow good sleep hygiene and life style practices and have faith that things will go back to normal. Right now I’m in a state of panic and painful regret and trying to find out what I can do to replenish what finasteride has destroyed.

Trying microdosing fluoxetine right now to restore some neurosteroid but it gives me some palpitations which is odd or I’m not doing it right. I guess I could try CBD oil in the day time for the anxiety.

I’m just hoping to hear that this side effect of insomnia will reverse in most people.
I guess primary or secondary insomnia are one of the things included in PFS? Not trying to get ahead of myself and think that this would be permanent, but in my sleep-deprived neurotic state, I kind of am and I’m trying to stop myself from doing so.


Not condoning illegal activity, but have you tried Marijuana to treat your insomnia in the past? Do you live in a state where it is legal by chance? If you are going to try the oil, try one thats high in THC this will help with your sleep. Check out this article:

Also, someone correct me if I’m wrong but I believe the general consensus among this thread is to try to stay away from medicating through anymore inhibitors like Fluoxetine, God knows we’ve already done enough damage - not to mention SSRI’s come with their own set of issues.


I decided to stop when I was noticing watery semen and reduced ejaculatory force. So lack of cum made me stop days before this insomnia even started. I just decided it wasn’t worth it to roll the dice with fin, especially given my neuroticism that comes with the ADD. The stress of being bald is really nonexistent compared to the stress associated with these nasty medications.

  • Only going to bed when actually sleepy, limiting time awake in bed to 30min

Does that mean that if you go to bed and aren’t asleep 30 minutes later you get up again?


I am in Canada. I was addicted to weed for a few years and finally managed to quit for good after a few times of trying. I’m tempted to go back on it just to get some sleep but I think it could be disastrous in the long run. Maybe if I run out of options.

Also other sides were tingling in the middle finger in the right hand and then my legs, which have come and gone. I am now feeling a little muscle weakness in my left arm that comes and goes.

Regarding SSRIs and Prozac, I’m trying to take doses below a threshold that would have no or negligible interaction with 5htp receptors but enough of it that it could trigger biosynthesis of neurosteroids to restore and balance things like allopregnanolone while reducing others in the brain. I mixed 10mg into 100ml of distilled water to get increments of 0.1 mg but it’s not water soluable so i must be doing something wrong as Im getting palpitations from 0.6 mg to 0.1 mg.

There’s discussion about the topic here and on reddit about this when you google SSRI and neurosteroids. I’ll pull up some links later.


Yeah, exactly. Any time I feel like I’m taking longer than approx 30 min to fall asleep, I’ll have to get up and do something until I think I’m sleepy again. Really took a piss on that though these few nights.


Addicted to marijuana? Hmm… I never thought marijuana had addictive properties. I’ve smoked and quit marijuana so many times throughout my life that using the vape pen really doesn’t concern me in that sense. Not sure about your situation but in my case I can usually stop using marijuana on demand for months at a time with absolutely no side effects.


Crazy exhausted and only slept for only 1h30min and can’t go back to sleep after taking a mix of Chinese herbs, 0.1 mg Prozac, and 10 mg Ambien/Zolpidem.

The Ambien is getting less and less effective.
I’m not sure if marijuana would help. What strains or oils are best for sleep maintenance insomnia?

I am a seeing a sleep specialist tomorrow/later today. What kind of medication should I ask for for this nightmarish insomnia? I am thinking of telling him my new Finasteride situation as well.


What strains or oils do you recommend for your insomnia? Which vape pen do you use or recommend? I read that it’s treating your sleep maintenance insomnia well from another thread?



There are plenty of good vape pens you can use. The one I use is the silver KPen, I can’t seem to find it on the internet for some reason. It has a inhale indicator light and a trigger that allows you to switch between three voltage strengths. In regards to the strain, I highly doubt you will find the same strain as mine as they vary heavily by geographic region. What you need to look for is an indica (not sativa, not hybrid) strain high in THC (okay to have a little CBD although I recommend you try 100% THC first). It’s okay if you feel a little anxiety at first after smoking for the first time in a while, it will pass and eventually you won’t get the weed anxiety anymore.

Additionally, the safest route going forward is probably tapering off or cutting out completely the ambien and prozac under your doctor’s supervision if the pen ends up working for you.


Thanks. I’ll keep all this in mind. I remember one of the numerous reasons why I quit weed was all the panic attacks I was getting, but I was doing mostly hybrids and sativas.

Also you mentioned needing to distinguish between chemical anxiety and psychogenic anxiety. How do you distinguish the two? How would you describe the former? I apologize I am not clear on how you mean exactly.

My anxiety comes from just being straight sleep deprived objectively as my CPAP records the hours of run time. I spend hours trying to go to sleep and being jolted up continuously as I am about to dose off and I’m only getting 1-3 hours of sleep at a time when I wouldn’t be able to go back to sleep for hours no matter how utterly inhumanly exhausted I am. I’ve suffered from this before for years, too. I’m already severely weakened from that. This is round two and now twice as bad. It’s never been this bad. It’s incredible.

I took only one pill ever on August 8th and the severe finsomnia started on the 21st as I started getting more and days of extremely fragmented and short sleep. Haven’t gotten much deep sleep in days in a row now. I want to cry but tears won’t even come out and my eyes are super dry.


Just make sure you start off with only 1-2 puffs, don’t over do it. Eating also helps get rid of the weed anxiety by the way. And the anxiety from smoking should not last long, this is something that will go away after doing it for 5-7 days.

I usually go to the gym between 6-8pm, I will hit the pen after the gym and then eat dinner around 8:30pm. I will puff it again a couple times after dinner so by the time I go to bed (around 11pm) I can fall asleep easily.

Psychogenic anxiety can be controlled through keeping your mind from drifting (i.e. using meditation, soothing music, deep breathing, counting backwards from 500, etc). Chemical anxiety is when you feel like you’re having a panic attack, heart races, and you usually feel it in the pit of our stomach. For all I know they could be the same thing I’m honestly assuming a lot in separating the two, maybe one is just a form of anxiety that doesn’t manifest itself as strongly in physical traits. I know for me, anxiety in general can be controlled by training your mind and thought process. There is a slew of research out there that has shown that people who routinely relax and stay positive have improved expression of genes that calm down stress reactions, making them more resilient. You can look up hundreds of different techniques.

If your sleep is that bad, I would also recommend Trazadone over Ambien/Prozac as it is classified as a non-narcotic, non-addictive form of sleep aid/reuputake inhibitor. Additionally, make sure you are eating healthy and working out. This is crucial. Lastly, go to sleep early (around 9-10) - this will take out the stress of falling asleep in time for work tomorrow out of the equation and will give you time to relax and not be anxious about what time in the night it is. Do this for at least a week.