After reading nearly all comments going back to 2013 and having my own experience with CHRONIC insomnia (fragmented sleep) I want to write a summary.
I had a sleep study done and my sleep index was 35.6%. It must be 85% and higher for a human body to survive in the long run. There are sleep stages that are extremely important. Mine were all screwed up. I woke up 21 times during 3 hours that I actually “slept” in an 8 study. I had no RLS and had 10 central apneas. No obstructive apnea. My HR during “sleep” period got up to 147 and up to 152 while still under observation, but not actually sleeping.
First of all there are different types of insomnia.
1. Inability to fall asleep
2. Inability to stay asleep
3. Combination of the above
4. Fragmented sleep
I won't focus on an obstructive apnea, as it is treatable with special devices. All other types of CHRONIC insomnia are still a wild guess when it comes to the cause and treatments. Fragmented sleep probably has some underlying neurological issues.
The most important thing if you have chronic insomnia, especially 1-3 types is circadian rhythm.
You want to make sure you do all of these:
– Early morning sun exposure through retina and skin. Preferably the very first minutes the sun rises above horizon. No glasses, contacts, and if possible as much bare skin as you can. Even 5 minutes would be a tremendous benefit, but longer and grounded at the same time is better. Each day, unless it is raining. AM light has perfect blend of red and blue light and just the right touch of purple UV-A light to make melatonin that helps us sleep. The UV-A light is also what begins to lower cortisol as melatonin builds making for a perfect adrenal stress index.
– No screen time and artificial light exposure after sunset unless you wear blue light blocking glasses and use screen filters.
– Replace all your LED, fluorescent and cork screw bulbs with incandescent.
– If you use red light therapy at home, do it before sunset. SaunaSpace and Joovv are good places to get your questions answered.
– Make sure your bedroom is pitch black.
Moving on to the environment.
Many people are man-made EMF sensitive. Sweden has legally recognised electro hypersensitivity.
– Move your bed away from the walls.
– Check your bedroom for dirty electricity. Install dirty electricity filters. There are Stetzerizer and GreenWay. Get your question answered there.
– Alternatively, flip the bedroom breaker for the night, but make sure all your outlets show zero signal after that.
– Make sure your bedroom doesn't have an outside wall where smart meters are located. Move your bed away from that wall, request your electrical company to replace it with analog meter, or install Smart Meter shield (lots of videos on youtube)
– Turn WiFi off for the night and switch your phone in airplane mode.
– Make sure that on the other side of a wall your head board is facing there is no high voltage appliances and/or electrical box for the entire building.
– Go outside and inspect your neighborhood and your building for cellular antennas and if 5G is being rolled out in your city, for 5G antennas. If you see it, you have no choice but to move as fast as you can. Upgrade to 5G is likely going to lead to disasterous biologic effects.
– If you live within 10 miles radius from a major airport, its latest radar is able to get through concrete buildings and therefore your body, sending impulses 24×7. The same goes for TV and radio stations. TV news stations are installing new weather radar tracking devices in all big cities whose power density is even worse than 5G.
– -If you live in a high rise condo or apartment building having neighbors above and below, as well as on both sides, and still have chronic insomnia after you have implemented the above measures, I recommend you spend few days in a wilderness, camping, at your friends/family houses to see if you sleep better to make a conclusion if your neighbors Wi-Fi affects you. In Europe they have EMF free hotels (Geovital), but unfortunately none in the US.
Now, you have implemented all the above and still not sleeping.
Biochemical imbalances could be a problem.
-As someone had already recommended, check your meds for insomnia as a side effect.
– Check your vitamin D status. For that you have to have 4 blood tests taken: D25, D1.25, PTH and calcium. For interpretation read Chris Masterjohn blog How to Tell the Difference Between Vitamin D and Calcium Deficiencies. Online private MD labs don't require prescriptions and there are always coupons. Pay online and go to a nearest LabCorp, Anytest lab, etc.
– Run full Iron profile that includes serum ferritin (the ideal range of serum ferritin is 40 to 60 ng/ml.) and read about anemia of chronic disease if you have anemia before starting on iron supplements, including molasses, stinging nettle, etc.
– Try all remedies other people have recommend here to see what works for you.
