Is insomnia common after gastric bypass?

on 7/25/10 12:06 pm
For the past two weeks or so, I have been having trouble falling and staying asleep at night.  Even when I have worked hard all day, and stayed busy throughout the day, I can not fall asleep.  My body feels tired and I think I am ready to go to sleep.  But all I do it lay there for hours.
It is not a big problem right now, but when summer is over and I am back at work, I am gonna have major concerns!  I am only 11 weeks out.  If this is a reaction from surgery, how long does it last?
Thanks for responding! ;-)
on 7/25/10 12:56 pm - Clayton, NC
 It happened to me too... but not for that long... I started being able to sleep well at about week 8. 
I can't sleep with the TV on anymore... so that's different... but I wake up refreshed every morning now!
on 7/25/10 2:51 pm
I have been experiencing periodic insomnia since shortly after surgery.  I think my mind is just not shutting off at night as easily.  There is a lot to think about and several changes that we will experience during the journey.  For me the surgery is coinciding with other major life changes like my first born leaving for college so my theory is the insomnia is a result of a lot of concerns, worrries and thoughts revolving around in my head late at night.  So far I only had one day that I had to call in sick as a result of staying up literally all night.  It made me feel awful for a couple of days but I have not had it that bad since.  I suggest not borrowing more worries in advance just wait and see how everything evolves.
HW/SW/CW/GW - 257/229/151/136                      
Iris Shimmer
on 7/25/10 5:02 pm
 I am nearly 8 years post op and have suffered from insomnia since my first year out. I have been on every medication known to man for sleep problems. Last year I went for a sleep study and found out I have sleep apnea and RLS. I see a sleep specialist and take a ****tail of meds nightly for sleep.
 I have found that many WLS patients suffer from insomnia after surgery. All of the doctors I have asked about it have no clue why this happens to us.
 I hope you find a solution and it doesn't last as long as mine has.
on 7/25/10 5:29 pm - Kirkville, NY
I also cannot get to sleep (6 weeks out).  I take 1/2 of a Lunesta and am out like a light and wake up alert and happy.  I think I only have to take a 1/2 dose because my body is so "clean." 
on 7/26/10 9:20 am - Gretna, LA
Beckyjo, love your avatar.  Geaux Saints!!!
on 7/25/10 5:39 pm - NJ
RNY on 07/06/10 with
Yep, I've had quite a bit of insomnia....I may have posted about it...can't remember.

I'm almost three weeks out and I've had to take anti-anxiety medication to fall asleep and even that doesn't work sometimes. 

Last night, for example, I went to bed at ten.  Stared at the ceiling 'til about midnight.  Woke up at 4:30 and fell back asleep at 6:00.  Alarm went off at 8:00 for a 9:00 appointment (which I was late for).  All day I've been tired, but trying not to nap.

I've heard that insomnia is not uncommon after gastric bypass.
wife to M
mom 2 Z

"Pray, hope and don't worry"---------- Padre Pio
Iris Shimmer
on 7/25/10 5:50 pm
 I want to add this bit of info. My sleep specialist gave me a list of things to do when I have a bad night.
 1) If I can't sleep after 10 minutes I have to get out of bed.  No computer or tv allowed. I can read, or fold laundry.

2) Absolutely no television in the bedroom.
3) I have a source of white noise: my fan.
4) No excess light in the bedroom . I have light blocking curtains.

And last of all I ought a book with a cd entitled " I Can Make You Sleep". I put the cd in my portable player, put in the earphones and I am usually out like a light before the cd is finished.

Lady Lithia
on 7/25/10 6:51 pm
I don't know why insomnia is so common post-op. It just is.

I have had insomnia my whole life. I had surgery in march, and did okay with my sleeping until I got ready to go back to school in August of the same year (I'm a teacher).... and then the insomnia kicked in.... as it ALWAYS does when I'm ready to start a new school year. I begin to have trouble sleeping. It's totally normal for me to begin to have trouble sleeping.

Problem for me is that insomnia never went away. It's been two years now - nonstop insomnia.

I started taking sleep aids, and that's where I am now. i've found that most sleep aides aren't good to take for very long, because I get used to them. So I switch it up often.

