Hi everyone, I will preface this by saying I know I likely need to be a bit more patient but I'm a bit perplexed / confused by my experience so far with Nuvigil. I've been on it for ~5 weeks with a 10 day break because I got really sick (bronchitis, severe upper respiratory infection, ear infections) a few weeks in; I think I made this worse because I assumed I was just tired and that was my 'normal.' Anyway, I've been observing some things and I was hoping some of you might be able to shed some light on whether I'm off-base with my observations.
1) I think it's making my insomnia worse: I always had trouble getting to / staying asleep; before my diagnosis I just thought I had really poor sleep hygiene and was a bad sleeper, etc. I know I need to have more discipline around starting good sleep habits. But I think Nuvigil is making my insomnia worse - I've read in various posts, sites that it should take ~12-15 hours for it to exit my system. I try to take it before 8AM but I'm still having trouble "running out of steam" before midnight or later. I'm only on 150mg and I did do a ramp up from 75mg. AND I still get up so many times during the night too - even more so if I have a nightmare, it takes me so long to calm down even though I know it wasn't real. I feel like I'm not getting any more sleep and then the Nuvigil just keeps me going through the motions during the day.
2) I'm still tired / foggy: So even though my mind doesn't start winding down later, I'm still really tired and have slumps throughout the day. It's frustrating because I can't really nap at work and when I get home I'm afraid if I try to nap I will be awake even later when I need to sleep. I've also been MORE forgetful / spacey than I was before I started taking it. I forget what I'm saying mid-sentence, forget what questions I responded to even 30 seconds before. I've even forgotten things that I've known for years (like my ATM pin).
3) I get really tense / jittery: I've dialed down my caffeine intake a lot because I think the Nuvigil makes me really tense - actually, I'd say it makes it harder for me to manage how I respond to stress / anger / frustration. The tension is not just emotional - my neck and back are so tense sometimes it hurts to sit at dinner and I've gotten random shoulder spasms because my neck got so tense. Another challenge is that I'll get really jittery / shaky during one of these episodes and then I feel like I crash. A stressful situation early in the work day can knock out my energy for the rest of the day as if I didn't even take Nuvigil. I feel like a deflated balloon.
4) I forget to eat: So appetite suppressant is an understatement - I forget to eat, I don't really feel like eating, I lose interest in eating, I lose my appetite early in a meal. I realize some of the jitters could be caused by forgetting to eat so I try to be aware of this and remember to eat. But if I don't my appetite doesn't come back until after ~6PMish.
5) I lose track of time: I've noticed that I get so engrossed in things that I completely lose track of time. For example, I'll look at the clock at 5:15PM and say "I'll just do one more thing before I go." Next thing I know, the auto-shut off lights in the common space at work go off and it's now 7PM. What?!?!? How does that happen? That is also one of my issues with eating - I delay getting food at lunch time and then think, well, it's 4PM now so why bother to eat when I can just wait until dinner.
I feel like I don't know myself anymore - I doubt how I'm feeling so frequently. Is this normal? I know when I don't take the Nuvigil I end up sleeping a lot when I'm not at work. I go back to sleeping entire weekend / vacation days away. I've tried to give myself some slack since I was really sick and didn't take it while I was on all the other medication (antibiotics, steroids, inhaler, etc.). I'm just feeling mentally drained and overloaded at the same time.
I will definitely try some melatonin and I've started putting on alarms to remind me to shut off lights / tv, try to prepare for bed. I'd really appreciate any other suggestions, recommendations, confirmations that you guys have to share.