Insomnia
Natural Remedies

Natural Remedies for Insomnia, Tried and True

Magnesium

Posted by Carmela (Cambridge, Ma) on 05/20/2013
3 out of 5 stars

Better But With Side Effects

I have an issue at night where if I wake up to go to the bathroom, I can't get back to sleep for exactly two hours, no matter what. Yes, 2 hours. I have timed it! I finally found something that works: Magnesium citrate. If I take a teaspoon at night, I can get up to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night and get back to sleep almost immediately. The side effect of powdered magnesium is intense gas and stomach pain, which I have had on several occasions. However, the gas passes about 30 minutes after taking the magnesium. There is probably a "best" time to take magnesium, but I haven't figured it out yet. Sometimes I get stomach pain and sometimes I don't.

I tried Epsom salt foot bath a few nights ago (1 cup of ES in hot water and soaked my feet for an hour) and it relaxed me somewhat, but I didn't get the same deep state of relaxation the internal magnesium provides. I will next try magnesium chloride oil foot baths and report back. Hope this helps someone.


Posted by Maria De Suecia (London, United Kingdom) on 10/24/2010
5 out of 5 stars

Oh my god! I have suffered ruthless episodes of insomnia the last 6 years. This has destroyed my life. As a result I had to withdraw from my PhD program, for example. I simply would not be able to sleep at all, for months at a time. Finally a doctor put me on a very sedating antidepressant. It made me sleep but made me drowsy all day and I lost my short term memory. I got off that 2 years ago and have since had poor sleep but I have slept for a few hours. Anyway, 2 weeks ago I got a new episode. I would lay awake for hours and when I finally began to dose off my body would jerk and twitch so I would wake up again. And so it went on the entire night.

Finally I googled "insomnia and twitching" and got thousands of hits saying "magnesium deficiency". One site in particular said "if you suffer from insomnia, body jerks and twitches, chest and back pain and cannot take deep breaths, then you should take magnesium. " So I read thousands of sites and found one particular brand of magnesium that seemed to help the best. I assume I cannot mention the brand here but it's a powder form and you must mix it with hot water. Given the severity of my insomnia I didn't think a mineral would ever do the trick, but what could I loose? So I ordered it as a last resort before going to the doctor to get sleeping pills. I am not kidding you, day 1 was better, day 2 even better and since day 3 I have slept like a rock for 8.5 hours straight. My chest and back pain are almost gone and I can breath properly.

I have read countless of anecdotes by people discussing insomnia and magnesium. It seems as if absorption is a big problem. Please don't give up if the first attempt doesn't work. Go to the health food store and ask for the brand that has the best absorption. If you do get a good intake of calcium you may be magnesium deficient and may do better on magnesium alone. Otherwise magnesium and calcium is recommended. Personally I take 800 mg/night. Google it! Given my severity of insomnia I am blown away that it all came down to a mineral. WOW!!!

Replied by Pam
Marlborough, Ct, Usa
10/26/2010

Hi, I have had trouble sleeping for quite a while, and also have the twitching problem so bad sometimes that I feel like I want to run around the block. It doesn't happen every night but, I would sure like to sleep like you are I am going to give it a try. Thanks Pam

Replied by Robert
Chicago, Il
01/16/2011

Magnesium that has the best absorption is magnesium citrate. Be sure to always check labels.

Replied by Mike
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
01/17/2011

Maria, your post is exactly what this site is all about!!! I to have suffered from insomnia for many years and would have never guessed that it was magnesium related. That is why this site is so valuable for curing illnesses because it tends to promote the idea that "NATURAL PRODUCTS ARE THE BEST WAY TO CURE ALL MINOR ILLNESS THAT POTENTIALLY CAN LEAD TO IRREPARABLE SERIOUS ILLNESSES IN THE LONG RUN".