– If you wake up after midnight, try protein drink to see if it helps. Dr. Datis Kharrazian in his book Why Isn't My Brain Working? has an explanation.
Valerian root, skullcap, essential oils, relaxation baths are usually ineffective for chronic insomnia.
NOT A SINGLE OVER THE COUNTER SLEEP AID SUPPLEMENT WORKED FOR ME.
Meditation, qigong, relaxation techniques, EFT etc. would take a long time before you start seeing the benefits. But you have to start somewhere.
Acupuncture with an experienced Chinese practitioner could do wonders, if you have money for at least 3 sessions a week for at least 6 months. They would also create a custom herbal formula for you. Less than that would be just waste of money.
Chinese herbs could also be very effective. I recommend these formulas: Bupleurum & Dragon Bone , Shen tonics (Quantum Shen Tonic for example), Restore the Heart . Many reputable sites that sell Chinese herbs have health assessing self-tests that would guide you. Eagle Herbs; JingHerbs, etc.
Women could try progesterone creme. Kokoro professional strength is what I use.
Brandy in moderation has a history of being used as a sedative to treat insomnia.
Be careful with manipulations on your spine. Chicken pox virus that never leaves a body and remains dormant in a spine could be reactivated causing shingles outbreak. You can google about it.
Be very careful with melatonin. Taking melatonin orally chronically without blocking blue light can lead to serious eye damage. All oral doses produce the same response: they thin your retina by ruining photoreceptor regeneration. There are studies confirming that. Just google.
I will end this summary that nothing has helped me yet with my fragmented sleep.
There is a post above yours saying that Seriphos lowers cortisol. I just read it so have not tried myself yet. Will order today.
To answer on my own question I have insomnia because of high cortisol and aldosterone levels.
Doctors didn't gave me any medicines because I don't have cushing syndrome.I know that cortisol is stress hormone but I am not stressed and I have this problem for 10 years.I tried adaptogenic herbs and they didn't work.
Can someone recommend me something to lower cortisol levels.Thank you
Try quitting gluten. Totally cured my insomnia. Dramatically. Now if I even get secretly fed a tiny bit of gluten, I pop awake at midnight and can't get back to sleep. Good luck and God bless.
Try baking soda in water before bedtime. Also, some nighttime teas from T J.
TeSa, I have not slept for 2.5 years, except for some dozing. I experience hypnagogic hallucinations (this is what a sleep scientist calls it) - like dreams but more vivid & strange, & no REM is involved (so there's no rest or any of benefits of REM sleep). I know this b/c around the dozing and hyp. hall., I am either alert or aware orboth. I experience time passing. So if someone says they're not sleeping, I'd take them at their word. It's possible, of course, to think you're not when you are, but I think that's the case for ppl with difficulty sleeping, not total lack of sleep. It is definitely a possible situation & the effects are evident for us & others - in a different way to when we were having "just" difficulty sleeping, not complete insomnia.
Sleeping one day a month is impossible. You would have committed suicide already or developed a psychiatric illness. You probably remain in a first state of sleep (dosing) longer and it feels aa if you are not sleeping. Keep trying all remedies. Including pills.
I came across this remedy quite by accident. At the time I couldn't lose weight and wondered if it had anything to do with my thyroid (it didn't) but a particular website recommended taking a tablespoonful of gelatine in orange juice before going to bed. I tried this and discovered that it helped me sleep. I now get between seven to eight hours sleep a night, apart from one trip to the loo! The gelatine is readily available from your local superstore, and mine come in individual packets containing one tablespoonful. It does not dissolve easily, but keep stirring. I have mine mixed with a small amount of milk. Worth a try, and it certainly will not harm you.
Hi, I have terrible insomnia for almost ten years and have tried almost every medicine that could help me with my problem. I only sleep one day in month and that day is one day before I get my menstruation. I suppose I have some kind of gynecological hormonal imbalance.I have tried borax solution 1/8 tsp in liter of water five days a week but it is not enough for my problem. Can I use larger dose? Is there any other medicine someone could recommend to me because I tried almost everything from this site? Thank you.
Maureen, Where did you buy your Tulsi tea and how many cups do you drink? Chronic insomnia has ruined my life! Please let me know. Thank you.