My hands-down favorite is Melatonin. I take two 3 mg tablets when it's ready to start getting ready for bed, and it helps me to get to sleep. Sometimes.

I don't take melatonin all the time, or I get used to it and it stops working. And even when I mix it up, it doesn't always work.

Other sleep aides I mix up with my melatonin:

Valerian Root (this is what valium is made out of, but this is OTC as is Melatonin)
Tylenol PM - this gives me a hangover effect, but is my #2 med, especially if I get to bed early enough
Ambien - The regular stuff covered by my insurance only helps me sleep 4 hours, then I wake with a headache
Ambien CR - I got insurance to pay for this, but our guts don't do CR well, so sometimes this stuff works wonderfully, other times it doesn't.

So I use Melatonin 75% of the time, 15% I use tylenol Pm, and the rest of the time just try the others. Probably one night a month I try to sleep without a sleep aide, because i've forgotten to take one (I never keep them by my bed, so I won't wake up and take another and injure myself (I had a high school science teacher who, for whatever reason, talked about people taking sleep aides, half waking up in the night, and taking more, only not realizing they'd taken the whole bottle, so when their body was found, half-melted sleep aides in their mouth showed that it was accidental overdose... WHY he told us this, I don't know, but the vivid imagely has always haunted me).

whenever I try to sleep without a sleep aide, I almost always have no luck and spend the night awake waiting to fall asleep.

~Lady Lithia~ 200 lbs lost! 
March 9, 2011 - Coccygectomy!
I chased my dreams, and my dreams, they caught me!
giraffesmiley.gif picture by hardyharhar_bucket

on 2/4/12 1:34 pm
 i am 17 months out from surgery gastric bypass... and i recently can not sleep at night and it is making me crazy.... i go to bed at 11pm and wake up at 1am and then go back to bed and get back up at 3:30 am and then go back to bed and wake back up at 5:40am and this is a ongoing nightly thing i am going crazy! i hope it sotps

on 3/12/12 6:54 pm - FL
I have experienced insomnia for 8 years now! I have had the gastric bypass for 10 years! I have done alot of research on it big time!
 What I have found is that the jujunum absorbs most the nutrients, and after having the gastric bypass, food moves through your body faster than with a normal person, you dont get the nutrients you once got.
 I have tried using liquid vitamins, but I still dont get the sleep I need.
 I have tried every night aid there is known to man, even a tranquilizer and it doesnt help! Why? because pill form doesnt break down in our system, it moves to fast through our gastric bypass. If there was a liquid form of ambien, or other medications, then we would be fine, but theres not, Ive even tried liquid melatonin and its not strong enough..
 I turned to alcohol, beer whatever would help me sleep, but it makes your health even worse, Im currently looking for a better solution! I dont like to drink and it makes you gain weight!
 Liquid Melatonin does not help with this problem, they need to come out with a liquid form of ambien, or another sleep aid!
on 1/13/13 3:11 pm

My surgery was approx 10 years ago. My insomnia started 3 years post op. I also have tried everything under the sun but nothing works. I was on a combo of trazidone and ambien. I would take the trazidone and half the ambien then go to sleep. I would wake up 2.5 hours later and stay up until 2 hours before I needed to get up then take the other half of the ambien. What a life! Felt miserable all the time. My doctor finally prescibed a very low dose of seroquel and depakene. These scripts are prescribed for mental disorders but also help with sleep. I was skeptical in using them, but they work. This allows me to sleep 8 hours strait. I just wish I knew what nutrient I was missing so I could stop taking the meds. If I try to sleep without the meds I wake up within 15 minutes of falling asleep.