Thanks Earth Clinic since this is not the first illness I was able to treat just by reading from the experience of others. Perfect example how Prescription and Over The Counter Drugs once again has no place in the human body! You might Google to find out which food has the highest magnesium content and change your eating habit accordingly. Mike

Replied by Mike
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
01/17/2011

I have found this site for describing food with highest Magnesium content www.vaughns-1-pagers.com/food/magnesium-foods.htm

Replied by Surulere
Bloomfield, Nj, Usa
01/18/2011

Maria, can you kindly email the name of the brand your are using to solve the insomnia issue. Surulere(at)gmail(dot)com

Replied by Zsaqwe
Brownsville, Texas, Usa
01/18/2011

Maria, what you describe is exactly how I had to live for 15 years. I hardly could cope with my two babies with that terrible insomnia. Please tell us what magnesium to take. There is many different magnesium. Which one? I found this info in the web. www.relieve-migraine-headache.com/magnesium-migraines

So just what is the magnesium migraines connection? Researchers have been investigating the magnesium migraines connection because of magnesium's role in stabilizing blood vessels walls. Magnesium is also an important mineral when it comes to helping you get to sleep. Regular sleeping patterns are also very important to migraine sufferers. Magnesium also helps in protein synthesis, and keeps your bones strong and helps maintain normal nerve and muscle function. It was first suggested that a deficiency in magnesium could cause headaches over 70 years ago. It makes sense, because a lot of the things that cause the body to run short of magnesium also either trigger migraines or lower your resistance. For example alcohol, stress, and menstruation. Today we know that about half of the people who get migraines are also short of a certain type of magnesium (serum ionized). When faced with a migraine that won't respond to treatment, many headache specialists will give an injection of magnesium. You should be able to get benefits from long term (2-3 months or more) regular magnesium supplements.

The magnesium migraines link may make a big difference to many people. Certain types of magnesium are not well absorbed by the body. Too much magnesium, particularly the wrong kinds of magnesium, can cause diarrhea and simply make your mineral deficiency worse. Also, remember to take magnesium for at least 60-90 days to see if it makes a difference. If your body isn't absorbing magnesium well, try avoid these types of magnesium: Oxide, hydroxide, and chloride. Instead, look for magnesium types that end in "ate", particularly glycinate, but also gluconate, lactate and orotate.

Note: Very often two or more types of magnesium are combined, such as oxide and citrate. The best thing is to simply talk to your doctor and then try one kind and see how your body handles it. A note about calcium: Magnesium and calcium balance each other out in the body. If you have too much of one and not enough of another, it can cause problems. That's one reason why it's important not to take too much of one or the other. However, when taking magnesium for migraine don't buy a calcium/magnesium blend. If you're taking a calcium supplement, take it at another time of day. It can interfere with the benefits of the magnesium for migraine.

Replied by Maria De Suecia
Stockholm/london, Sweden/uk
03/24/2011
5 out of 5 stars

Hi, I'm responding to those of you who had a question regarding which magnesium I was taking to treat insomnia. I posted this on 10/24/2010.

Insomnia DESTROYED my life, beginning 6 years ago. I had to drop out of one of the best PhD programs in the world in my field. Sleeping pills didn't even work. I was put on an antidepressant, just for the insomnia, that is normally given to Alzheimers patients in order to sedate and calm them down. It D*E*S*T*R*O*Y*E*D my life. And now look.

First let me sum up, 5 months on after my magnesium discovery, and I still sleep like a rock. But I've discovered an even better magnesium. Let me tell you the exact experience.

I initially began taking a regular pill form of "magnesium carbonate", and it clearly helped a lot but I would still wake up a few times with these awful hypnic jerks. I did this for a few days while I was waiting for my order of this magnesium powder that people rave about on various sites.

I can't reveal the brand name because I think it will be deleted by Earthclinic. I totally respect that since the non-commercial integrity of this site makes it so trustworthy. If I tell you the following, then you'll be able to track it down: this particular brand of magnesium is in "magnesium carbonate" form and was developed by a leading nutritional researcher named Peter Gillham. Now you can google that and find the name of the brand. I'll take a shot at revealing the name as I have found it so helpful and I hope that Earthclinic will post it to help people. It's called: Calm Natural.

I take the magnesium only, but they sell a calcium-magnesium blend as well.

So I got the order of this powder and I had done enough research to know that, unless you have an existing kidney or liver problem, it is pretty much impossible to overdose on magnesium. I was in a state of panic because I did not want this awful insomnia to keep wrecking my life, so the first night I took 1200 mg of this stuff. Fell alseep instantly. Not one hypnic jerk. Nothing. Slept! Slept! Slept! I took this dose every night without getting a loose stool (which is an indication that you take too much). Day 4 I woke up with loose stool. But I didn't flipping care, it's better than taking sleeping pills or not sleeping at all. But at this point I reduced the dose a bit, still slept like a baby.

I kept thinking that it must be too good to be true since sleeping pills had not even worked for my insomnia/hypnic jerks in the past. But oh no, I kept sleeping, adjusting the dose so that I would take just the amount that my stomach could handle - sometimes diarrhea and sometimes not. With time I needed less and less and after a few weeks I could even skip a few nights here and there.