Calcium, K2 + Holy Basil Tea
I've, by accident, discovered a couple of new things that have improved my sleep. With aging a good nights sleep has become harder to accomplish. I noticed that when I started taking a low dose calcium supplement with a vitamin K2 supplement in the evening I started getting sleepy about an hour later. This happens every time I take them so I don't think it's just a coincidence. The calcium and vitamin K2 give me a really good night's sleep. Also, I noticed that when I drink tulsi tea (holy basil) I get very sleepy and when I drink it in the evening I don't wake up to go to the bathroom. I'd like to see if these things help other people with their sleep problems.
Valerian helps me sleep at night, deeper+ longer.
Occasionally I also take tryptophan along with valerian once or twice a month if I am stressed out. I take a valerian capsule around 8pm, about 2 hours after dinner. Not too early and not too late.
Reduce Cortisol Levels
I don't know about Molly, but I take Seriphos (be sure to get the original formula). It helps a lot with cortisol.
Reduce Cortisol Levels
Hello, What was the natural supplement you took at bedtime to reduced cortisol? Thank you!
Reduce Cortisol Levels
I had terrible insomnia for 6 years following the birth of my first child. I was 37 when it started. I took several different sleep drugs during that time: Lorazipam, Trazadone, Benedryl. They made me depressed, so I was also taking a morning antidepressant. I did not like how flat and foggy I felt, and I worried that my sleep quality was not natural. I finally went to a naturopathic doctor who tested my cortisol levels and found that that hormone was not cycling properly for me. I took a natural supplement to suppress cortisol at 9:00 pm every night for about a month. I also improved my diet (no gluten, no milk and no sugar). Within a few months, I was off all drugs and sleeping great. Now I only take it if I stay up too late and feel that a second wind is keeping me awake. I have started waking around 4 in the morning lately, and I've found that a tablespoon of MCT oil helps me get back to sleep quickly. I've also started having a healthy carb and fat snack before bed (usually sweet potato with butter and salt and a little Brain Octane Oil). When my kids have insomnia or restless legs, they get magnesium - either lotion or drink. I used to put lavender essential oil on their pillows as well, when they were having trouble sleeping. Sleep hygiene is great too, but when my cortisol was off, no amount of sleep hygiene could get me a full night of sleep. Also, if I start eating poorly (too much gluten and/or sugar), it can bring some sleep issues back for awhile. And if I don't eat 2 healthy meals during the day, that can also cause my sleep to suffer. I would recommend seeing a naturopath for help in discovering the underlying cause of your sleeplessness, if possible. I am so thankful that I finally did!
Have you tried Mastic Gum?
I am taking ashwagandha for my insomnia (along with several other items). They say don't take the ashw if you have ulcers, which I did but don't want to have come back. Does anyone know if I can avoid aggravating the ulcer? Maybe eat crackers or something when I take it? I try to fast between 7 pm and noon the next day, so haven't had anything in my tummy when I take it. I wonder if I couldn't take slippery elm or marshmallow at the same time since they protect the gut from ulcers? I'm finally getting sleep when I go to bed, so don't want to stop taking this mix.
I found something that works for me for insomnia. I take 1 Seriphos capsule + 1/2 tsp Ashwagandha powder + 1/4 tsp each of glycine, l-theanine, taurine and gaba + spoonful of blackstrap molasses in warm milk about 1/2 hour before bed. Tastes terrible and doesn't dissolve well at all. As I get into bed, I take a 1 mg melatonin sublingual tablet. Most nights I get to sleep pretty quickly and, although I wake frequently, I go back to sleep fast. Wake up rested. Some nights it seems to not work as well and others it's like I'm passed out I sleep so hard. I got on this from trying adaptogens for my adrenals. In the morning I take rhodiola, ginseng, and schisandra. I seem to feel more awake during the day.
When I want hell to relax & get sleepy at bedtime, I've found that eating Sunflower seeds soon helps me relax & start yawning! (For extra help, I add a Banana.)
When I've eaten foods high in Phosphorus it creates an imbalance, & I wind up getting painful leg cramps, usually at night. When I eat either Sunflower seeds (or Almonds) that same day, I never get those cramps!
