Sleeping better - methods and supplements

Blog entry posted by PatJ, Aug 27, 2017.

None of this information is medical advice.

This blog entry covers the methods and supplements I use to get a decent night of sleep.

My sleep used to be like this: lose consciousness, toss and turn all night with very shallow sleep (intermittent consciousness), then wake up feeling like nothing happened during the night. It was about as effective as closing my eyes and opening them again. There was no sense of time having passed, no sense of having slept, no dreams, just more feeling exactly the same as when I went to bed.

I had no idea how bad my 'sleep' had become because the sleep quality degraded very slowly. When I read that 'non-restorative sleep' was a CFS/ME symptom, I new exactly what that symptom felt like.

After a lot of experimentation I've found a mixture of methods and supplements that help me get a much better night of sleep. Each of these contributes a little but all of them together add up to a decent night.

I can now go to sleep fairly easily, and when I wake during the night I feel a little groggy and can usually go back to sleep without difficulty. I still wake up to change position several times per night but go right back to sleep. In the morning I feel like I've slept and sometimes have a pleasant 'I just want to lie here for awhile' feeling that was missing for almost a decade before I arrived at my current sleep methods and supplements.

Inclined bed
The head of my bed is inclined by 6 inches using bricks. I was surprised at how much this helped my sleep. It also helps to prevent nocturnal urination by influencing blood circulation and reducing the amount of liquid that enters the bladder during the night.

Memory foam bed
A very soft memory foam bed helps to reduce how often I wake up to change position. And, because I'm bedbound so much of the day, a comfortable bed is very important. Even though it's a low odor bed it still needed to offgas for a few days. When it's covered in a couple of bed sheets I can't smell the mattress.

Darkness
Blocking out light for a dark sleeping environment is important to encourage my body to produce melatonin (in addition to the supplemental melatonin that I take).

LDN
Possibly the biggest aid to sleep although I had some insomnia while I was adjusting to it. I take 2.5mg per day.

Methylfolate
Within two days of starting methylfolate I was able to relax more because the wired-but-tired feeling was starting to dissipate.

Melatonin
Time release melatonin before bed, (Natrol brand) 1mg. Regular melatonin doesn't keep me asleep, but long acting does.

Sleep tea
Nighty Night Tea with valerian. There is a Nighty Night Tea with catnip but I wake up feeling as if my brain has been deprived of oxygen, so I avoid it.

L-Tyrosine
750mg at bedtime

Magnesium
At bedtime. I use NOW brand powdered magnesium citrate dissolved in cold water (it forms gummy clumps in hot water). Magnesium is a muscle relaxant.

Iodine
At least 12mg/day. I take it with the cofactors; selenium is especially important.

Oatmeal
A few spoonfuls at bedtime is enough to help with taking supplements (they're easier to swallow with food), maintains blood sugar during the night, and encourages the release of serotonin for better sleep.

Ear plugs
I'm a very light sleeper so ear plugs help to block out noises that could wake me.

Not over-exerting
Difficulty sleeping is a sign that I have pushed too much. If I stay within my energy envelope and don't over-exert then I usually sleep better.

What I avoid
I've tried niacin and l-theanine but both caused excessive tiredness and brainfog for several hours after waking. Inositol and glycine suck the energy out of me so badly it's like I've been sedated all day long. Vitamin-D helps my sleep but increases my light and sound sensitivity. Some people have found these additional supplements to be very helpful so experiences vary by individual.
realturbo, ahimsa, Gingergrrl and 5 others like this.
  1. msf
    LDN is probably working by inhibiting microglial activation, which is probably caused by LPS. Cort mentioned in one of his articles that Trazodone has a similar effect - combining this with dietary changes and gut treatment has meant that I have gone from waking up every 30 mins to sleeping through the night most nights.
  2. perchance dreamer
    Pat, how long did it take you to get past LDN's insomnia effects? I'm glad you figured out how to get better sleep. It truly makes all the difference in the world.