Now to the other big discovery. I tried magnesium oil. EVEN BETTER! Some points on my experience with magnesium oil. 1) I am using a magnesium oil derived from the ancient Zechstein seabed (google it) - many brands of magnesium oil get their oil from this place. It's the gold standard source. 2) Magnsium oil is better since it does not go through your intestine you can apply as much as is needed without getting a loose stool. 3) I began using this in conjunction with drinking the magnesium powder, not risking insomnia. Bloody h***ll, this works wonders! 4) Initially I rubbed this stuff all over my body, 20 minutes before bedtime. One must be prepared that initially it feels as if you have been stung by a swarm of bees, but it gets better with time, believe me, like 4 weeks or so of applying it daily and it will no longer sting. I did this combo for 4 weeks, every single night. After 4 weeks my magnesium levels seemed to have been built up enough so I only needed to rub it on my belly before bedtime. 5) Yes, it's a bit oily, but again, I don't flipping care, I want to sleep after 6 years without sleeping.

So where am I now? I no longer drink the magnesium powder and fall alseep without a problem just by rubbing the magnesium oil on my belly. If I have a feeling that sleep is a bit more rocky I simply rub my entire body with the oil.

One point to be made here is that the magnesium has helped me with the hypnic jerks that prevented me from falling asleep. I would have these hypnic jerks, what felt like, one thousand times per night. They drove me crazy! Now they are GONE! GONE! GONE! 6 years of hell is gone!!! I don't know if magnesium helps with regular insomnia when you just lie awake starring, perhaps calcium in combination with magnesium is a better option then.

In treating my adrenal glands I began taking a high potency (OBSERVE, VERY IMPORTANT: HIGH POTENCY) vitamin B complex, which I noticed made me feel much much calmer in general. I still take that.

There are other minerals and vitamins that can cause insomnia. I read about that somewhere. I remember one of them being Folate.

Replied by Bev
Fort Lauderdale, Fl
05/24/2013

Magnesium Oil is NOT oil -- but feels like it. I also hate the itchy feeling of this oil on my skin but I found that if I dilute it about 1/2 and 1/2 with water, there is no discomfort. I usually spray it on right after a shower -- in the shower. I don't apply it to my butt as I usually go and check my email (in the nude) while I'm waiting for it to dry.

Your skin will still feel a little "oily", but it will not stain your clothes.

Replied by Jean H.
Us
04/15/2018

If the magnesium oil stings, it's an indication that your body is low in magnesium so dilute the oil with a bit of purified water so it doesn't sting. You can also make a magnesium body butter with 2 parts cocoa, shea or mango butter, 1 part coconut oil and 1 part magnesium oil. Melt butter and oil over double boiler, stir to help emulsify. Allow to cool for about 20 minutes. Slowly mix magnesium oil in butter/oil mixture, mix with hand mixer. Put in the fridge for about 20 minutes to cool and then blend a second time with hand mixer and put in container. I saved a large necked jar from some herbs for my dogs that I use that works well. A teaspoon of the body butter provides approximately 250 mg of magnesium chloride.


Posted by Anna (Dayton, OH) on 07/10/2009
5 out of 5 stars

I take two 200 or 250 mgs of magnesium every night to help me sleep. I have tried other products to help me sleep like phosphorus and melatonin. Phosporus is also very good but makes me too groggy when I wake up. Melatonin also makes me too groggy. I take Melatonin when I have had caffiene before bed and it knocks me out. I get the tablets and nibble the tiniest bit off of the edge and it works everytime but seems to be too strong for me and makes me tired during the day. For me magnesium is gentle and when I wake up I feel relaxed but not tired. We stayed overnight in New York City at my daughters boyfriends apt on a busy, noisy, avenue. I took my two magnesiums as usual but woke up in the middle of the night because of the terrible street noises. The next few nights I took 3 magnesiums (200 or 250mg's)and slept thru it all. At home I take two every night. Thank you so much for this website!! People helping People!! YaY people power!

Replied by R
Sarasota, FL, USA
07/11/2009

Can you please provide the form (citrate?) of magnesium you are taking? Thank you.


Posted by Donna (Aspen, CO) on 07/20/2006
5 out of 5 stars

It makes me sleep great, just magnesium, without the calcium. My brother told me that magnesium is a natural muscle relaxant~ like valium!