Some nights I have problems getting to sleep, and lie there for seemingly hours tossing and turning and churning over in my mind past hurts and making mountains out of molehills. And the same occurs if I wake up in the middle of the night to use the toilet and can't get back to sleep again. However, I've discovered that if take 4 - 6 teaspoons of Concentrated Montmorency Cherry Juice in a drop of water and a small bowl of oats made with milk it puts me to sleep for six to seven hours. Apparently, the cherry juice is naturally high in melatonin and so are the oats but less so.
It works for me, give it a try!
I never would have thought of taking a calcium supplement to assist with sleep. I have never taken calcium supplements. I also never have trouble falling asleep.
Also, I never get more than 5 or 6 hours of sleep. Can't seem to force myself to sleep more than that at a time. Perhaps some folks don't need as much as others. And some need more. I think the 7 - 8 hours a night thing is an average, and most people fit in with the average, and a few don't.
I love Black strap molasses, although I find that it gives me energy, even with the calcium and magnesium. It has so many other nutrients too, and a lot of potassium. It gives my body what it needs, like a vitamin. I like to make it into a tea and I drink it in the late morning or afternoon for a pick me up.
A well known Homoeopathic doctor once told me that during sleep the blood leaches calcium from the bones and that taking an alfalfa tablet at night is a good way to take calcium in. (If burned in the field, the ash from an alfalfa crop tests 90% calcium.)
Importantly, being easily absorbed, it doesn't leave deposits in the joints. I've found that for me a low dose is best, the higher strength caused constipation.
Oil Pulling With Safflower Oil
Just reading you comment about taking safflower for belly fat blasters and noticed it helps sleep. How much do you take?
My mother, for her entire lifetime, would make herself a hot cup of milk if she got up in the middle of the night and couldn't get back to sleep. (1 cup of milk contains 300 mg of calcium. ) She also added a touch of honey. She said it never failed to knock her out after 15 minutes. She also used to give this to us as children about 30 minutes before bedtime. I haven't done it in a long time, but perhaps I shall again. Great night-time ritual memory.
I have no problem getting to sleep, but for the last couple of years I keep waking up after 5 or 6 hours of sleep and then can't get back to sleep. I've tried everything but nothing worked. I think I've discovered the solution to this problem. I always take my calcium supplement at night because it seemed to help me get to sleep. Recently, once again, I was up at 3:00 in the morning and couldn't get back to sleep. As I lay there frustrated with my inability to get a full night's sleep, I thought about how my low dose calcium supplement seems to help me get to sleep so I got up and took another supplement at 3:30 a.m.
I took the pill and started reading my book (with a book light) and after about 15 minutes, I couldn't keep my eyes open. I slept until 7:15 that morning. I now keep my calcium supplements and a glass of water beside my bed. I can't believe something this simple has cured my early morning waking.
LDN is available by prescription only, but if the doctor is familiar with LDN and its good safety profile, they will sometimes prescribe it for you. It is generally used at less than 5 mgs per night. Otherwise, some of the LDN websites can recommend a doctor in your area who will prescribe it for you. LDN is used for many health issues and more recently, possibly for Covid-19. Here is a link to a brief article that discusses the use of LDN for IBS-c/d :
Here is a link to 2 LDN sites :
Gertjr, I see you are a beautiful soul, applying knowledge and energy to your life. I read a lot trying to find solutions to my questions three and I'm a weirdo . I use to resent my weird but now it is what makes me me. I read Dr.Batmanghelidj when I ruptured L-5 and spend a lot of time in the tub praying . In his books he talks about how healthy exercise can create more cortisol issues and affect digestion further. I realize you are going through a lot and my heart is with you in prayer most days. Faith and love surround you. My gut health was a mess since birth . Dr. Eric Berg, free information on you tube, has really shed light on my gut health. I don't do the fasting or keto stuff. I have to take ox bile most days to eat food. I use the mag threonate in the now brand most days too for my brain. Mag does not bother me at all but I got c diff once from a dental treatment and had a horrible time trying to get my life back from that. I know what these things are like to walk out day in day out. I only pipe in here as led. I have my own dragons to slay and frequent Mark Hemans on zoom for miracles. I am still learning how to be who I was created to be. A spirit being in a body full of all the power to override any natural facts with spiritual truths. I still use a lot of supplements but hope to enter the day when the truth that I know overrides all facts. Bless you Gertjr as you journey, you sound like an amazing woman. Charity
Art, is the LDN over the counter or by prescription? I would definitely try it but, when I look at Amazon, I don't see it. Can you tell me where to get it or recommend a brand? Thanks. I see my gastro doctor at the end of August, so a prescription would probably be doable.