on 3/12/12 7:06 pm - FL
I had horrible insomnia pre-op. A restful night for me was more than 2hrs sleep. Postop I have slept like a log until the last 2 nights. I have also had a lot of dizziness during the day though, so I don't know if I have something going on beyond just not being able to sleep.
on 3/24/12 4:47 pm - FL
I am 10 years out from my surgery and experience serious problems with sleep. I have done a ton of research on this and what I have found is that our food moves so fast through our system that we dont get the nutrients we need in order to sleep. I take liquid vitamins, I have been on Ambien and alot of other meds, but they dont work because they dont disolve in our system, as they move through our system so fast that you only get not even half of the pill form. 
 The doctors didnt think about this before, but they need to now! I have many friends who have had this surgery also and they too are experiencing lack of sleep!
 I am trying Melatonin as a liquid sleep aide, we will see how it works, only problems is you may have to double the dose in order to sleep!
 Good luck to you!
on 3/24/12 4:55 pm - FL
I never had insomnia before my surgery, I didnt have a problem until I was about 3 years out! Now Im 10 years out and have been doing alot of research in the past 7 years as to why we cant sleep. I have many friend who have had this surgery and suffering as well. We dont get the nutrients we once did, yes believe it or not, the food moves through our system so fast that the nutrients we once got that helps with sleep, is no longer there. If you try and take Ambien or any other pill form, you will still wake up in the middle of the night, why? Because the pill is moving to fast through your system.  You are only getting a small amount of the medication given in pill form

on 3/24/12 4:59 pm - FL
try liquid vitamins, Im now on liquid Melatonin, Ill let you know how that works. I will say that anything in liquid form will be better for you than pill form! Remember, you only have about 4 oz of a stomach and about 2 feet of small intestines. so yes, your food is going to move faster through you than it did before which means youre not getting the nutrients you once did! Having Gastric Bypass is a job!! you have to make sure you keep up with it!
on 3/27/12 5:13 pm - Baltimore, MD
 I have chronic insomnia. Initially after surgery I lost symptoms of seep apnea and was able to get restful sleep. I found that I required fewer hours of sleep and had boundless energy. In my 2nd or 3rd year post-op I began having occasional insomnia which worsened following a loss / complicated grief in my 4th year out. Since 2009, I rarely get sleepy and cannot fall or stay asleep without sleep aids. I recently discontinued Lunesta and and incorporated Melatonin. They now come in 10 mg. Taking one did nothing for me, but two (1 hour before bed)  helped me get a full night of sleep. I was concerned about the amount but my sleep specialist stated that the amount is negligible and would do no damage. I am now working on my sleep routine and will begin ramping down the OTC. Further research alerted me that post-op deficiencies in B4 and B6 both contribute to insomnia. I may try to incorporate those vitamins as the only B vits. I currently take are B12, B1 and B100 Complex. It's worth  try.

                       Before          After
(With my beautiful, skinny, au naturale self  )

on 6/21/12 12:16 pm - Milwaukee, WI
Hello everyone... it has been years since I have been on OH.  I am an almost 11 year post-op and have had sleep issues for at least the last 6 years, easily, but the past week or so I have had at leas two nights that I can not sleep. Even with the night time meds I take for vasious things that make me sleepy, my Dr said it was ok to take them at night, it seemed to work for awhile, but lately every once in awhile I will fall asleep and wake about 1-2 hours later, and then can not fall back asleep for hours. today it wasn't till 4am that I was ablr to stay alseep and then it was a deep or REM sleep, I could hear my husbands alarm go off, my son leave for work.  Thank goodness I have a boss who understands, otherwise I may be unemployed.
Dawn M.
"What have you done today to make yourself PROUD?"
Open RNY 10/21/2001
Hernia Repair 3/2003
Tummy Tuck/ Gall Bladder removed 2/2004
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Michelle V.
on 6/21/12 12:18 pm - Livonia, MI
I had difficulty sleeping for about 6 weeks after surgery. It seems to be a common issue.
on 2/7/14 3:43 pm - Fort Polk, LA

Soblessed-  You may want to try sleeping with a pillow tucked a little under your belly and then put your arm over the pillow to keep it in place (a longer, king sized pillow would be best).  I'm about six weeks post op and doing this seems to help prop my belly up a little and keep things in place.  I've had that pulled muscle feeling too before. 

I've also been having insominia really badly.  I can stay up all night or sleep three or four hours some nights.  It has been ok lately because I've been out of work but I'm going back to work tomorrow and I'm concerned.  I think i'll try the chewable melatonin and see if that helps.  I've tried the liquid melatonin and it didn't help much.  I'm on thyroid medicine for hypothyroidism so I'm going to see my doctor and see if my thyroid levels are ok.  I'm wondering if losing weight has thrown my levels off...if so that probably wont help my sleep.