Replied by Ankita
Toronto, Ontario
05/01/2009

Donna, Can you please tell me clearly how much magnesium You are taking (Day time and before bed time) I also have CFS and sleep problem.I recently started Amino acid chelated Calcium 360mg and Magnesium 180 mg at bed time and doesn't seem to be helping for my sleep.


Magnesium and Calcium

Posted by Karin (Arlington) on 08/29/2005
5 out of 5 stars

My sister has Fibro and was taking meds to sleep at night. I mentioned how well calcium makes a huge difference in how my husband and I sleep at night. She is hooked! She only takes her meds to sleep when she absolutley has too.

Replied by Ankita
Toronto, Ontario
05/01/2009

Karin, Can you please tell me clearly how much calcium and magnesium your sister is taking (Day time and before bed time) I also have CFS and sleep problem. I recently started Amino acid chelated Calcium 360mg and Magnesium 180 mg at bed time and doesn't seem to be helping for my sleep.


Posted by SHERRI (RICHMOND, VA)
5 out of 5 stars

Take magnesium before bed time.


Magnesium Citrate

Posted by Stephanie (Chicago, Il) on 07/14/2010
5 out of 5 stars

For two years now, I've been taking 400mg of Magnesium Citrate every night before bed and I sleep like a baby! My boyfriend takes it too, completely relaxes you and makes it easier to fall and stay asleep. I read somewhere it is the most 'relaxing mineral' and people need higher amounts of it as we age as it becomes depleted with stress. Major side benefit--it also just happens to eliminate PMS symptoms, fyi. Oh, and migraines! Also, make sure you are drinking at least 4-6 glasses of water per day if you suffer from any ailments whatsoever as most people are chronically dehydrated and have no idea why their body is deteriorating with age. Aging is a process of dehydration!


Posted by Jann (Ocean, NJ) on 07/08/2007
5 out of 5 stars

A natural pharmacist once told me that everyone over the age of 50 shoud be taking 500mg. of magnesium CITRATE (3 capsules)before bedtime,& "they will sleep like a baby"! So my husband & I both tried it & we get 8 hrs. sleep each night! It took a few days to kick in, so dont give up.After a few months, I cut back to 320 mg (2 capsules) & it still works. Its been over a year already! I just love, love, love, your website! Thank you!!!!!!

Replied by Trudyg
Anon
05/09/2013

What about those of us with ibs/d who can't take magnesium? It's so easy to say take 400 mg, but even 50 mg and I'm on the toilet all night. I use the magnesium oil but too much of that and I'm out with the D, too.

Replied by Mama To Many
Middle, Tennessee, Usa
05/09/2013

I find chamomile tea or Sleepytime tea before bed to reallly help when I am having trouble sleeping. I have read about a number of people using 5-HTP for sleep help.

Blackstrap Molasses has magnesium in it and is a food instead of a supplement. It might work better than a supplement. 1 T. At bedtime. My son is trying this for bruxism and if my husband takes it before bed after a long day working outside (and sweating a lot) he won't get leg cramps. My point is, it doesn't take a ton to get results.

Valerian is another herb some people use to help with insomia.

Hope you get some good sleep soon.

Replied by Trudyg
Anon
05/09/2013

I will try the blackstrap molasses--have some, just didn't think about it. The sleepy time tea is good, but it makes me go to the bathroom so much, I just can't drink anything or I'm up 10 times. Thanks.

Replied by Mama To Many
Middle, Tennessee, Usa
05/10/2013

Sleepy time tea does make me have to get up at night, too. But, if it is effective, you could make a sleepytime tincture, which would require a lot less liquid. You may be able to get some pre-make sleep tincture or your could make your own. One of my sons had terrible insomnia for a year and we made a sleep tincture that helped him a lot. Ray Comfort's book, Overcoming Insomnia was also helpful and humorous.

Here is the recipe for sleep tincture: equal parts of catnip, chamomile, passionflower, oatstraw and lemon balm. 1/4 part hops. Fill a glass jar with this. Cover the dry herbs with vodka. Let stand 2 weeks. Strain off herbs. Take 1 teaspoon in a little water at bedtime. You could even do this with a box of sleepytime tea. just put all the bags from the box in a jar and cover with vodka. (You can use glycerine if you want it alcohol free, it just won't be quite as strong. ) Let sit for two weeks and then remove tea bags. Take 1 teaspoon in a little water at bedtime. If you want it in a hurry, use the crock pot method. Place a towel in a crock pot. Place jar (I use a canning har) on towel. Fill crock pot with warm water to an inch below the top of the jar. Set crock pot on Low. Slow cook the tincture for 3 days. (You will have to keep adding water. I do not put a lid on the crock pot as the water gets a little too hot this way. ) Strain out the herbs. 1 teaspoon at bedtime.