Please Art, what is IBSD? Thanks
EC: IBSD = Irritable Bowel Syndrome Disease
I forgot to mention to you regarding your IBSD because I was so busy talking about melatonin usage for sleep. Look into low dose naltrexone (LDN) for the IBSD, because if it works for you as it has for others, that relief is also likely to help ameliorate your sleep issues. Melatonin may also be useful for this issue, but quality studies on this specific health issue are insufficient, but the known methods of action for melatonin would also tend to suggest potential benefit from melatonin.
Melatonin is considered to be safe over the short and long term and has a "huge multitude of other prohealth effects" including, AD, PD and fighting cancer, but also having synergy with chemo and radiotherapy while also fending off the negative side effects associated with these two standard of care cancer treatments, but don't take my word for it, read this NCBI article that discusses an incomplete list of the many potential health benefits of melatonin as well as a very good safety profile based on a large volume of previous studies
Keep in mind that even though they explain how safe it is, I still maintain that some people cannot tolerate melatonin. Here is a most interesting quote from this article regarding very long term use of melatonin over 4 years at 75 mg/night :
Melatonin has also been suggested for use as a contraceptive for women,  which might raise the question of whether melatonin damages the female reproductive system. Notably, no side effects were reported in a report of a phase 2 clinical trial in which 1400 women were treated with 75 mg of melatonin nightly for 4 years.
Regarding the addition of vitamin B6 and its safety, most melatonin products contain only 1 - 10 mg of vitamin B-6 and since you are only taking 5 mg of melatonin, your max B6 dose would be 10 mg. Here is a link to an NIH vitamin B-6 fact sheet and below the link is an important quote from the report that should answer your question on the safety of long term use of vitamin B-6 :
Can vitamin B6 be harmful?
People almost never get too much vitamin B6 from food. But taking high levels of vitamin B6 from supplements for a year or longer can cause severe nerve damage, leading people to lose control of their bodily movements. The symptoms usually stop when they stop taking the supplements. Other symptoms of too much vitamin B6 include painful, unsightly skin patches, extreme sensitivity to sunlight, nausea, and heartburn.
The daily upper limits for vitamin B6 are listed below. These levels do not apply to people who are taking vitamin B6 for medical reasons under the care of a doctor.
|Life Stage||Upper Limit|
|Birth to 12 months||Not established|
|Children 1–3 years||30 mg|
|Children 4–8 years||40 mg|
|Children 9–13 years||60 mg|
|Teens 14–18 years||80 mg|
It is worth noting that too much B-6 can cause nerve damage/neuropathy as outlined in the above article and too little can have a similar effect!
The other day I posted that anyone using high dose melatonin (HDM) with B6 in it should not use this type of melatonin because you can potentially get too much vitamin B6 using HDM or very high dose (VHDM). This is when you could potentially expose yourself to nerve damage/neuropathy, so don't do it. Dr Neel does not use HDM with B6 in it and Dr. Shallenberger does not use the type with B6 either.
Hi Art, I've been following all your post regarding melatonin's effectiveness as far as anti-aging and sleep issues, which works best for my insomnia, glycine before bed melatonin 5mg. Is it safe to take it long term?
Also I've read, can't remember where, but there's a warning, do not take melatonin with b6 is detrimental to your health! Scared what may happen? Taking the brand that was recommended here in earth clinic. Your opinion what I value most. Thanks for your contributions to this site.
A couple more things to consider. The form of magnesium that Deirdre takes is Magnesium L Threonate (Mag-T) and for me this one has never caused diarrhea, but I do not have IBSD. I think the reason for this is the L-Threonate is the largest ingredient that is supposed to target the magnesium to the brain. It may be worth a try to see if it helps with sleep.