Hope you find a good solution, soon!

Replied by An
Anon
05/10/2013

Hi, Let me know how your son gets on as my daughter has this night time teeth grinding and it's a struggle to get her to take bvits and CLO regularly. Thanks

Replied by Joy
Battleground, Wash
05/16/2013

I was just reading in the addiction section in earth clinic and they gave the remedy for teeth grinding in there.

Replied by Jo
Nm
04/16/2014

Mg glycinate is least likely to cause diarrhea. I adjust the amt I take. Need at least 800 mg for restless leg and charley horse. Sometimes need another 400. If I get bound up, I switch to mg citrate. My husband takes the citrate, at least 1200 mg because his meds cause extreme constipation. Took Clark's for many years, and am thinking of finding it again.


Marjoram Oil

Posted by Suz (Sshkosh, WI/USA) on 02/23/2009
5 out of 5 stars

Insomnia: Alright, I know I will catch grief for this so let me disclaim right away! Do not take essential oils undiluted. Okay, now that you all know that I know... Marjoram oil. Marjoram oil: about eight drops in a capsule will do. Awesome for headaches too.


Melatonin

Posted by Florie (Hayward, Ca) on 08/02/2020
5 out of 5 stars

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.

Replied by Art
California
08/02/2020
586 posts

Florie,

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

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1395802/

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, [145] 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.[145]

..........................

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 :

............................

https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminB6-Consumer/#h8

.......................

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
Adults 100 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.

Art


Posted by Gertjr (Madison) on 07/31/2020
4 out of 5 stars

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.

Replied by Art
California
07/31/2020
586 posts

Gertjr,

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.

Art

Replied by Missm
New York
07/31/2020

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.

Replied by Deirdre
Ct
07/31/2020

Hi GertJr,

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.

Replied by Gertjr
Madison
08/01/2020

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.

Replied by Missm
Ny
08/01/2020

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.

Replied by Gertjr
Madison
08/01/2020

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.

Art
California
08/02/2020
586 posts

Gertjr,

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 :

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=magnesium+l+threonate&ref=nb_sb_noss_1

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:

https://www.amazon.com/Natrol-Melatonina-tabletas-alivio-S0921205N2PK/dp/B001E0WOKE/ref=sr_1_5?dchild=1&keywords=melatonin+5mg+with+vitamin+b6+timed+release&qid=1596389259&sr=8-5

Here is another melatonin product with vitamin B-6 without the time release :

https://www.amazon.com/Mason-Natural-Vitamin-Melatonin-Strength/dp/B00EBGR1WY/ref=sr_1_5?dchild=1&keywords=melatonin+5mg+with+vitamin+b6&qid=1596388255&sr=8-5

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 :

https://www.amazon.com/Sleep-Mask-Blindfold-Eye-Shades/dp/B00L4NJFEE/ref=sr_1_36?dchild=1&keywords=cloth+sleeping+glasses&qid=1596390067&sr=8-36

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.

Art

Replied by Art
California
08/02/2020
586 posts
5 out of 5 stars

Gertjr,

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.

Art

Replied by Joanna
Boise Id
08/02/2020

Please Art, what is IBSD? Thanks

EC: IBSD = Irritable Bowel Syndrome Disease

Replied by Gertjr
Madison
08/03/2020

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.

Replied by Charity
Faithville, Us
08/03/2020

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

Replied by Art
California
08/03/2020
586 posts

Gertjr,

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 :

https://irritablebowelsyndrome.net/living/naltrexone/

Here is a link to 2 LDN sites :

https://ldnresearchtrust.org/

https://www.lowdosenaltrexone.org/

Art


Posted by Deirdre (Ct) on 06/24/2020
5 out of 5 stars

I have been experimenting with melatonin after reading Art Solbrig's extensive two articles on it in the Coronavirus and Supplements section of EC. I want to report my results as they have been quite amazing. I hope this will be helpful for those with sleep issues, stress, and anxiety.

Starting a few weeks ago, about 30 minutes before bed, I took 10 mg of melatonin with magnesium L threonate. I slept very deeply and woke up the next morning feeling like my brain had finally gotten a chance to recuperate after YEARS of sleeping poorly. I was astounded at the sensation of deep, restorative sleep. You don't realize how badly you've been sleeping until you start sleeping deeply again. It must have been like that for 10 years, at least.

I continued the 10 mg melatonin with magnesium protocol for one week. The first few days, like many report, I was extremely tired during the day. But I didn't fight the sleepiness, I just took a nap or went back to sleep in the morning, figuring I needed the extra deep sleep time. I felt so much calmer and more peaceful as the first week of melatonin and magnesium went on.

After 1 week, the sleepy effects wore off as Art said they would, so I upped it to 20 mg (still with magnesium ) at night. More deep and restorative sleep.

Now on week 3, I am testing 30 mg of melatonin and finding it wonderful. I no longer have the drowsiness issue that people report from melatonin.

Note to Art Solbrigh - thank you so much for writing so extensively on the health benefits of melatonin! Had it not been for all your research and pubmed studies, I probably wouldn't have experimented with it as I didn't like the drowsy feeling it gave when I tried it in the past. Very grateful to you!

Replied by Art
California
06/24/2020
586 posts

Hi, Deirdre,

I'm very happy that melatonin is useful for improving your sleep! The addition of Mag-T is also additive at helping you to get to sleep and sleeping well. Mag-T, like magnesium taurate are both noted for targeting the brain. Another form of magnesium that is quite helpful for sleep is magnesium glycinate and I always find that adding the magnesium to the melatonin is very helpful for getting the best quality of rest!

Thank you for the feedback as it is helpful in confirming what is useful and what is not useful for everyone on EC!

Art

Replied by Gertjr
Madison
06/25/2020

Hello Art and Deirdre,

I've been taking a lot of things (ashwaghanda, valerian, etc) for sleep. I had read that melatonin for sleep was best if taken in low doses, but here you say large doses helped you. So, if I want to take only melatonin for my insomnia, how much would you take to start?

I've been taking 3 mg along with my other herbs and sleeping fitfully. I had surgery and the tramadol plus my other stuff has made me sleep wonderfully but, taking the tramadol at night only for pain (and I don't have pain anymore) I only have 4 left.

So I'm now stressing about not getting good sleep anymore. I need to be awake for work, but have a long weekend coming up and could start a high dose to see how it affects me. Any suggestions? I really don't like taking a whole concoction of stuff, it tastes terrible and doesn't really work all that well anyway.

Replied by Art
California
06/25/2020
586 posts

Gertjr,

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:

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=eye+mask+for+sleep&ref=nb_sb_noss_1

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!

Art

Replied by Deirdre
Ct
06/25/2020

Hi Gertjr!

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!


Posted by Martin (Cambridge) on 06/12/2018
5 out of 5 stars

Melatonin to regulate my sleep cycle which was worsening with age (62 y/o male). Give it 2 weeks or more time before you see results. People give up too soon when experimenting with melatonin. Give your brain time to adjust to a new circadian pattern. 3 mg sublingual melatonin before bed is what I do.


Posted by Claudia R. (Maryland) on 05/14/2018
5 out of 5 stars

Melatonin for nighttime stress and anxiety. I take a low dose 3 mg sublingual melatonin 1/2 hour or more before going to sleep. I used to wake up in fits of anxiety a few times a night and it would take me 2 hours or more to get back to sleep. Sometimes it happened twice in a night. Since taking melatonin, I sleep much better. Still sometimes I do wake up but go back to sleep within a min or two.


Posted by Lisa (Westport, Ct) on 03/28/2018
5 out of 5 stars

For months I have been waking up at 4:00 am and unable to get back to sleep, either because I need to use the bathroom or someone moving around in our house or anxiety attacks. In the past, magnesium supplements have done the trick keeping me asleep but lately they have not helped much. Exercise that tires me out definitely helps keep me asleep all night, but on the days I don't exercise hard I wake up. I bought 3 mg melatonin and tried that. Helped the first night, but not after that.

Finally I tried 1 melatonin and 1 magnesium l threonate capsule before bed. That was the winning combination. I am sleeping deeply until the morning and feeling extraordinarily refreshed and energized. Don't want this to become less effective, so I'm only doing it 2-3 nights in a row, then taking a break from the supplements until I feel the need to do it again. Usually another 2-3 days off. Hope this helps someone.

Replied by Mary
Ca
03/29/2018

I have struggled with insomnia. will try this. Thank you.



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