Here is a link to a typical product :
Since melatonin at 15 mg/night is doable for you, it may be worth testing a 5 mg melatonin product that has vitamin B6 in it. Melatonin is poorly absorbed and the B6 aids in the absorption of melatonin. I am currently experimenting with a melatonin product with B-6 and time release and it does seem to be slightly more potent than the same quantity of regular melatonin. Here is a link to a 5 mg melatonin product with vitamin B-6 and time release in it:
Here is another melatonin product with vitamin B-6 without the time release :
The mag oil (MO) applied to the upper chest, shoulders and rear of neck should be synergistic with the melatonin while having minimal if any impact on the gut.
The night shades can be useful in signaling your body that it is definitely nighttime and time to go to sleep because they block out almost all light in the room and when combined with the bright sunlight exposure for 10 to 15 minutes in the morning, can help to put your circadian rhythm back on track which should also help you get to sleep. Here is a link to those fabric sleep glasses and this one comes with ear plugs which can be useful if you are dealing with significant background noise :
It sounds like your daily activity level is likely high enough to help induce sleep, but this may be a case of more is better, so you can experiment a little to see if slightly more daily exercise will be additive in promoting sleep for you.
The medical marijuana is also a consideration if legal where you are located, but I would "only use it on the nights when your regular regimen is not letting you get to sleep". The less you use it, the more effective it can be for the purpose of sleep. Think of it as an emergency backup plan only to use when you absolutely have to get to sleep. The form to consider is Indica with high THC content and low CBD content. This is strong and very little should be needed. The Sativa variety, in my experience, tends to wake me up, but definitely does not help me sleep.
Lastly, you can also test some of the multi-ingredient sleep aids that may contain some of the herbs and supplements that I mentioned in my previous reply to you. Mixing all of these options up seems to be useful in insuring that they all remain effective for you.
Do you really think I would say I cannot take magnesium if I haven't tried? Trust me. With my ibsd, ANY form of magnesium will trigger my bowels. Period. I can use mag oil but only up to a point. As I said in my post, I swim several miles on the days I don't lift weights. I am doing everything in my power to get myself some sleep. Not much works and, like the melatonin, what works one day may not work the next.
There are different forms of magnesium to take. Look up and try this form of it: Magnesium glycinate
Most magnesium supplements that you will find at drugstore are with the oxide form because it's cheap.
Are you able to find a pool? Water is an excellent therapy, it de-stresses and soothes.
I started lifting weights to help with sleep, so I lift every other day and then swim several miles on the other days. I follow all the other sleep hygiene rules, so blue light/devices, wrong foods, etc, are already under control. I can only take magnesium through my skin and do that every morning and at night. If I use too much, I get loose even if it's topical applications. I am under much stress (husband passed, had new floors installed, a/c broke and had a plumbing leak all at once). And my cat is mourning DH being gone, so she's acting up a bit. I am handling all of this well enough (he was sick for so long that it's actually restfully quiet around here now) but just need to get some good, restorative sleep. Haven't felt rested in years. Menopause doesn't help. I will try to up the melatonin and see if it helps. But last night was worse than the night before and I really thought I'd be too tired to not sleep. I drink one cup of coffee in the morning and then nothing but water the rest of the day.
Thank you for your feedback on melatonin. Yes, I've found sometimes melatonin works and sometimes it doesn't. It definitely has more of an effect for me if taken with magnesium l threonate, as Art mentioned. Also, I found that 30 mg works better than 20. And I take it all at once... Didn't find I needed to stagger the dosage after all.
One thing I would like to mention is that going for a walk to the point of body fatigue has also been very helpful for my sleep. My sleep issues actually correlate to the aging of my two dogs. I used to do a minimum of 3 miles a day with them. However, now they are over 14 and don't want to walk even to the end of the block on most days! Since walking them less, my sleep has gotten progressively worse. The past week I have been walking (on my own), trying to get back to 3 miles and wow, it has made a tremendous difference to my sleep. I sleep better after walking than after an exhausting 1 hour karate class. Interesting, no?
Just thought I'd put that out there for all with sleep issues. Walking, whether slow or fast paced, is unbelievably beneficial to health.
Art has given excellent advice BUT if you don't do things like stop caffeine intake early in the afternoon, indulge in chocolate at night which has caffeine, use your computer before going to sleep, have light emanating from devices in your bedroom you will have problems.
Work on above and sleep improves. Also setting regular sleeping hours! Melatonin does work. I love it. I get deep rest from it.
Another option is to listen to theta waves with headphones before sleeping. if you are not familiar with these just google theatre waves for sleep.
Yes, unfortunately I have not found anything natural that works everytime, not even medical marijuana which is the best natural sleep aid I have found using the indica variety with high THC content and low CBD content. Overall, melatonin 123, for me is more effective than just taking the melatonin all at one time.
I would suggest you use Deirdre's addition to the melatonin of magnesium l threonate (Mag-T) or magnesium glycinate will also have a similar effect. The melatonin helps to slow the mind down a bit and magnesium tends to help your muscles to relax. Mag oil (MO) can also work quickly if you forgot to take your magnesium pill about an hour to an hour and a half before bed, by applying to the back of the neck and shoulder area as well as the chest as that whole muscle group tends to tighten throughout the day making it harder to get to sleep at night and MO loosens those up quickly, just spray it on and rub it in. Magnesium Taurate works also for helping with sleep. Melatonin and magnesium (M&M) are better than either one alone. My personal experience is that M&M gives a slightly better quality of sleep than either one alone.
The medical marijuana is generally my last resort and it also works well with magnesium and that combination probably is the strongest in the natural products. If that isn't enough, then you would have to talk to your doctor about prescription sleep aids, which I have never done.
Some people do fairly well with valerian root extract or GABA or both, but I consider these a bit weaker than the above mentioned items. Some people use benadryl, but this is not good for regular use as it is thought to contribute to the potential for dementia and or other neurodegenerative issues. Nyquil also has a product that contains Diphenhydramine, the active component from Benadryl and of course it will have the same drawbacks as Benadryl in longer term usage.
The blackout soft fabric night glasses are useful too when you are unable to darken your room enough. These fabric sleeping glasses let your body know that it is definitely night time. The soft foam ear plugs can help if there is significant background noise such as traffic.
A 10 to 15 minute dose of bright morning sunshine every morning helps to get your circadian rhythm back on track.
No computer, tablets, laptops, bright lights or tv for at least 1 1/2 hours before bed as these trick your body into thinking it is still daytime and will not allow natural melatonin production to do its job properly. Generally, the more active you are during the day, the easier it will be to get to sleep.
For mild sleeping problems, ashwagandha, lemon balm, teas for sleep, chamomile, deep breathing, epsom salt bath soak, passion flower and valerian root extract can be helpful. There are also combination sleep aids that have many of these in various combinations. One word of caution, the valerian root extract capsules have a smell to it that to me is disgusting and I can not tolerate that smell every night.
Lastly, getting on a regular schedule of sleep and waking is also longer term helpful and it is free.
I've been taking melatonin the way Art suggested--2 hours before bed I take 1/3 total dose, then 1 hour before the next 1/3, then at bedtime the final 1/3.
I also take niacin, 100 mg, at bedtime since it helps also. So, most nights this really works and I fall asleep fast. I still wake several times per night but go right back to sleep. I wake up well and feel okay for several hours, then feel like I could nap but power through it since I'm at work.
I've been taking a total of 15 mg melatonin. But, like last night, nothing helped me sleep. I took another 5 mg melatonin an hour after bedtime and still didn't sleep but maybe 3 hours total. Any idea why? Or is this just something you have to deal with? (No choice there, I guess). Also, some days I get a real headache that lasts until noon or so. Is this the melatonin? I think so but it could be allergies.
Thanks, Art, this has worked more often than not and I'm happy for that.
Acsessing MELATONIN you can send for it via internet.I live in NZ and here we are only able to get it at 3mg via MD script so I order it online and have found an outlet via Australia (www.... au )that has its source from America.They sell it from 3mg up to 10mg and the brand I usually get has small amount B6 added to it and it has an instant factor and a time release over the night incorporated into the tablet. I get it free shipping over a smallish outlay for the order. Works out hugely cheaper than a script and I can bulk up the order if I want (I take it every night)at the mg count that suits me.
I was 65 when I first took it and a remarkable thing happened.
I lay on my bed all day in a state of profound bliss and relaxation with my eyes partially closed not wanting to stir.
Sleeplessness had set in with menopause and I had noticed this affliction also in my mother and a sister a year younger than l.
I suggest you take Art's lead on the melatonin dosage. I am going to try his 123 method tonight with 10 mg each hour. I decided to skip melatonin and magnesium last night to see how I would do. Was wide awake at 3:00am and couldn't fall back asleep, so I ended up taking 10 mg of melatonin and mag l threonate at 3:30. It did eventually kick in.
Note: I also regularly use my Waff max to help put me in the sleep and peaceful zone. Not sure you saw my video on it a year ago. It's almost impossible to explain how well it works until you lie on one and, unfortunately, there is no way to demo it unless you happen to work at Loreal in France where they have a giant room with Waffs for their employees to recuperate on! At any rate, the Waff at least once a day plus the 2 supplements have totally turned night-time around for me in the past month. Good luck!
Calcium, Magnesium, Potassium
Hi Linda L,
Magnesium citrate is also good to help with sleep, but for those who are sensitive to magnesium, the citrate form can increase your chances for diarrhea. The form Deirdre uses, magnesium L threonate is one form that I have never seen a problem with diarrhea. I use magnesium taurate, magnesium l threonate, magnesium glycinate and topical mag oil (MO) and none are a problem for me. Mag oil can be applied a half hour before bedtime to the back of the neck, upper shoulders and chest areas to help relax those muscle groups in preparation for sleep.
A senior man usually does not need calcium other than from diet, but there are always exceptions. On the other hand, calcium helps tryptophan to generate melatonin. I believe this is the idea of why a warm glass of milk is considered a mild sleep aid because it contains calcium and tryptophan while the heat of warm milk is relaxing.
Thank you for the feedback!
It could be difficult coming off something like Tramadol that is fairly strong and can be on the habit forming side, especially since it was helping you with sleep. Your body has adjusted to it so you could try tapering off of it gradually instead of just stopping it all at once to help with the transition off of it.
Deirdre has the best method of taking melatonin with magnesium. The magnesium tends to help the muscles and tension relax, while the melatonin helps with sleep. Magnesium glycinate is going to be about as good as any form of magnesium for this purpose taken about 1 1/2 hours before bed.
The lowest dose of melatonin that has shown effectiveness for sleep is one third of a milligram, but you are already taking 3 mg. The next dose is 5 milligrams and then 10 mg. Myself, I have used a method I call "melatonin 123" to help me get to sleep. I determine what time I want to go to bed, so lets say I want to go to bed at 11:00pm, I take one melatonin at 9:00 pm, one melatonin at 10:00pm and one melatonin at 11:00 pm and usually by 10:45 I am yawning and ready to go to bed. In your case, you might use 1 mg x three melatonin in order to maintain your current dose of 3 mg. The time released melatonin can have a similar effect as "melatonin 123", but my preference is the melatonin 123. The idea is to release melatonin at a more natural rate into your system. When I take my dose all at once, I do not get as good of a sleep effect as melatonin 123.
There are additional things you can do to help improve sleep. The first thing is exposing yourself to a good dose of morning sunlight, to try and get your circadian rhythm in sync. Avoid using the tv or computer monitor at least 1 1/2 hours before bed because these can trick your mind and body into thinking it is still daylight. Make your bedroom dark enough where you can not see your hand in front of your face in the dark. Failing that, using the soft fabric night glasses like these can make it plenty dark:
If there is ambient noise such as traffic, noise deadening ear plugs may be useful.
Medical marijuana can also be useful, but may be on the habit forming side too.
Antihistamines can help initially, but they are not good for you on a regular basis or long term as they have been shown to possibly contribute to dementia with long term use and they can affect blood pressure in some people.
Lastly, getting on a regular sleep schedule or routine sets your body up for certain expectations of when to fall asleep and when to wake up in order to help sync the circadian rhythm.
You may have to make this extra effort to help with the transition off of Tramadol in order to get back into a good sleep rhythm.
Good luck and keep us posted on how you do!